Saturday, May 21, 2011
Trips and trips
One trip, about a year ago, was from alternately wonderful, comfortable and miserable cohabitation with the Poetess in a 900 sq. ft. suburban house with yard and neighbors' barking dog and street sweepers and block parties and that whole thing to living alone in a 500 sq. ft. house across town, pictured above. It's odd how sometimes the biggest trips we take are the fewest miles, as utterly trite as that sounds. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single fuck up. Not that there's ever just one. But a self-centered, dishonest, fearful and inconsiderate alcoholic like myself has to start somewhere.
The new place has been a cloister-like hermitage, mostly. It is noisy, off a main street. During the school year, ASU students wander past all night, especially Thursday through Saturday, howling drunkenly. But it has still been a sanctuary. And I like the tiny Wilcolator stove.
It's been a blessing to live here. A hide out. My emotional life has been so thoroughly unpredictable all year, and the step work in recovery so periodically all-consuming, as well as the one-on-ones working with others, that I would not have fared all that well with roommates. I know I spent hours wandering around this neighborhood last summer, in the 80 degree nights. Watching the trains.
Just before I moved, I took a trip out to an area near Wickenburg to look for some Echinomastus. If you follow these posts, you'll see that all of my trips revolve around searching for cacti, to one degree or another. This population of Echinomastus seems to fit the old description of arizonicus, created by Hester back in the 1930s. I think Marc Baker places this bunch under that varietal name.
Similar to plain old E. johnsonii and also reminiscent of acunensis, but with some morphological differences in spines and so on. Not sure if there are floral differences or not. Haven't been able to see many flowers of these in habitat. Much more recently, I went back, and visited the population in the Harcuvars as well, and sometime after I post about all the intervening trips, there will be more photos.
Some very cool little Mammillaria tetrancistra in this area as well, just on the edge of the transition to the Mojave Desert.
And a very densely branched cholla on the way down toward Tonopah AZ that looks almost like multigeniculata.
As usual, the feeling of peace and repose in the middle of nowhere was simultaneous with roiling nostalgia and tons of questions. When you go out alone, even if there isn't a huge, painful change in the wind, the mind can really kick in. Deep breaths, prayer and meditation, just being aware of what is right there and how beautiful it is can help. But I know I usually was going out to meet myself anyway.
I just remembered a few earlier trips that were solo before this one. One to Joshua Tree and one to Meadview, AZ. Maybe I'll back up. It figures I would get ahead of myself, even here. The entire year runs, runs together.