A storm was threatening to come in all day, a strong wind showed up first and knocked the walking out of me, so I hunkered down in the truck and listened to Texas troubadours on the radio. There’s a special kind of music made in Texas, like nowhere else, not rock, not country, not country rock, certainly not pop, it’s Texan, long on blues riffs and grinding guitars…the lyrics aren’t bad either. Licks like “she’s got the kiss of an angel and the bite of a rattle snake” just can’t be found anywhere else.
I’m sliding into Texas like a pair of old boots…and I don’t know why, maybe it’s the renegade radio, maybe the whistling wind, somethings got hold of me. This is not the first time in my life I’ve been away so long from the things I knew, that I’ve forgotten who I am. Did you ever leave home to travel and stay away so long that everyone you’d known had moved away or moved on…and you found that you’d become a stranger?
There’s a book I enjoyed when I was young by Robert Heinlein, ‘Stranger in a strange land’, about a Martian boy named Michael who has the power to become a part of whatever he sets his mind to, he calls the process of total assimilation ‘grokking’ and grok becomes a synonym and metaphor for true love. Trisha and I are a bit like that Martian boy, we have a tendency to become one with wherever we are. In London we become Londoners, New York New Yorkers, in Thailand we wrote books on how to become more attuned to Thai culture…and so on…..but here we are, totally immersed in Texas, twanging guitar music rules the day, wondering why we’d ever leave, though we know we will someday.
Reality distances itself the longer we stay away. Some one asked me recently on our Bangkok Living & Travel site when we would be coming back to Thailand, and it struck me that travel is about traveling…building memories that last forever…less about gathering a collection of particular or popular destinations. Red skies and blue dirt sunsets are the places we’re calling home for now.