To many men, I imagine there's a certain fantastical draw or admiration for the nomad, the cowboy, the lone wolf. There's something attractive about his silent strength. He's dirty, maybe even mean, and completely self-sufficient. He needs no one, therefore commits to no one and nothin.
I don't know if it's boyish nature that was never knocked out of me as I grew up, but I have always and still want to be the cowboy. It's not just his hard toed boots, grizzly face, or strong roughness that I pretended to possess when I was young. There's something about him that I still want, even if the heroism of his character diminishes as I see him more clearly with age. He can't be bridled, and his wanderings are full of stories, barfights, nights in the wilderness.
The strong streak of self-suffency in the mythical man is so attractive to me; I want that. And as I ponder more on the desire to not need anyone else, it seems less holy, less manly than I thought. The cowboy's allure remains, his pedestal falls.
With the death of the my hero, I think there's an uglier side to the promise of his lifestyle. If I can be him, I don't ever have to commit. I can ride into the sun and leave the waitress and small town behind. I can run from that which scares me. If you're always passing through, you're never staying.
You never really hear about that side of the character when you're young.
But I guess it's true, if you're embodying freedom and wildness, you can't embody commitment and sacrifice. And now as I step back, growing up bit by bit, I wonder how mutual exclusive both those are.
Gearing up for The Mountain Tour, and listening to Ben Abraham's "Speak."