Sunday, July 18, 2010


By (c) Russ Barnes.  All rights reserved.  Photo credit: Seattle Weekly.

July 12, Saturday. 8:30 a.m. over to the main house for breakfast.  At breakfast Jacquelyn announces she has just had a dream.  She walks out of the ranch house, and there is a bison out on the grounds.  It is friendly.  Lia is with her and so is Russ (She thinks “it is Russ.”)  In her dream, they all go to Marble Falls, including the bison, and go to a nice restaurant.  While sitting there, the bison leans his head up against her.  She says it’s one of her more vivid dreams seeming very real.

The four wheelers won’t start.  So we drive around to all the ranch gates.  We open one gate that leads to a pristine pure water creek.  Many pools with various types of fish.  Sand as nice as Virginia beach. Beautiful sun-bleached outcroppings.  Visit a swimming hole.  Fish.  It’s a two mile bike ride.  And I intend to soak later during my stay.  

The two of them depart for several days.  I am all alone on the ranch.  It’s beginning to feel good.  I pace to evoke the imaginative tasks ahead of me in my aloneness.  Plan to hike and do the Daily Office readings each day for discipline breaks.  Turn the radio on once a day for brief update on election.  And KUT Austin’s “Twine Time” and “Blue Monday.”

Then the cell phone rings and it is Sharon in New York who announces she will be one of four videographers to follow the official Obama campaign.  I hear this right on top of this Texas hill.  She will write copy, shoot video for live television feeds, commercial takes, websites, etc.  My heart almost leaps out of my chest.  

A chance of a lifetime for Sharon.  I must admit I have parental pride.  In spite of my many deficiencies, I must take in that I added something to her self esteem -- not to take away in any way from her own achievement and what Susan, her mother, obviously added.  But I did, almost methodically, try to add to her self esteem and sense of herself as herself.  Self-congratulations!  Can be taken too far, but also not to be minimized. Balance for the sake of reality.  She texted me, “I am not prepared for this job.”  I texted back, “You are worthy.”

Meditated for a long period of time -- maybe two hours.  Afterward, I pace furiously up and down the guest house.  The new shape of the “Red Dog Dirt” stage play, thanks to Pittsburgh director, David Maslow, begins to dawn upon me.

Took the mountain bike out for the first spin in the afternoon.  Short ride to get used to it.  Went through some fences.  Crossed a few cattle bars.  I do like the bike’s low gear, lows for big hills and rocky terrain.  Climbed the paved driveway, a steep one-half mile hill.  Turned off onto a bulldozed rocky trail and three deer were plenty surprised by my down-wind, quiet approach.  One of them jumped a high, close-by fence in a perfect jack-knife leap.

As Joe, my guide, says, “Keep your face to the wind and your powder dry.”  Need I explain the meaning of that?

To be continued tomorrow.
Go to sequels: #1, #2, #3, #5#6, #7, #8

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