“I had two dreams about him after he died. I don’t remember the first one all that well but it was about meetin’ him in town somewheres and he give me some money and I think I lost it. But the second one it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin’ through the mountains of a night. Goin’ through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin’. Never said nothin’. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin’ fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin’ on ahead and that he was fixin’ to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.”
As we walked down Main Street in Grapevine taking photographs for the Winter Dallas Photowalk I couldn’t keep from looking ahead at a giant statue, The Grapevine Nightwatchman, on top of the Grapevine City Hall. It was a giant bronze man in a cowboy hat holding a lantern in the night. By the time we arrived at that part of the street the sun had long set and I couldn’t get a good photo of it – couldn’t do justice anyway. Sometimes it’s like that… you know you have to see it live – but you snap that shutter anyway.
For some reason I kept thinking of that quote at the end of No Country for Old Men (the book and the movie) about the sheriff’s dream of his father going ahead on horseback carrying fire in a horn. I know the statue had a lantern… not a horn of coals and wasn’t on horseback, but he had that same look of ancient burden and longing – of stoic hopeless responsibility – that I imagine the sheriff’s father had in the dream.