all that space

drove today from denver to salt lake city through wyoming. in a very serious way, (the same way that i didn’t know about kansas being everything you were ever taught about oz) i didn’t even know about wyoming, that it looked like that, mountains and then prairies and so much space. the clouds are as interesting and varied as the mountains. i saw some things today i can’t put into words, its easy to forget this is a beautiful country. the land itself all looks so holy…blighted sometimes by racist or hateful signs, by the knowledge that behind many of the spread out doors are nice people who actively work against the things i care about. still, these long valleys with shadows and horses make you ache a bit.

the changes are so sudden, you are between cascading green moutains or red rock face, into a deep valley, impossibly colorful after so long on the plains. the plains, where you can watch an entire thunder and lightning storm just off to the side, but feel no rain…where there’s nothing but sky and flat land in sight for miles – so desolate that the signs all say ‘no service for 34 miles’. when you finally reach service, it’s buford wyoming, population 2, elevation 8000. people are so nice, they stare with dropped jaws and i realize that i emit a foreignness into the space. i try to pull in my urban energy, but as if i had wings, i have no ability here to be a pure observer. its pretty in every direction.

as i drive west, farmers in south central l.a. are being pushed off their land to make room for a wal-mart, and ruckus has sent some folks down to support the situation, its hard not to think this is a remarkable time, a convergence of issues and peoples unlike we’ve seen in recent history. i generally think any time could erupt into a key moment, but then sometimes a summer hits and as the heat rises…oh maybe its just me. lol – its in my self-interest that this be a moment, as i am going to an organization poised to make the most of it, and i know all of these brilliant people who are also poised all over and – hope is my greatest strength and greatest weakness.

the drive today gave me time to miss people, individually, and the place of new york, sort of flip through these last 10 years in new york. the place is a different city, i’ve watched each community i’ve lived in change for the trendier, watched the subsequent erasure of what made those neighborhoods golden, realized that someone somewhere watched me to come to each home with that same feeling – change, ugh. and change, inevitable, necessary, here and gone already. and the people, we’ve moved like water together, all of a body but close and far, stagnant or rushing, changing everything around us to make a way.

this move is clash of knowing its time, feeling that dark and swirling prayer of missing people and wanting deeply for them to be alright, realizing they are too far for me to stop harm coming, that i was never able to anyway, that it was never needed. and anyway, there are things for me to attend to. and i am so excited, i can’t wait to see the other shore.

song of the day: you only live once, the strokes. this was on one of the mixtapes dj marty makes for the ruckus camps, which i listened to most of today’s ride. tomorrow i think i will try rubber soul and abbey road from the beatles, some jackson browne, arethra, janice joplin, nina simone and then my super hip-hop playlist. it will be a long ride. feel free to call.

right now i have to attend to sleeping, a lot, before my big final drive tomorrow. traffic-willing i will reach oakland by sundown.