The mountains begin to straighten out. The wrinkles and tucks in the earth flatten and roll into flat plains and fields. Dotted with cows, horses, geese and the occasional small town of stockyards, grain silos, and the usual assortment of services that appear and disappear in the distance once passed. This part of the country is like a thin membrane of earth. Fertile. Flat. Under a sun that bears down. Not a tree insight. Pulled by the politices of church and governing, survival by livestock and grain, these are the people of the flat earth. Everything lives is under the sun. This is where the elements if Earth and Air press together pushing out all matter of excess to distill the alchemy of direct living in a no nonsense kind of way. Every thing is there under the sky and God is the guiding hand of reason.
I find myself today in a snow dusted neighborhood in Lawrence Kansas. (20° is making me miss the California coast) This sprawling college town of Kansas University and a never-die-hippie-ideology of artists, writers and those still exploring the use of drugs and counterculture. Some of the highlights of this liberal Kansas geographical node are the The Spencer Art Gallery, final resting spot of William Burrows, tiny over priced houses mixed with others that are at least in line with the living standards of students and adjunct professors. The outer environs are the circling of big box stores and the scrum line along the inner edge to resist full gentrification. There are bookstores and coffee down town…
The general feel is a place with night chatter in the dark plotting a revolution, football pride and the scurrying of people to get to class, work or find a willing ear to listen to the next great idea.
In 1993 I lived here briefly before I returned to the East coast to begin a journey of self discovery and recovery. I find myself again turning inward to see where I am on the path of my current journey. This spiritual medicine is more like a mechanic with socket wrenches and a hammer. As one clears and adjusts the machinery, oils the gears, replaces the spark plugs and other parts of the soul, the tinkering spits out the next cog to be fixed… the next broken belt to be replaced.
Life takes the dexterity to learn, play and make choices. The journey this winter has pulled me inside out and laid bare a new set of challenges and ideas that I need to learn and figure out.
I am in the middle of my life. The middle of this life road heading to a reboot back east. I’ve paused in the middle of the country to be still. I sense with proper care another 40 years of life. If I pay attention to these long flat roads that show the sign posts and telephone wires. What is connected. What is a choice. I have this opportunity to view what is needed to take the next steps towards, home, work, love and the mysterious.