Bird Droppings October 23, 2011
Sometimes it takes an inner journey to help others
It has been several months that I have focused on my own issues and problems and often let others problems drift by the wayside. I have been there but only perhaps in body so self focused that many things drifted by. It took a friends email to wake me from my daydream of sorts. I recall very clearly when I received the note my dear friend was diagnosed with cancer and had emailed me letting me know. I do procrastinate always finding excuses for not responding not interacting not working on my dissertation. I went out the afternoon of his email with a smoldering bowl of white sage and ursa leaves to my letting the smoke waft about me clearing my head as I fanned the smoke and embers with a hawk feather. While absorbed in the festivities of Fall sprts, Homecoming week at the high school and taking several thousand photos seemed a great reason to hold off this week on so many details of life and interaction with others it was that an excuse.
I needed some time to be alone to think to ponder beyond my morning wandering and writing. I drove to Macon Georgia to take my youngest son a suit and dress shirt for a semi-formal affair he said he was attending the next Saturday night. There is something about a drive that clears my head especially when on back roads with many things to see and good music to listen too. So my CD player was loaded with Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Black Crowes, Carlos Nakai, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton I began the drive. It was my first time listening to Neil Young’s new CD, A Fork in the Road, and how appropriate for a 250 mile road trip with many forks along the way.
I stopped by the school to get my camera and plug in a new battery I had purchased on Friday to start my day. A few errands and I was heading down the road. Somewhere about Covington Georgia, Bob Dylan was wailing Knocking on Heavens door and I recalled the day I went to hear my youngest sons rendition at a talent show during a week of Choir camp the night my father passed away. Coincidently it was in Covington I went to hear my son sing that song. I called him to see if he knew the song playing but the wind and distortion on the cell phone during a harmonica solo were hard to hear.
Jackson Georgia came quickly and a left turn towards Macon was on hand. I took a few highway photos as I drove places of special memories. Fresh Air Barbeque and Towalgia Nursery and Towaglia River Bridge washed out many years ago in a flood and rebuilt. Towalgia is Creek for bloody river. It seems it was somewhere here about scalps would be washed in the river and dried for trade to the white soldiers back in the day. Scalping being a custom adopted from the whiteman. I was going to stop and get a photo of Lake Juliette as I drove by since the lake was topped off with all the rain. This was the spot my father in law drowned several years ago on a fishing trip. It was a day of memories and details flashing back and reminding me of my own mortality as I drove towards Macon.
I stopped just before Macon at the new Mall and went into Barnes and Nobles looking for Kent Nerburn’s newest book which they did have several copies of and I grabbed one. I was drawn to the CD section and also found Neil Young’s newest CD. So here I am Neil Young and a Carlos Nakai CD and my Kent Nerburn book headed to Mercer. My son met me on campus and showed me his apartment and I am always amazed at how college kids can devastate what many call a domicile. Although Matt said it was clean for once. I left Mercer and headed to the Indian mounds. I tend to enjoy the solitude and quiet and sacredness of the mounds although quite a few tourists were about that Saturday.
I went into the main building where the museum and presentations are held and got a new t-shirt from heritage days just a few weeks back. Several different tribes are represented with artisans, dancers and story tellers giving presentations through the weekend. The back of my shirt borrows from a Sitting Bull quote “Let us leave a world for our children”. I drove out to the temple mound on the far side of the property. All along the way the stillness and quiet was what I needed. Several families were on top of the mound as I came in and I waited till they left. I enjoy the solitude and sacredness of this spot. For nearly five thousand years various peoples have held this place as sacred. When I go I always face each of the four directions, north, east, south and west. There is something about imagining what it was like a thousand years ago when people lived around the temple mound and corn fields and canoes could be seen from the top.
I gathered my camera and began the trek home. I put my new Neil Young CD in and read through his new songs. One set of lyrics caught my attention and I played that song several times along the road. Appropriately it is called Off the Road.
“When the day is done
And the sun is sinking low
When you’ve seen a lot
And you’ve been most everywhere
You go, you go
And you think the end is in sight
You can never take your eyes
Off the road, off the road
When the traffics slow
And those brake lights are lighting up
When you are all alone
And you’re driving through the night
And you know the end is not insight
You can never take your eyes off the road off the road”
I read these words and thought about my own mortality. As I get to my sixtie second year so many things come to mind and when my dear friend sent an email of his development of cancer along with an early birthday thought. It was reminding me if as if I needed that. But as I rode I found my emptiness subside and a peace fill the void. Thoughts, ideas and pondering it seems through a journey along the roads of Georgia does wonders for the soul. Please my dear friends keep all in harm’s way on your minds and in your hearts.