Myopic Travels

June 23, 2009


Clovis, New Mexico

Crossing deserts, even high plain deserts in a car,
is still a spiritual experience. Yesterday traveling
stretched plateau landscape sometimes a world
so flat to see unobstructed horizon all directions.
Cloudscape a few hundred feet over me casual
drizzle, or sudden wind gusted rain oil slickening
the highway permits few distractions, the engine
straining long climbs past Santa Rosa. The last
section of highway I-40 to ABQ the worst. Road
shifts from four lane to broken lane construction
crowding the steep and curvy approach to the city.
No speeding, no passing, downhill trucks roiling
towards you. Then miraculously it changes, as if
I’d climbed out of a hole. I drive through town on
San Mateo Blvd. miles of one plaza—tire stores,
tattoo parlors, rock shops, Mexican restaurants,
massage parlors, Hooters, Pier One, Starbucks,
boot stores, tax prep, Wendy’s, custom made
leather, auto parts, fast check cashing, moccasin
and artifact shops, Ross, dry cleaners, McDonald’s,
and a boot and western wear barn. Finally I locate
the right to Whole Foods. There I go from speaking
to no one for hours to constant collisions and apologies
to and from shoppers wandering through their lists.
For me it should be simple, the same things I get
at the grocery any weekend. Do I have enough onions?
Do I like the look of that fish? Should I get wine
in case guests arrive? But I have to fight back
the urge to talk to people uninvited. I don’t want to
be the creepy super market guy—

Then the last 40 miles to the house—

ABQ fades in my rearview mirror as I get over
the top of the Rio Rancho hill on Rt.550 orange
mesas and the lavender Jemez Mountains, then turn
at San Ysidro and the Jemez River Valley of small
farms and Cottonwood trees. I pass above Jemez
Reservation, not western romantic and a speed trap
at 30 mph,without mercy for outsiders. Always a dog
or two wandering from there to somewhere else,
a cloud of yellow dust rising from activity; it knows
it’s own charm. Then I descend to round red rocks
the road still winding alongside the river. West-
side cliff faces rise to mesa tops. I drift into Jemez
Springs at 25mph (speed trap). A clutch of bikers
hanging around at Los Ojos, the cowboy bar. But
they’re not real bikers anymore, pleasant dress up,
a pageant so they can ride the same road in and out
of their dreams too. Just past the curve at Soda Dam
I turn at Redondo and toss up dirt and slide and rattle
up the rough graded road. All I can do is keep going
slower until I get to the top of the road. I look down
to see the valley, or look right and up to the house.
There are weeds all over the drive I worked so hard
to clear last summer…but I can’t care. I’m here.
I open all the windows, drag bags out of the car and start
putting away and finding and losing things. Around five
I start to saute zucchini for dinner. The telephone rings,
“Yes I’m here”. The wireless router doesn’t work right.
The television doesn’t work at all. The radio has periodic
static, but the DJ’s playing recordings of Van Morrison
live years ago, and happily there’s nothing left to do
but listen to Van’s plaintive searching for his soul
and invisible birds singing along out in the dark.
Then I don’t need Van. It’s just birds and the occasional
hum of the refrigerator. A sleigh bed surrounded by open
windows. I’m so tired I don’t want to go to sleep, not yet.
So lovely buried under the blankets, surrounded by white
silent arms of pillows…what dream could bring dreams
better than this gentle ceasing?


12 Responses to “Myopic Travels”

  1. Larry Jines Says:

    Looks terrific! Great beginning.

  2. AT Wainright Says:

    Good looking blog. The writing is excellent. You are now electronically published.

  3. Karen Vanek Says:

    Riding into dreams with cloudscapes and the slamming together of cultures and time sounds enchanting. Hmm…I think New Mexico thought of that in their state motto. How luxurious to have the time to just listen…Enjoy your time to recharge and keep sharing the beauty of these captured moments. Blogging somehow extends the comtemplative nature of the experience, preserving it for you as you generously share with us. Gracias.

  4. Eileen Says:

    Your writing is fabulous! I have made that drive & your writing has brought the memories & a new perspective. Good timing for me as I won’t be making that drive this summer as I have each June or July for 6 years running.

  5. swetzel Says:

    Hi Dom, I’m Larry’s friend Shirley – you’re off to a great start, welcome to the blogosphere! How amazing that you are friends with Patricia and Charles …

    • domzuccone Says:

      You’re my idol! It is quite a coincidence that Larry’s suggestion, your post and Patricia’s workshop aligned. How was Patricia? Was Don there? They’re wonderful people, yes? Have you gone to other workshops?

  6. Mike D Says:

    Transcend yourself? Van Morrison, recently in a concert, sang (said?) “I have transcended myself”. What will you do there? write? garden? observe creatures, earth and sky? be quiet? watch TV? listen to the radio? why are you there?

  7. jerry Says:

    very nice Dom and glad you’re there how wonderful thanks jb

  8. Mike D Says:

    Hello, Dom. I’m happy for you; and sad for some of it. During a recent concert, Van Morrison exclaimed “I have transcended myself.” He meant it in the nicest way, having already acknowledged the essential importance of his bands’ musical coherences to his performances. / “So it goes” wrote Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.. / “And whatever your labors & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” [DESIDERATA, Max Ehrmann]

  9. Mike Says:

    I’m happy for you; and sad for some of it. “And whatever your labors & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” Max Ehrmann, writing in Desiderata. (This is my third attempt; my previous two Submit Comment attempts disappeared).

  10. Sybil Estess Says:

    I love: New Mexico tambien. Yo comprehendo, mi amigo. Mucho. SE

  11. Sybil Estess Says:

    Yo me gusta mucho Nuevo Mexico tambien. Yo comprehendo. Mucho,
    mi amigo. Vaya con Dios. Haste la vista.


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