There's something about being back in the Midwest that has me totally uninspired. It might be this long cold winter that feels so devoid of adventure and emotion, or it might be the settled, head-down and move-forward approach to life that the residents here embrace after long generations of let's-just-get-through-it-eh?
It's gotten to me enough that I'm not actually homesick, just sort of half-assedly nostalgic for last winter's magic. I can remember the feeling of running freely across the desert, jumping rocks, I can remember the thrill of summiting Cabezon and laughing uncontrollably at our insanity and our success, I can remember how even the air in New Mexico seemed to inspire creativity and adventure. And I think I miss it, I feel like I yearn for it, but through a cloud of denial and complacency I never thought I'd have after coming so alive in those fleeting months last year.
The Midwest is comfortable and familiar. It's settled and paved. You could go find some Wild but a dozen people would already be there with beer and friendly smiles. It's too obvious in this city where to go to have a good time, and anyone can tell you their favorite spots. Is there anything to discover for oneself? Is there any place where, like in the Sandias, someone set aside some land and said, hey, all of this is pretty cool, be nice to it, play at your own risk, and have fun?
I feel trapped.
Is that why, even in a city where my music career could grow by leaps and bounds and make me successful, I resist getting established? Is that why I feel like some dreams have faded and left no replacements? Once the mountains claim you, can you ever be happy anywhere else?
Or maybe it's just the winter. Maybe with the breath of spring that spark will come back and the path under my bike tires will shake some life into me. Maybe a good long weekend in a tent will help bring me back to my reality.
Whatever the reason, I need some reminder that I promised myself never to settle, to always take the path less traveled by. I need to break this physical and emotional hibernation and find my stride.
Most of all I just want to breathe some desert air again.