When I was growing up, I watched Western movies incessantly. When playing together, my siblings and I, if I wasn’t allowed to be John Wayne, I refused to play. I was always John Wayne.
Now I’m grown up, and still I think about the cowboy. Not the real ones, you understand, not those cowboys in Colorado or Texas, or the Pampas of Argentina, not those actually herding cattle on a ranch. For me, it’s the figure in my gut, the man that I absorbed off the silver screen.
A strong, silent man, who walks tall and proud. A plain talking man of few words, who when he does speak, speaks with directness, says what he means. Honour is his internalized code. Courage flows in his veins. Softness, when he chooses, shines in his eyes.
A solitary rider, unafraid to cross the frontier, adventuring, pioneering as he traverses the wilderness. Riding for a course, saving the world. He exudes that magnetic quality, that real embodiment of character.
Each day, each hour of the setting sun, finds me looking outwards, heart restless, scanning the horizon for a lone figure on a horse, riding homewards. Squinting I peer into the fading light, never quite sure – am I looking for him, or for me?