Dedicated to my Friend Kristi for showing me the brightness of Life.
The Valley of the Moon
Sinuous curves, wide 4 lanes, rocky hard dirt roads and deep sand ones, I have seen them all these past few months. Hot days, freezing days and all in between we have felt. Uphill, downhill, at times flathills, even if that certain notion does not make much sense, I have had my share of it. And suddenly I feel as I need to reboot my Life. It is a good thing as one can shut it down for only that one instant it takes to restart it. I figured that much out lately. I was doing my laundry yesterday, when an elderly woman, dragging a bit walked in with her basket. It is Terlingua, we talk to strangers here, the elderly is respected and I asked her how she was doing, if she needed some help. “Well” she said, as she called me “young man!” So she did not look that old and I asked her age. Today is my Birthday she said, I am eighty years old. I gave her a big hug wishing her a “Happy Birthday”. As I also replied that I myself was not that young anymore, 5 bypasses, some heart attacks, this and that, only to hear her say “you are a lucky young man”. I realized what she said as the seconds passed and our eyes locked in, due more to my surprise of her words than anything else. I was ready to ask her why?… when it made sense. Without the bypasses, the heart attacks I can speak about, well, I would not be here today. I am lucky, I just realized that.
Ice Cream Mountain
I feel as I have reached a threshold, a marker of much importance in this Journey of ours. The good times have been present, the somber minded ones also. I am tired of being tired pushing away certain realizations that have taken so much time to be born within me. I have to confront the reality of it all in a fashion even stronger than ever and apply myself to follow a better path, to follow the many words that so many readers here have taken the time to express, explain and try to make me understand what sometimes is so hard to. I heard my Friend Kristi the other day ask me, or more, say, “aren’t you happy?”. I did not know the answer right away… I did not know what to say… yes? no? perhaps? But more it was in my thoughts “should I?”. Sometimes the simplest questions, the most basic words and thoughts bring in a logic forgotten by past and present pain. I should be happy I thought. She had just awaken a chord that had not been touched in so long. Being alone, only my own questions are asked to myself. When a Friend across expresses themselves with notions not thought about too much, I also realize the positive aspect of the communication bringing answers not thought about before.
I look around me, unencumbered, basic needs, my buddy Spirit, great Friends which truly have become Family, and most of all the ability I have had to erase and take away the barriers which stood on my path for all these past years. Time has made its mark. Many months have gone by and one step at the time the present has been reached with yet the awareness that, hopefully, it will not end soon. As I have been thinking a lot about Life lately, I guess the New Year and winter brings on such thoughts, I have started to give names to its present quality, names that I like for it to be filled with and even a color. Honesty, Respect, Understanding, Compassion, Love, Peace, Hope, Beauty, Unselfishness and one word that stands out above it all is “Pure”. Pure goes along with the color I have been seeing, it’s color is “White”.
The rocks of Utah were of a multicolor palette Mother Nature is always so kind to display. The mountain tops were of silver trunks and green leaves for as far as one can see. The streams bubbling and running with their blue steel colors never alike were of many with their sounds and music. The path has been lined with such an incredible array of hues not even at time imaginable. The skies have offered over and over their multitude of blues to cloudy grays and magentas and oranges and yellows all in between. Earth has been happy, I have seen it smile for so many days at the time. But Life itself, that space I see when I close my eyes, when I feel it’s constant presence, it is “White” and “Pure” and I am finally smiling without hiding my own inner emotions, that yes… so hard to say it… “I am happy” and need to remain so, need to pass it around, need to share it with all as it is the greatest gift I have myself received from so many. So many that I have to Thank for, including Lance. I am understanding.
I will seek for spaces as here. This is the real “Oasis” as I know there are many more. I keep thinking the upcoming Journey will change. I feel something new, I feel the need to get closer to Mother Nature, to spend days within more isolated areas unlike sometimes in the past. The logistics are always a bit hard in those instances, getting in and getting out, provisions carried only on the 3 wheel rig of ours, but we have done it in the past and its experiences will pay off in the future. It is all and will come to a matter of balance throughout the upcoming weeks when the weather warms up a bit. Communication, this Blog itself will necessitate spending some time in urban environment at times, the other side will be days without any contacts besides our newly found environments. It was all for “me” in the beginning, it was all about hiding, it was a personal Journal. The months passed, they have matured, it is all about sharing now, sharing the sights through photos and words. As I always said “just another Life story”…
The ride above and below is on a road near Terlingua, going through what the locals call “Ice Cream Mountain” and “The Valley of the Moon”. The road was just graded as I had been told many versions of its difficulty. A bit hairy a couple times crossing some dry creek beds, but overall another little hideout for us and yet away from the National Park. I cannot imagine any Artists carving and balancing those two huge rocks on limestone pillars anytime soon. Such sights always amaze me, they humble me, they show me what can be done throughout the millions of years of Mother Nature’s work as here we are for a hundred years, maybe if so lucky, trying to make also a difference within our own surroundings.
As one they have come together, resting against each other, not for an eternity, but for now as we ourselves should all do. It was the most beautiful sight of the day, unexpected around the curve, the many curves that we take never quite knowing its other side. Knowing the road now, I feel assured to ride it in the dark as a sunset and a sunrise will only enhance its colors, vibrancies and feel of it all. That will be another day soon.
27 months later I now feel as the Journey has only began. “White” and “Pure”… I can only hope everyone finding it’s own such space to cherish and live in Peace.
Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun.
Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order a print all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload on the Gallery.
Help us keep the site alive. Please contribute… The logistics of it have become costly. It is an open book, its pages for the taking with always the hope that you will support their presence.
Ara & Spirit