I’m back home! This unforgettable journey has ended- 6,196 miles -I was so blessed and so grateful for beautiful weather, good health, safe driving and no car trouble, amazing and talented musicians, wonderful dancers, acres and acres of wildflowers, wild canyonlands, windswept beaches, the dance halls themselves- my tireless GPS-and meeting Duke- I did attempt to set aside any predispositions and stereotypes I may have had about Texas and Texans- I could have chosen to initiate more politically-inquisitive conversations, but my purpose was not to incite anger or defensiveness, and certainly not to think I would change any staunch Republican, Trump-voting, gun-toting citizen over to my personal worldview – I was open to whatever presented itself to me – it did at times feel very threatening and uncomfortable to hear some of what I heard said, and I do know feeling that was growth-promoting in me- I could have responded to statements of racism and ignorance more strongly, because I realize silence can be taken as unspoken agreement, or at least condoning a sentiment- and I do regret that – but what a powerful feeling it is to find others in our own tribes, it’s a connection that gives comfort and even a sense of power- yet to look down on others as less intelligent, less this, less that; I don’t want to live in any society where that is the norm- the quality of conversations I had with Holly in Austin or Matt on Mustang Island, or Karl in Breaux Bridge – just as satisfying as those I had with others, up to the point where the “n” word might have come out, or the reference to “hippies” as derogatory, or other less concrete examples- and then I remember the main intent of this extraordinary journey: to dance! And dance does connect us with those we may not agree with on deeply important issues, simply by the essence of appreciating a good tune or chord progression, a good partner, the exhilirating, magical feel of a rhythm that creates movement in our very cells- and good Lord did I dance my little boots off! Thank you, Texas, and thank you to all my partners and fellow lovers of honky tonk, classic country, Cajun, zydeco, swamp pop, and Texas swing!
I will finish up this blog in the next few days, so tune in again for the full scoop and more photos-
I’m spending the night in Roanoke at my friend Rick’s home (where I left my car), and will head over the mountains and into the New River Valley to my home in Blacksburg in the morning – the locust trees are blooming, the hills are a lush green…purple wild phlox and buttercups are lining the roadsides
Here’s a few photos I took today in Chattanooga during my morning bike ride
Thank you for reading my blog!