Thursday, January 21, 2010

Small town-itis


Ever feel like you don't belong? No, this isn't a depressed episode talking: Chris and I have both dealt with this. That sheer isolation that was so charming has lost its charm, the friendly people openly rail on tourists who move to the area in front of you (uh, hello?), and guess what? You can go too long without a Panera. And a Target. And a drugstore, for goodness sake!! Yes, sweet little Marfa, for all of its charm, has lost its glint. Chris and I are heading back to civilization in the near future.

Chris has started to consider this a sabbatical year, and so have I. It's definitely been much needed after our miserable time in the suburbs of Dallas. We've learned a lot about ourselves, especially me: I never would've wanted to be a photographer or go to art school if we hadn't headed out to Marfa. We're still taken in by the mountains, even when Chris drives the road between them every day. But it's hard when the people around don't seem to want you there because you're screwing up their perfect little town. Yes, terribly sorry to be earning your businesses more money--what a pain in the butt. Marfa isn't too bad about that since it's filled with transplant, artsy types, but Marfa isn't the only town in the area ... it just seems like it.

Chris wants to go to grad school and become a counselor, and this isn't the ideal area for that. Therefore, though it pains us somewhat, we know we'll have to leave the beautiful west for more populated locales. And it doesn't bother me that we've never seen Marfa Lights: If you spend all your time looking for the lights, you may never notice that the stars really do twinkle out here--they don't even do that out in the middle of nowhere in the Hill Country, most likely due to pollution from nearby Austin. I'm grateful for what Marfa's done for me, but--how does the phrase go?--"It's a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there." Marfa is a wonderful place and everyone should visit it at least once, but one must know that it takes a special kind of person to live out here.

Anyway, we've developed a nice list of things to do before we depart the area, hopefully getting to all the state and national parks in the area. ATV tour of Big Bend National Park? Yes please! Time well-spent in El Paso? Yes please! Solar viewing at the McDonald Observatory? Of course! It'll be hard to leave, that's for sure.

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