What is this? Reality?

I hardly found myself home from the canyon, not even unpacked and de-sanded, forget about decompression, when I looked up and found myself repacked and headed out to West Texas on another road trip.  Good golly.  It was necessary for art and income’s sake, but my psyche and my physical body are just not ready for re-entry.  I’m writing about it in the ongoing and upcoming journal (of a sort) of the various and sundry adventures having to do with the river trip.  Sad to say, other than the recurring numbness in my hands and other related maladies that remind me constantly that something did indeed happen – not of my regular activities – well, the canyon and its daily regimens of life on the river seem rivers and eons away from here.  I have been running for months now, both literally in pursuit of what passes for my living, and concurrently in the living of what is defined as my life.  Right now it’s one of those conflicting arenas of what is me:  I miss the river and the reality thereof, yet, at this moment, I am content to be puddled in my swinging chair on the deck, overlooking my kingdom, thrilled that I don’t have to leave the house for a few days in a row.  I am pretty much whacked – tired to the core – and dangerously close to whiney.  I’ve surrendered to the uncomfortable truth of my pinched nerves and numb hands, and am eagerly awaiting the return of my usual energy…..with any luck, just in time to put all the healing at risk to tote that barge and heave that bale and load up and set up and talk for days and then break down and tote and lug it all again….for the art show that’s coming in less than two weeks.  Yep, whiney, no doubt.  Sorry about that.

The chiropractor is making my bones and what’s left of my connecting tissue make noises that sound like the end of the world, and I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  Where’s that silver bullet of Healing when you need it, (did it REALLY work for Oral Roberts?  Somehow I think not…), and I just wish to slide through the next few days without lifting anything, or pulling anything, or anything anything.

I am in disbelief at the state of the weeds that have collected themselves in what used to be my yard.  After the considerable drought that had us and everything by the throat for the last couple of years, bounty was restored, and may I say I have the finest collection of weeds and undesirables clustered together within the confines of my fences that has ever been produced.  Were I to make a cash crop out of stick-tights, (or beggar’s lice if you prefer), I could retire and count my sticky seeds.  They have marshaled their forces and taken over parts of the property previously unexplored, and they are, incredibly, about as tall as I am.  Ditto the dandelion-like affairs that stand tall and look me in straight the eye.  Amazing.  And I can’t pull weeds because my arms and hands are numb, plus breaking out in weed rash upon fraternization.  Oh things are in a sorry state indeed.

Whining not withstanding, I have started to play around a bit with some of the images from the trip, and I know I have a few winners.  It was a very different photographic experience from the last trip.  The light was different – the water was different – the images seemed to be more elusive, or else not what I “expected.”  Ah, that EXPECTATION thing again.  It’s always a good one to trip you up.  There were magic surprises, however, some found only by my best buddy and me, and that made for some wondrous finds through the lens of my camera, not to mention just standing there looking at the tumble of rocks and reflections.  Most of the rest of the group were back downriver eating lunch, but we had headed out with equipment in hand when we hit the shore.  We had spied this place from the rafts – we knew lunch would be there waiting – but we wanted MAGIC, and we found it.  Lucky us.

Magic dances in my head, but Responsibilities are calling.  I have artwork to do, bills to pay, weeds to plot diabolical schemes against, and still more healing before I can attempt another art show.  But I can’t stay away from the images of the river, and stories still need writing.  I need to have a little discussion with Discipline, and see if I can regain a relationship with it.  I’m looking forward to June, when I can stow my traveling gear for several weeks, and get down to cases with the place I call home.  The trolls have made quite a mess in my absence, and I’ve got to get a handle on things, as soon as my hands start working again.  We get word that they’re putting together another river trip on the Green in August…… ah, no.  I don’t think so.  Not this time.  But I still haven’t given up on Utah on the fall.  After all, life may sometimes be all about cutting down the weeds, but it’s also about dreaming of the next adventure.  And the Slickrock is still calling, as it always does.

Meantime, stay tuned for some of the adventures of “Queenie Does the River,” coming soon to a blog near you.


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