Skip Hill The Prophet (He Got Game) 2009
28"h x 24"w monoprint with artist embellishments
The drive back through the Heartland was practically a religious experience. Six states in one day through varied landscapes and shifts of terrain, culture and time.
Tempting the speed limit, blowing past big rigs and crossing borders with the face of my son before my mind's eye. Billboards preach affirmation of my purpose, destiny and blessings... "I love you, I love you, I love you"...God.
Omens of safe return and promises all along the way. I had driven most of the trip in silence, except for my thoughts, the atmospheric noise of passing cars and whispering wind. Three-hundred miles out, I loaded the CD player with Moodswing's Spiritual High, The State of Independence featuring the seductive vocals of Chrissie Hynde. By the time I hit the Ozarks, a slushy mix of rain and snow had limited visibility, yet I felt the truck practically drive itself homeward like a horse honing in towards its stable. At dusk, the sun shone like a divine eye through the gathering of clouds as it settled into the horizon. I couldn't help but smile at the tears gathering in my eyes listening to Dr. Martin Luther King's haunting sermon of hope backed by a gospel chorus in the third movement.
Crossing over into the Cherokee Nation and the descending dark, riding the pony past Checotah, Sallisaw and Henryetta, another life away from Constitution Hall, the gritty streets of Philly, the Washington Monument, Stone Mountain and the Georgia pines. Indian casinos appear like cities of heaven in the distance and just as quickly fade into night behind me. The chasm of miles between here and home shrinking with every minute and the blur of white lines slipping under my wake.
One more Love's truck stop and my exit is next. Pulling into the driveway as if I had left just yesterday, I feel my heart race even as my mind eases. I sit in the car with my eyes closed and "Spiritual High" bumping loud, listening to the refrain and chorus for the last time tonight..."the state of independence shall be...the state of independence shall be.." The garage door slowly rises as Adam comes running out to the car. I lift up him, we hold each other tight without a word and I feel his tears convulsing in his chest as well as mine,... both of us engulfed in the swirl of music and this precious moment.