A couple of years back, I was invited to a wedding of a friend.  I was actually invited to work, but I got to stay for the wedding.  I was asked to provide chair massage to the wedding party and any of the guests who wanted one.  The wedding was in the small California town of Philo.  I had never been to Philo, but it is not too far from where my parents live in Geyserville.  Philo is about 25 miles inland from the coast in Mendocino County off of Route 128.


It is beautiful country up there.  An odd phenomenon happens as you drive out of the valley and toward the coast; the colors shift, and the greens turn into a tint that you will never see elsewhere.  Likewise, the blues and yellows are all unique shades.  It is nearly virgin country there, and I spent most of the weekend in awe of the beauty.

philo 3

philo 2

A strange thing happens to me when I get in these environments; I start to imagine what the country looked like before Europeans raped and plundered the Earth.  I get to the coast of California–say Bodega Bay, or even the San Francisco Bay–and I try to imagine what it must have been like to be the first to explore it–to see the land for the very first time.

New Folder-101

Of course, then I have to go back to when the Native Americans inhabited the land, and the natural beauty they lived in.  Did the earliest settlers after the last ice age even know what beauty was?  Did they stay in the area because it was so gorgeous, or did they only stay for more practical reasons?

philo 1

Like making wine.

Then I start daydreaming creepy thoughts based on Stephen King’s “The Stand”, and I imagine that I am the only inhabitant for miles around me in this perfect, peaceful land.


I’m trying to tell you that Northern California is a seriously beautiful place!


I think the same thing every time that I am in Yosemite.  What must it have looked like when the Native Americans lived there; before Hetch Hetchy Dam, before the paved roads, and before pollution started to kill the pines and redwoods.

philo 4

Anyway, while I was in Philo, I started thinking of a new song.  It is a very different lyric than anything else I have written, and I’ll be quite honest; the protagonist is me!  It is possibly the most simple and short song I have ever written (I tend to get verbose).

I was going through a weird time; I felt betrayed by someone I trusted, and I thought that if I could carve out a small place for me, my family, and a few friends, then I would be happy.  A perfect paradise in a gorgeous setting.


Joel C. Marckx


I dream of virgin green and skies of purest blue

A land defiled by no man, and no man obstructs my view

I’m free from hurting hands and unfaithful hearts and minds

An ideal home for the ones I love until the end of time

            All alone in this perfect place

            Away from push and shove

            Would you care to join me, my love?

I dream of pitch-black nights lit by clouds of stars

Air so clean, it almost stings, yet soothes this tempered heart

I’m free from poison schemes from those I’m meant to trust

Where lies pour down like rain, and leave me here to rust

            All alone in this perfect place

            Away from push and shove

            Would you care to join me, my love?




Filed under Lyrics

8 responses to “Pristine

  1. Auntie C

    Beautiful song – I feel the same way about the beauty we have the privilege to live in.

  2. Joel, these are beautiful thoughts and words and reflect much of what I have experienced in the Wild Lands. There were early writers who believed that Nature was a transcendent entity revealing the essence of the divine. Zane Gray’s hegemony was, whatever ill beset one, it could be healed in the deep beauty of the American West. Thanks

  3. Joel, Thanks for writing this. And the shots! I can almost smell them. I live in a beautiful place, too, and thank God daily for the air and rain and space. And thanks for always dropping in as one of the first “likes” on my blog. That’s simply loving and generous.—M.

  4. Lovely. Never heard of Philo and been up in that area. Nice to see. Tks.

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