Hello readers! I’m Caitlin and I’m finally making my first entry as a sister warrior of the RAGE Bus. We got back into Austin last night after enjoying our weekend on the beach of Port Aransas, Texas. Everything is covered in sand. Every actual square inch. Its kind of a mess, and it seems that our work with Bessie is never complete, as I’m sure that we will be spending this next few weeks before our final departure from Austin scrubbing on our hands and knees.
So much has happened in the months leading up to this point, I have no idea how to capture it all with these words. I regret not posting earlier, but the world is spinning so madly I’ve hardly had time to catch my breath. How can it be that each day feels so enduring, yet when I reflect on the weeks and months passed, it seems as if they have slipped through my fingers like the silvery memory liquid filling up the pensieve. Where do I begin? I guess I should start where we left off, with the building of our bunk beds.
We were still in Wimberley pretty frequently at this time. We would load up the Element full of building materials and animals, and make the short pilgrimage towards the home of the cypress creek and our wonderful mechanic friends at Darnall Diesel. After finishing the bunks, we began to work on our dresser frame and the frame of the composting toilet closet. We slept in the bus, in our own beds, for the first time at that shop. For a break in the hottest hours of the day, when work seemed impossible, we would head over to the rope swing at Cypress Creek, or take a leap into the endlessness of Jacobs Well. I felt I could fall into that water forever. Our bus was finally relinquished to us after weeks of waiting patiently, and we drove away from Wimberley as a turbulent rain storm came rumbling in. I remember feeling the power and the energy of that day like a solid thing I could hold in my hands. I felt that life was really starting.
I believe that we slept for a long time after getting the bus back to Natalie’s parents house. I don’t really know for sure, because this was about two months ago and already the details are blurring together for me. But sleeping seems an appropriate response, because I always sleep when I’ve been feeling a lot. The weeks that follow are also a blur, a blur of drilling and cutting and screwing, taking measurements and drawing plans. Those are the weeks of our labor, when all of the designing of our space was actualized. And those days were certainly frustrating. Everything took longer than expected. It also seemed that anything that could go wrong or get in the way probably did, though I know that is an extreme exaggeration. Through all of the hours spent toiling away in the hot Texas sun, I learned to drop expectations, and to just be in that moment, taking things as they came. At the end of the day, no matter how infuriating a project turned out to be, I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride at our hard work.
It’s so funny how life happens. We had just finished putting our counters in when we got news that Governor Rick Perry was calling in a second special session to adopt some very anti choice legislation. We immediately packed up our bus and headed into town, parking at our old co-op house in south Austin. We spent the next few weeks frequenting the capitol, and then retreating back to the bus to recuperate. This fight against the eradication of human health and reproductive rights is not over by a long shot, but after getting arrested with the girls and two other friends, we had to take a break to refocus on the bus and our mission to get out of Austin.
So much has happened between there and now. We took a trip with friends to Port Aransas, we staged an intervention with a male in our community that used coercive behavior and violence, we fixed the leak in our oil line and change out the oil (well, Jamie and Natalie did that,) and we relished our last weeks, days and moments in our home town. Austin is a island of awesomeness in the sea of the south, and I value that place with all of my heart. I grew up there, I know the place well and it is comfortable and familiar to me. But where is the adventure in that? And guess what….here we are, mission finally complete. We’re out of Austin! We are now in North West Texas, visiting with Jamie’s family on the way out of Texas. I’m so excited to be leaving Texas, I cannot even convey it to you properly. I’ve done some light traveling around the states, but have mostly been stationed in the same place my whole life. A change of scenery and space seems like the appropriate tonic. Yeehaw, y’all, we’re finally on the road!
I know that there will be struggle ahead of us. We’ll travel down bumpy roads and smooth roads, but we will reach our destination, whatever it may be, because we have each other. I truly believe that with our strengths combined, it is enough to overcome the darkness we are faced with, that is inside of us. The road ahead has many lessons to teach us, and we will take them with open arms, accepting each challenge as a means to become a stronger and braver warrior of the light than ever before.
“We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.”
May the light be upon each and everyone of you.
With Love and Rage,