The heaviest rain I’ve seen in months is pounding against the bus, streaming against the large windows, smearing the green and red/brown landscape of Argentina. The rush of water makes me want to cry a little. Lonely in this empty bus, cocooned in cold air, aware of the space, this ship carrying me to unknown places.
Dripping pine forests and that brick red dirt has given way to a more sweeping plain, puncuated with stubby stands of trees. The colors of the land have mellowed, into tans and light greens, all cast in a rosy glow that blends everything together. This view offered, as if in a parting gift, from the setting sun.
I catch glimpses of it out my left window. I marvel at how perfect and round and glowing orange. I feel as if my sun is so often ubstructed by things. I forgot about its perfect and overwhelming fullness. It strikes me like the finally full moon after a month of being incomplete. Now, it is a half-orb settling into the horizon, looking like a post card of some African Savannah. Now, it is gone.
How quickly the sun offers its most oppulent gift – the magic light that only occurs in the blessedly brief moments when it enters and exits our world. And then, like the last passionate kiss of a parting lover, it leaves us in a stunned twilight – in a still-rosy glow that fades as quickly as it came, while the kiss of the sun leaves to warm another. It hurts? Yes, but we forget about that night alone, that darkness, come dawn.
The bus now chases where the sun used to be. We will never be fast enough. This inevitable truth makes me ache a little with a desperation that rises from some other source, wrongly directed at the sun’s ceaseless parting. Or, maybe visca versa. Maybe all my feelings of loss, of darkness, of chasing some light that fills me with blasts of warmth and then leaves so fleeting, stems from this very basic earthly pattern. I am just one more homosapien, suffering from what we know as the human condition. Still, I chase West.
- an excerpt from my journal 2-22-2010 en route to Salta, Argentina.