Tuesday evening triptych via iPhone. © Ryan Schierling


In hindsight, suede loafers in the pit was a bad idea.

Kataklysm @ Emo's. © Ryan Schierling

In my defense, however, I was there to shoot a local rockabilly-roots-punk band on the indoor stage. Afterward, J and I curiously wandered over to the much louder outdoor stage, where Canadian death metal band Kataklysm and German thrash metal band Kreator were rupturing eardrums.

I spent the rest of the evening in the mosh pit, finding life, trying to stay alive.


From the soil to the sky and back to the soil.

Treaty Oak. © Ryan Schierling

I am the lone survivor, the last of 14 elders. I have seen 500 summers and 500 winters pass. I am the senescent body and the blood of Comanche and Tonkawa, embracing, pushing away, giving and taking life. You cannot kill me, with one bullet or 100. Cut away the extremities, knock my crown to the poisoned grass and I will live on still, pushing from the soil to the sky and back to the soil.

© Ryan Schierling

There are cliches for this – trite, tried and true, emblazoned on motivational posters, emboldening those stuck in ruts and well-worn paths. What doesn't kill me may make me stronger, but it does not facilitate change if I keep going back to the same fight.


Un-plug, plug-in, un-plug.

82nd Annual Zilker Park Kite Festival. © Ryan Schierling

We started our Sunday waiting for one cable technician, waiting for a two-hour window to open and close, waiting to end our three-day drought with no internet. Technology is occasionally a frustrating child, unwilling to cooperate, throwing a tantrum of ones and zeroes and disobeying the simplest of commands (pleas). The lights on the cable modem just kept blinking, and blinking, and blinking – no send, no recieve, no in, no out – just power and a tired, blinking cable light.

The tech showed, went through the un-plug, plug-in, un-plug, plug-in routine, and finally had to scale a fence into our neighbor's yard to suss out the problem at the cable junction box. Long story short, internet restored. Faith restored. Hope restored. Connectivity, resumed.

Happy just to know it was there, we abandoned the emails and the internets for Hippie Church and tacos at Maria's Taco Xpress, and to go fly kites at Zilker Park.


On the road - Lorena, Texas.

City boys not allowed. © Ryan Schierling