December 23, 2014
My wondering soul found its way to the middle of West Texas. It’s one of those places easily taken for granted due to its vast open spaces. In the repetition of the sky, the road, the power lines, the desert. Then, a fake Prada store jumps out of nowhere, easily missed at eighty miles per hour, and thirty minutes later you hit the single stoplight. Welcome to Marfa.
This place will teach you the perceived mundane of the in-between is actually clean lines, a blank canvas, and full of possibilities. It’s every artist’s dream. With a population at barely over two thousand, it has the charm of all the hometowns we left behind with the understanding of our passion to hold us. The town’s a refuge for creative types trying to keep their passions alive in a world trying to snuff them out. These artists generously open their doors, share their craft, and swap stories. My favorite was Paul from Moonlight Gemstones who is a rock enthusiast and silversmith. All of his creations are stunning, but if you ask about any of his son’s work, Paul’s eyes will glint with a special pride. The skills of the trade are secure in the next generation.
The secret behind the magic, mystery and myth of Marfa, is its people- craftsman and cowboys alike. You’ll get a blend of rough around the edges Stetson types at the local dive bar, and open minded free spirits within the galleries, but somehow they co-exist in harmony. What I came to realize is there’s a common ground underneath the surface. They’ve figured out the delicate balance of life- how to do the thing you love, among the people love, and not starve. Their warmth is unfortunately jarring in an otherwise bristle world. We could all learn a lesson from Marfa to not get caught up in it all, not to loose ourselves, remember what’s most important, and let that be enough.