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Wheatland County Line (Acoustic Version)

 I pulled into Chamberlain, South Dakota as the horizon-high sun was burning into my retinas. I-90 runs due west, and even with sunglasses and a hat with a good brim, visibility was tough. I was really glad to get off the interstate - I drove 576 miles today. Tomorrow is Phil's birthday; he would have been 58. Tomorrow I will be in Wasta, SD, to spread Phil's ashes. We came through Wasta in 2008 on our way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, to find the place where his friend Red's ashes had been scattered a couple of years earlier. Red died after a losing battle with cancer, and Phil really missed him. We went with Pam, Cary and Mondo in an old pickup truck off-road through rangeland to a spot on a bluff overlooking the Cheyenne River. Phil told me then that this was the place he wanted his ashes scattered, to be with someone he considered a brother.

Phil's death created an earthquake in the landscape of my life. Familiar things were transformed in a moment to strange unknown places. I had to travel past many mile markers before I started to feel comfortable in this new country. This trip west has felt more natural than many of the days and months in Western Massachusetts, as if being among new places and faces is mirroring the internal strangeness. I am at home on the road, comfortable driving for hours watching the lip of the horizon continually flow towards me, unfolding the rippled surface of the earth for me to glide across. It's probably a good thing gas is so expensive, or I might never make the turn back home.

Comments

June 05, 2012 @09:03 pm Thinking of you and Phil tonight. <3 Juliette, Joe, and little Josiah Juliette
June 05, 2012 @08:44 pm glad to know you are safe and happy and the road is treating you well ... all our best doris
June 05, 2012 @08:39 pm I'll be raising my glass to Phil tonight. ♥ Teresa

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