Austin Texas

 
State Capital, Austin Texas

   First let me say these past two weeks have been so busy... So with a sigh of relief I welcome the weekend.

Up until the point where I remember I have to work two 12 hour shifts. What can you do?

But with my complaining aside, I will dive into this post.

   Part of the reason I was so busy is because I had to go to Austin... twice... in the same week... for something I have planned in the future. If all goes well and that pans out, you will surely be seeing the result of that on this blog. Prior to all of this I had only ever been to Austin in passing really. Although these two trips were much the same thing, I took a little time to explore at least a little bit of Austin. I will start in reverse order because what I really want to talk about happened on the first day.

   You thought my complaining was over but it is not. I just have to say that I hate the drive to Austin. I have yet to ever be on IH35 and there not be an accident that backs up traffic for miles and takes over half an hour (on a good day) to get through. That's not a joke. Every single time I drive that ridiculous stretch of tarmac there is an accident. These two trips were no exception to that and so I have dubbed IH-35 the highway to hell.

Dedicated to School Children
   Anyways I went to the state capital on my second trip. I was actually not going to do anything but get what I needed done and then turn around for San Antonio because I had to make it to class the same day. But of course the Highway to Hell, staying true to it's name, made it far longer than it had to be to get to Austin. Knowing I would miss class anyways, I decided to take a look at the state capital.

   I was born in this state and as far as I can remember I have never seen the capital. If I had before it was when I was too young to remember it. (I've been to the Hoover Dam and don't remember that either so it is quite possible.) I figured that is probably not a good thing so I decided to take a walk around the grounds and see what this place is all about. From the minute you lay eyes on the building you can feel the age of such a structure. When you step onto the grounds the place feels old and the building itself feels like a silent and enormous sentinel watching and recording all it sees, remembering all it has seen. This is a feeling I really can't explain and one that I don't think I have felt many times before. Even the Alamo doesn't seem to give that same feeling.

   Right away you are awed by the sheer size of the building and instantly you can't help but notice that buildings are no longer made with this much care and detail. But for all those feelings of awe and respect, all around the grounds there are reminders of just what our history as Texans is all about. Unfortunately that history is mostly bloody. Everywhere you turn you are reminded of the blood that was spilled on Texas soil and the people who died fighting for that soil. It is a sad tale, our history, and it is foolish not to honor those who have payed the ultimate price for what we have.

   But I feel like our history goes much deeper than that. There are monuments depicting this very sentiment but somehow I feel like they are overshadowed by this omnipresent reminder of war and death. It is tragic really, and it makes you wonder if that is all we have to live for. We are taught that Texans are tough and we fought for what we have.

   I wondered, as I walked around admiring the sheer artistic nature of that huge and ever watchful building, how much blood it has seen. How much blood was soaked into the very ground I was walking on for it to be erected? Who died in its honor? It remembers, and it is a testament to every single drop of blood, lost brother, mother, father, husband, child... These very thoughts made me feel the evil that man is capable of invoking with his own two hands.

Perhaps even the same two hands that built such a beautiful and long lasting structure.