a raven is a hole in the sky. 2011-2023.
Things in between.
"We do things by the numbers out here, but secretly suspect some magic is afoot that will overwhelm all our equations."
- Charles Bowden, The Red Caddy.
Choose the mom and pop motel when you get here.
Make sure the sign out front advertises HBO, wifi, and AC. Neon is not required, but a missing letter or two is a good indication of a place you likely want to be. Clean rooms. Truckers elcome. Free local alls. The innkeepers have better things to do than spell.
You write your name and license plate on a card with a pen that advertises the auto body shop and they hand you an honest key in return. A key that comes with a warning not to lose it or it will cost you another 20 bucks.
You get a sense of slight satisfaction. You’ve been accepted and approved. Not an outsider. You belong here, at least temporarily. Howdy pilgrim. Good to see you.
When that key rattles against its diamond-shaped plastic fob, it conjures up a feeling that, for someone, (not you — at least not yet — someone else), this old motel in this old town was likely the end of the line. You want to believe they found some kind of comfort here.
Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ve got a better chance of finding it here too.
Maybe it’s patience, like a rusted car in a gravel lot across the street becomes a work of art if you leave it exposed to this bright and unforgiving air long enough.
Maybe it’s understanding, like an elf owl in a knot hole so high on a telephone pole only you know it is there.
And if it’s a place that’s truly real, maybe you’ll find some grace. Like a tiny dot in the sky just above the horizon that you can see only in a photograph of a mountain range that sits on the other side of the border.
You’ve photographed those mountains a hundred times, always on your way somewhere else, but one day there was a small, almost imperceptible pinhole where the sky was not blue, but black. Black, as in all the colors.
From the way that it is shaped, you know the dot is a raven. You wish you could see what it sees, way out there.
Maybe the raven is what you’re looking for. After all, you are the only person on Earth to ever see that bird.
A raven is a hole in the sky.