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The Dark Road Diary: Part 18

Portland, OR, wherein I contemplate the price of “a beautiful drive”.


How to love a place.

One of our hosts here in Portland, OR, calls this “Tank City” and it is the reason they will be moving soon. It is directly across the river, just waiting for an earthquake to have it’s way with whatever mystery is contained in those tanks.

Beautiful shot, though, right?

No, of course it isn’t.

We’ve covered over 4000 miles on this leg, through the Rockies, along the ocean, through the Mojave dessert, through wind storms and snow storms and rain, under blue skies and by the cover of night, under full moons and through inky dark air. All of it “beautiful” except for the tortured sections of that very ground that allowed for our travel and participation in the concerts: the asphalt, the pipelines, the power generation stations and their feeder lines strung up on towers as far as the eye could see, the gas stations, the lakes of California forlornly and shockingly low still allowing recreational boating and surrounded by drought afflicted hills covered with dried trees, planted firewood now, just waiting for a spark. Begging for it, maybe, to put them out of their misery.

Yeah…I understand better now: if you really love a place on this planet, the best way to love it is by staying away.

That we–the band and I–are complicit in this is not lost on me. I don’t know what to do about that. Is it enough that The Nights  are my shot at redemption? Probably not.

I’m guessing I will have a lot to answer to when the time comes. Meanwhile, there is a crow yelling at me from the tree I’m sitting under. I’ll try to explain myself, beginning with him…or her.


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