Llano Estacado

Galaxie PuffMorning workouts bring cracked dust trails and seldom used railroad tracks.  The California Sun is nowhere near as hot as the one over the New Mexico desert where I roamed aged 12.   Yet, it’s just hot enough to peel back layers of memories revealing the most pleasant sensations of my early rides to the college where I’d double-booked classes only to capture lab time with the mainframe.  What’s missing now are the oil pits, wind-blown plumes of invisible petroleum stink, and the web of caliche roads which seem to hold the Llano Estacado to Earth.  In boiling heat I plotted back country pumpjack routes ending near the southwest quadrant of the road circumscribing NMJC.  Summer weekdays I made the trip on an old ten-speed carving frustrating ruts when the hardpan failed. I suppose I was motivated by the same obsession I see in my own children today: Machine time. Still, I see no similar adventure in their own lives–solo quests over treacherous lands–and it saddens me.  And today, every small avoidance on my trail run triggers instincts to instruct them as to what to watch for, what to avoid, the geology, and the observation of the toil of others, but my children aren’t there.  Their absence begs the question:  What have we wrought?  A question repeating in my mind, but the words are not my own.  While science and society progresses, we haven’t made any significant strides in our own nature.  We’re still viciously vying for wants; corruption has no obvious face, and it is everywhere; the workplace is just a facade behind which hides a nature no different from ranchborne butchery; and cooled offices and retina displays have only changed the face of our routines.  Beneath the thin veneer of our professions exists the same grunting club armed primate waiting to bash in your head for a few corporate kudos. How to prepare them?

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Perspectives beyond right knowing work their way in.  Knowing when to ignore is invaluable, and knowing when to avoid might save your life.  Trust your instincts.  Take a moment to breathe.