Saturday, May 3, 2008

Past, Present, Future

Past, Present, Future
Psychic Reader Palm
Route 66
Flagstaff, AZ
April 2008

I flew into Phoenix on the afternoon of April 6th and picked up my friend's second car from the driveway of his uncle's house in a sun-drenched subdivision near the expressway. My plan was to make the drive from Phoenix north to Kayenta near Monument Valley where my friend works for the federal government as a doctor in a clinic on a Navajo reservation and to spend the night at his house.

I passed through Flagstaff and was enthralled with the pine trees and retro motels lining Route 66 with names like The Frontier and The Wonderland. And while motels like these are some of my favorite forms of eye candy, something about this fortune teller's shop beckoned me to stop the car. Besides the bright pink and green against the blue sky and the long dark shadows cast by an afternoon sun, I also knew that I was at the beginning of a journey to explore some thoughts about America's past, present and future.

And it was the beginning of spring, which is a time of year when I am especially prone to nostalgia - when the past, present and future seem to reveal themselves in uncanny and interconnected ways - when meeting a new person, for instance, can return you to all kinds of important people and events in your life that came before. The threads that bring people together and bind them to one another seem more vivid and almost fated, and memories unfurl like flowers and insects and colors and sounds.