One more night in Las Vegas, Nevada

Monday, September 15th, 2008

I can only wish everyone having the wealth that we both have. Yes, our accounts are overflowing, savings have been accumulated over these past couple years, interests have accrued and we can’t even spend it all. We are "rich". The more we try the more the balance rises, overwhelming richness we had not planned on as financiers have been absent and the passwords non existent. Beyond it all that surrounds us, the daily statements can hardly print it all within this endless path we have taken as the final numbers roll on moving forward as we also do. Our bank, our institution never closes and has no physical structure, its space always surrounding us as we live within.

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It is with a great irony that we spend another night in Las Vegas where all the bills and chips exchanged could not even cover a down payment on our own wealth as our richness cannot be bought, sold, leased, rented or even borrowed. Our wealth can only be felt, experienced fulfilling our spirits within this inexplicable mind of ours, so intricate and yet so simple if one only can let it be. And truly what else do we really have left in this Life of ours but Friendships, Family, other beings we are related to through our presence together and sometimes only through exchanges of words. There is never cause of inflation, of bad economy as they are above it all, they are "now" remaining through thick and thin as the thoughts, the care and the affections and respect never hindered by only our own emotions.

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The destination of our Journey has vanished, the clock has blurred its own face and hands which have been still, every moment has turned into just "now" forming the strand we experience, we try anyhow, so fully. And when morning brings up these words that I read…    

"A message from Michael and Sandra.We will miss you both. The time we shared passed much to quickly. We look forward to the time our paths will cross again. You are a part of us.I will always remember the rides, the sun and the mud. We are better people for having you as a part of our lives.Till next time my Brother from another Mother"

It is when I realize and as expressed earlier, I can only wish everyone having the true "wealth of Life" we have! Thank you Michael and Sandra, "Thank You", my days are now quite brighter. When we received a donation from Louise as she wrote "Jackpot! Your $5 bet in Las Vegas won!" after myself writing the other day that my "gambling" did not amount to anything… how thoughtful of her as a reader we have never met. It is not the physical amount of it, which regardless will help us a lot, it is that "thought" that sparked her gesture toward us. "Thank you Louise". I stay speechless and so content from so many comments and e mails we receive, I cannot find another avenue as therapeutically satisfying as this Blog encompassing every aspect of our nights and days. 

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We are now in Kingman, Arizona, with our good Friends, another Home of ours, Anjie and Mark. Anjie was very ill, she is doing great now, recuperating and as I looked at them both yesterday arriving, I felt they had grown so deeply into their Lives together, they have in unison climbed those steps, hard ones, the ones that teaches us where true wealth lies. We are so fragile and as illness showed its face, the cards they were dealt with were not the least favorable. But Karma showed its brightness and a trusting face for Anjie to get well. The depth of pasts months, as I wonder sometimes why suffering becomes necessary to change the color of our days, has moved Mark closer within our space. Values change in times of despair, priorities so important at one time become frivolous and the "now" impregnates the days throughout which we can only be thankful of being. Mark and Anjie also have accumulated much wealth and I feel so fortunate to be here spending a few days with them sharing it all.

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My second night on the Strip was more relaxed, I felt as I was moving around within my own space looking out through my own little window. I actually enjoyed myself for the main reason that I knew Spirit would be fine left behind a few hours, yet to me not a favorable situation but doable as an exception. I left earlier with the sun still up, realizing later on as the darkness of the skies fell upon and the brightness of the lights emerged, that the Strip was truly the definition of "night and day". I was out to play with the camera, taking my time unlike the evening before. The crowds where still scares and the bus taking me first to the water show at the Bellagio was almost empty. I knew that night time would be more colorful, vibrant and walked then on into the mile long covered mall with fake painted skies, anything one could wish for and restaurants, pricey ones.

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I fell into"watching people", even at some time stopping at a balcony overlook and just staring, looking (!) at everyone going by. Crossing the streets was interesting to say the least. So well behaved masses of legs seriously taking on account the seconds ticking down from a monitor across the wide slab separating the curbs. An array of people from all over the World. Chic to casual, steady to drunk, from smiles to stern, even what it looked like a couple backpackers probably having taken a wrong turn off the near by dirt trail out of place within this cement and neon jungle. From the distance the water show was showing its colors and the music could be heard every fifteen minutes. That is where I wanted to be.

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They are four tunes they play the show to. I might have stayed there for at least two hours! I was mesmerized by it all, its intricacy, the water columns as dancers moving on through the night in total harmony with the music, swirling, with the mood of the moment its background brightly lit, the Eiffel Tower in its golden glow taking me back to my own years spend in Paris. This alone was worth the price of admission, this is what I had in mind. And of course now to decide which photos to post here amongst the hundreds that I took. I will post them all on a SmugMug Gallery soon as I have done with other days filling up a couple memory cards.

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There was a newlywed couple also watching, I did my good deed of the day by taking some photos of them while the show was on, without their knowledge. Only later on when over as they were walking away I told them about it and will e mail them in a couple days. They liked the surprise, my little contribution wishing them a Happy and Healthy Life.

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I had to finally pull myself away and started walking to the other end of the Strip, each block seemingly with their own character and personality. There is even a "Harley Davidson" Restaurant which I went toward and if the water show was worth the price of admission, well, this sight was even better…

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This is Ludwig and Mark! Oh! I felt so bad that Spirit and the rig was not with me and if I was not parked so far I would have gone back to get them. Ludwig can drink out of a bottle, something that I am going to try with Spirit. They are locals and it was so much fun to be on the other side now for me to take the pictures and ask a gazillion questions! Sweet Dog, I played with him for a while, the perfect urban combination to get around town. It really made my day.

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Entertainment! Lives on the sidewalks, on the Strip, moving and moving on, structures after structures promising the big win, the big dollars, the big shows and myself walking on knowing that all this will just be memories soon when sitting upon the white limestone awaiting for us in the calm of the Texas desert. I will compare photos, the human workmanship creating these tall buildings versus the simple existence of the yet unseen "Oasis of my Soul" somewhere a thousand miles away. I was glad after all that we did stop for a couple nights, I have my fill of crowds now, grandiose scenes, colors unlike anything we had seen lately and the best of it all… meeting Ludwig and Mark, others like us on the same path of togetherness.

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Everything was different here, even this building which will be a future, one more, Casino. The optical illusion of its floors being slanted was much more realistic than in the photo, some workers where standing by and we had a good laugh about it as one of them was being accused of crooked floors! All is well now, a couple days in Kingman, getting ready for the grocery store… a dinner is in sight.

My thoughts have been with all the Texas residents, many Friends and readers subjected to the bad mood of Mother Nature unleashing her strength one more time. I feel helpless only having to offer shelter on the flat land awaiting for us. Far and with no power or water I know it is not much, wishing I could do more.

Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In "Your Favorites", organized also in "States", some even labeled "first year" and second year". Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through SmugMug.

Help us keep the site alive. Please contribute…

Be well, always. Ara & Spirit

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2 Responses to “One more night in Las Vegas, Nevada”

  1. Louise Says:

    You are most welcome for the donation. It feels good to help. Loved the photo of Ludwig and Mark, especially since I have an old school friend named Mark Ludwig! Funny. I would love to have a sidecar for my scooter. It looks really classy with the Vespa. But for now, Opal is happy to ride short trips on the floorboards.

    As for helping the folks of Texas, in a small way you already are helping. Your website, which I read every day, reminds me that we have the same “riches” that you have: time, travel, friends, beauty, peace, quiet, love of our pets. I come here for perspective. Right now we are working for the Red Cross, directly helping those who have suffered Nature’s wrath. It is exhausting work, filled with urgency and sometimes office politics. I really need your photos and words to ground me. So, yes, you are helping THEM by helping ME.

    If your other readers want to help more directly, I encourage them to donate to the Red Cross here: http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main
    Or better yet, walk in to your local chapter and ask how you can volunteer. No balance on a bank statement can compare to the feeling of helping another person in need!

  2. James NomadRip Says:

    I lived in Vegas for 5 years. Your pictures capture it well! Makes the strip look desirable! (People that live there rarely go unless they work there or have out of town guests 🙂

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