great american highway

by pieces of moments

I’m sitting here in my room on the top floor of my hotel in Lubbock, TX from which I see a great expanse of land dotted with other hotels and in the distance, tractors and trucks. We’re heading over to music rehearsal soon in the Allen Theatre at Texas Tech University, where our show will be presented tomorrow evening.

I’m exhausted. After three days in San Antonio we got up to drive up here into the Texas panhandle at 8AM this morning. I have been on a lot of highways in this country, and seen a lot of vast, wide open spaces, but the sheer sense of enormity in this case was pretty extraordinary. It was also intriguing to see the little alien looking pumpjacks dotting the expanse before me in every direction. And since there is not really one big highway that goes straight from San Antonio to Lubbock we took various smaller highways, each passing through tiny Texas towns that seemed even smaller in comparison to the neverending landscape enclosing them on all sides. For as boring as you might think it would be, it was actually the opposite, quite hauntingly beautiful and immense. No wonder they like things big in Texas, and why the tall tales are so tall: it gives you at least some sense of being proportionate to your surroundings. Otherwise, you’re simply lost in the boundless space, a dot from a pencil on a huge piece of paper.

The ride was even more pleasant in our car thanks to our music producer who put together a mixed CD of some of the most sublime music, which was just the thing to evoke the pathos of the human drama played out over hundreds of years in an area of the earth where the land is the central character in the sweeping Western epic.