|Ever since I
first heard about Marfa and the remote mountain ranges of far
West Texas, I yearned
to go there. About
a decade ago, on a brief visit, I drank in the majesty of the
vast spaces, the bluer than blue skies, and at night, stars beyond
yes, they're realthe Marfa
Lights. But the people? Breezing through, I didn't have a
chance to talk to many, for I was deep into writing another book,
Miraculous Air, about
Baja California, Mexico's nearly 1,000 mile long peninsula. Once
that wrapped up, I wanted to come back to explore but first,
what I imagined would be a lickety-split project: researching
and writing a novel based on the strange but true story of, as
the title says, The
Last Prince of the Mexican Empire. It seems a pattern
with me, that writing a book always takes about seven times longer
than I had planned, but never mind, finally, I am returning.
No, not to live: I'm based in Mexico City, but over the next
few years, in a series of journeys, I'll be writing a
book about Marfa and the Big Bend.
The title? At this early stage I'm calling it World Waiting for a Dream: A Turn in Far West Texas.
In the past, as I did while writing Miraculous Air, I would have turned out a series of travel articles for newspapers and magazines. I may still write an article or three, but I am less interested in which is the cheapest / best / coollest bed-and-breakfast & etc., than I am in talking to people and, now that podcasting is possible, rather than stash my notes and taped interviews in the drawer, I can share them widely.
A QUEST FOR UNDERSTANDING
Who are some of the people who live in this remote and beautiful place? How is this part of West Texas unique, or similar to other places? How are things changing? What is it that outsiders inevitably miss? (What are those Marfa Lights?) As in my travels in Baja California, I'm especially interested in hearing from artists, for they make a razor-sharp habit of seeing what others do not. But anyone can surprise, I learned that much in writing Miraculous Air, when I interviewed, among so many others, a surf star; a sportfishing mogul whose family crest included a corn stalk; and a goat herder who, even from the deepest canyons, could identify the flight numbers of the airplanes that passed overhead. As I question as wide a variety of people as I can muster, I will depart from a simple premise: an interviewlike a travel memoiris a quest for understanding, not just about a certain place and time, but in the deepest sense of what it means to be human. With this series of 24 podcasts, I invite you to join me in this adventure in listening.
|Subscribe to all my podcasts on podomatic, iTunes, YouTube, and Vimeo for free at any time. In addition to this Marfa Mondays series, I podcast on a variety of subjects, including creative writing; this dedicated webpage will list the "Marfa Mondays" podcasts:|