It is time to reboot, Tx

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Dedicated to my Friend Kristi for showing me the brightness of Life.

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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.

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Ice Cream Mountain

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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”…

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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.

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twin rocks a

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.

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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.

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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12 Responses to “It is time to reboot, Tx”

  1. Voni Says:

    Your most beautiful blog yet!

    Thank you for putting into words what most of us can only feel.

    Voni
    sMiling

  2. Debbie Says:

    Welcome back…….. and Ara, Lance is grinning !!!!! He is saying it is about time. LOVE, LIVE, LAUGH Enjoy the journey.

  3. TexasShadow Says:

    The sun is shining on you and your Path. I knew it would, in time, but only when you were ready to see it, perhaps one step at a time.
    Welcome back.

  4. Christine Says:

    What TexasShadow says above…….And as others have suggested/recommended before – Please consider seeking a publishing outlet. Talk about being able to share with others. Your words and pictures speak volumes and are worthy of a much larger audience, not to mention their ability to fund your life journey. Maybe someone of your readers knows someone who knows someone with a connection to the publishing world. You already have the raw materials- someone to guide you through the editing process – which is no small feat in itself.

  5. Bill Wood Says:

    Yo Ara, am still enjoying your blog very much.
    Forgot to wish you and Spirit a Happy New Year so….. Happy New Year.
    Hope to catch you this fall in Big Bend. We passed thru in November but only for one night.
    Bill

  6. TJ Avery Says:

    Great stuff, Ara. I’m really enjoying your explorations and journeys around your new home. Ice Cream Mtn is amazing. I’ve seen little spots of badlands like that in the Big Bend area, but nothing that colorful. The twin balanced rocks are a beautiful, amazing formation.

    I’ve always thought of the Big Bend as a place to heal, recover, get your head straight, put your life into perspective, and most of all, connect with the natural world purely. No other place has brought me such happiness. I’m glad you’ve found your “pure” and “white” thoughts and feelings. Your writings and photos convey such emotion and feeling. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  7. JayElDee Says:

    OK, fly in the ointment.
    Ara, I have been following your blog and the pictures are beautiful–wish they were larger when linked–but your words…I understand that you have suffered a blow, a tremendous loss, one that no one who has not lost a child can begin to fathom, one that cannot be minimized or forgotten, but you sound almost clinically depressed. And I think your environment, while stunningly beautiful, is stark and likely to make you even more introspective and feed the depression–a beautifully vicious cycle.
    I am not saying you need medication or therapy and when the flames come, don’t suggest that I am suggesting those often ineffective modalities. I just think somebody has to say this.

    There are other emotions in the human condition that shape and condition the clay that is us. It is like you have access to only a few, beautiful though they are, but at the end, incomplete. You need the edges and the sights and the sounds that make one want to get away from it all—but not away forever. You need a little salt and pepper to bring out the flavor that can be there.

    You need to get out more.

    Cliche, I know, but you need more contact with civilization to get some edges sharpened. You need the smell of concrete, the screech of infomercials about colon cleansers, flip through 150 channels with nothing to watch. The sight of children playing on a field, the leer and cajoling of teenagers at one another. You need to hear the afterschool bell and get stuck in traffic. You need the quick reflexes to turn off Rush Limbaugh when you happen on that part of the dial. You need to see Christmas decorations in the city and a manger scene at St Anthony’s. You need not much of that, but some to see the “journey” of this planet outside of Ice Cream Mountain. And, by doing so, your “vision” and your “journey” will be broadened. And you may be happier.

    There are over 6 billion “journeys” concurrent happening down the road, and they ALL shape us on ours.

    Right now, your journey is a whirlpool, beautiful though it may be. A Charybdis. You need to hear Scylla’s snarl to travel.

    PLease accept this in nothing but a constructive way. That is the way it is meant.

    Depression is bad for the coronary arteries, especially bypassed or stented ones, especially 5 (that’s a lot, btw). Compared to an 80 year old you are a young man, but your physical well being is not adequately evaluated by her. Depression is just bad heart health.

    Again, hopefully delivered in a constructive way, but sometimes I miss the mark a bit, please take no offense.

    John

    PS obviously a personal note here–your call whether to post it or not
    j

  8. Kay Says:

    Re from the post above: “…sound almost clinically depressed. And I think your environment, while stunningly beautiful, is stark and likely to make you even more introspective and feed the depression–a beautifully vicious cycle. …You need the edges and the sights and the sounds that make one want to get away from it all”

    I don’t agree with this post at all. Every time I go down driving on the roads in South County, I feel many of the things that you write about so well. I agree with what you write about how the solitude and vast beauty of the area makes you a more open and generous person. It’s like the starkness and harshness mixed with the stunning beauty and magical wonders are healing and centering to the mind. Also, you can’t find a more healthy place to live in my opinion. Living down here in this area has been a totally amazing experience for me. I feel so incredably lucky to have had the chance to experience one of the last tiny pieces of relatively unspoiled country left.

    Anyway, I want to say that I just love how you have captured the intense crystal pure blue of the sky in many of the pictures. I try to explain that sky to people who have never been here and can’t seem to come up with the words to do it.

    Tish

  9. admin Says:

    It is really all good. As a coincidence before receiving the above comment I had been thinking about some, what I call, URBAN photgraphy. It is not a space where we would survive for any lenhgt of time, but I think its contrast as feeling so secure now in this environment would only bring out a feeling as how lucky we are to be here. I respect people all over the world. We are all humans with the same heart and blood running through, the soul and sprituality containing us, it is just the space that differs, the space that affects so many as I have no doubt that one living downtown New York cannot be the same as one living here on Terlingua Ranch. There is just, in my mind, no way for it to happen. I might be wrong. I have not watched television in about 30 years or more having lived on also a sailboat for much time. The 150 channels do not turn me on or would not be of any positive aspect, just a numb extension of the spirit. But some Life, a bit of edge around us, just for a few hours (!!!) would be a curiosity and a chance as I mentionned to feel that we are here or into other spaces when traveling on the right path. I after all use modern technology such as Internet extensively, while here or on the road trying to always stay connected, I cannot be a hypocrite and lock myself out or have totally from it all. Depression… I would not want anyone to really understand as if they did, as some Friends wearing the same shoes do, I do not wish on anyone my own situation. As much as I am a dreamer I am also a realist. I like touch and feel. Concrete notions have a hard time to penetrate my mind. It is taking me a long time to confront my own reality and I do not regret the time it has taken. I live for now, I try, what is time? Whichever amount I have been given is what I have and can only choose to use it the best way I see fit and the best way my soul allows me.
    I truly appreciate the comments as i know you all mean well with so many facets contained within you all. Thank you…
    Ara

  10. Zelda Says:

    Hi, Ara & Spirit,
    Your pictures and blog put the warmth of life and humanity together with the timelessness of nature in a most remarkable way. Being snowbound here in Iowa is definitely lonely at times, and obviously you know the television doesn’t help loneliness. Now, on the other hand, being able to experience the “Day of the Dead” a joyous celebration, as I understand it, in Hispanic cultures, or to be in the midst of the Chili Festival crowd, all through your pictures and blog, do a lot to chase the winter blues away! Thank YOU.

  11. JayElDee Says:

    Hey, guys, if the shoe doesn’t fit, fine. I could be wrong. I just have seen it once too often, once too often that I have said If I Had Only Said Something. Ara, you don’t need to be “convinced” one way or another, you’re a big boy and only you know what lies within. Just a bit of a learned observation. And I love to be wrong about these things. Thing is, I am paid to be right

    Do you use a polarizer? that sky is awfully blue, but you are in some of the darkest skies on the planet and probably some of the cleanest, so that deep blue, if it is going to occur anywhere it would be there
    take care

    John
    PS obviously again a personal note and choose whether or not it is posted, but this is my last cyber diagnosis 8) I promise

  12. admin Says:

    John, there is no right or wrong. Who are we to decide that fact anyhow. The shoes are forunately of many, we wear what seems to be comfortable at the time. Mine have steel toes, rugged, covered with dust and yet they breath and let in words such as yours which are appreciated, make no mistake on that, all words are thought about and weighed in. Your comment will always appear here, don’t make it your last diagnosis, the fact that another soul such as yours takes the time to do so means a lot to me and hopefully to many others as school is always open.
    I don’t use a polarizer by the way. I really never had much luck with them. I have one I would gladly give away!!! It is just my own manual settings of the camera, position of the sun and yes, the space we are in right now.
    You be well John, hope to meet you sometime down the road.
    Ara & Spirit

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