Thursday, January 04, 2007

It rained all day yesterday with old testament-like thunder very early this morning. This afternoon, in contrast, was sunny and gorgeous. Such a beautiful day in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Everything still feels so clean—-the air, the streets. Sunflowers growing in fields, by the roadsides, like in summer in Navajo country after monsoon rains. A truly special day. When I first arrived here a few months ago, I needed to see the river, to find it even if it was only a few miles away because the land is so flat and unlike El Paso. Today I realized that now my body naturally wants to head east--the gulf coast a continental pull. I usually want to head west or further south, but the rio flowing east towards the larger body of water compels me like a magnet these very recent days. The environment is forgiving on days like today and I want to give myself patience to learn it, that forgiveness, that openness.

Richard Hugo's "The day is a woman who loves you" was the most beautiful day for me before the actual day arrived today.

Growing up in Cali, I always gravitated furthermost west to the Pacific. Then living in Manhattan was like its own globe—-I was conscious of the Hudson and East River always, but geography beyond that was not really part of my consciousness beyond faces, young and old, on the subway. Living in Navajo country, I gravitated south to El Paso. In El Paso, I gravitated to the lower valley in Ysleta, to the roosters crowing in the west side of my brain and beyond, and to the south to Mexico. In the Rio Grande Valley, I want to ride the rio to the gulf. It’s cool to learn that a lot of the Rio Grande’s water comes from Rio Conchos via Mexico at Presidio. Just mentioning Presidio makes me think of Aristeo Brito’s El diablo en Texas / The Devil in Texas. It was a treat to hear him read a poetic chapter at the border book festival last year. Wow, that was something else. Another kind of amazing day near the river.

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