Paul Serusier, the Talisman, 1888

Paul Serusier, the Talisman, 1888

If I could find myself here today, it would be a talisman. To protect me from evil. From my greed to be something more than what I am.

If I could walk this path of yellow it would surround me with its bright shield. A place of refuge to look upon the water and see the reflection of the sky. Of me.  Of the things that were and the things that were not.

To divine between solid and spirit and find somewhere a sign. A chill breeze brushes my skin. The haunting loveliness of life. Gold leaves fall around my fingers and summer’s memory washes away.

Come Fall with your earth-bound wand and sweep away the summer. Fold me into your apron crisp and cool. Bury me in leaves.

Lone Star

Bernie Taupin, Lone Star, courtesy of the Russell Collection Austin, Texas

Bernie Taupin, Lone Star, courtesy of the Russell Collection Austin, Texas

I’m a true Texan and therefore duty bound to soliloquize at length about this great state.

The United States is a good bunch and we get along with ’em right fine. But we are a former nation emeritus and as such are afforded special rights and privileges such as self-possessed gradiosity. If you drive along our highways, you’ll see road signs that warn we are not to be messed with.

Go ahead and fly into Austin’s airport. You will see the Stars and Stripes rippling in the breeze but sidled up right next to it a large Texas flag also waves its welcome. Our capital building is taller than the U.S.’s. Yes everything is bigger in Texas – including egos.

We wear our state flag, spinning tall-tales of Texas Mythology as big and wide as the Rio Grande. Even our cowboys are cosmic. We make ice cubes for tea in the shape of Texas. And silver replicas of the state dangle from our ears. Texas history is a  yearlong subject for fourth graders.

Bernie Taupin got it spot on my friends, see that little strip of stripes up there. That’s about the amount of effort we put into worrying about the United States.

We’ve got oil, cattle, energy and technology incubators to think of. We’re creating jobs and farming wind. We fought at the Alamo for god’s sake, spilled blood for independence from Mexico. That fierce individualism does not pass from the collective subconscious. It slow roasts in our barbecue, simmers in chili pots.

Anything can still happen in Texas. Where land is cheap and roads are long. We recently took a roadtrip with the kids. Lots of driving through Texas. I thought. . .

The sun is up, the sun is set, and I ain’t out of Texas yet.