So often I read such comments as “you are living the Dream… ” and other words in parallel to that notion. And I do appreciate it. It is a Dream I had promised to live. Most however do not know why we are on the road, why these words are of my outmost therapy, why I choose this versus the harsh world of medication… or counseling… or just the “say so’s…” and the “do so’s”, the “brush off’s” as I have heard them all, as well as being written to “get over it…”. It is a harsh World we live in. Why I have chosen to scrape day to day, scrounge for our needs so often, and yet not being the least bit disturbed from it all as my wealth is within. “My richness consists not in the extent of my possessions; but in the fewness of my wants.” J. Brotherton.
Yes, it has happened and I don’t feel a bit uneasy. I met a man yesterday, as the traveling path is always of an enlightening one, Jim who has also lost his Son, 13 years ago. There was a moment of silence between us when I learned about it, I right away felt that maybe my own feelings always have been a bit too… “deep” maybe is the word? As I asked him hesitating “do you still think about him every day?”. His glassy eyes replied with also a bit of a trembling voice “every day, every day…”. I had to look away to keep my own composure. This man also is in within his constant forward motion. Climbing Mount Everest to camp 5, horseback riding through South Africa, North Africa, member of a mountain rescue team in Scotland where he resides, and this time I caught him while again horseback riding from Wyoming to Montana.
We talked a lot, not enough, as I hope we will stay in touch through e-mail or e-voice. Thousands of miles away from each other our path of thoughts were so identical as he could have written himself these words present and from past chapters. It does not matter where one is from, not a foreign notion to me, but reinforced this past day. “You go on” he said, the good days start outweighing the bad days as time goes on, even if the frustration and those dead end mind sets keep visiting the moments past, present and future.
And then I read this…”Ara, your photography is simply awesome. However my friend, your commentary is a bit too abstract, too deep and is contradicting to the beauty of your photos. As I have found, one can best express themselves via photos or prose, but not both, as neither do justice to each other. I take your photos as your best work. As an admirer, I ask you to focus on them with detail at will – what you see and what your image represents. Of course, I still want to see the smiling face of Spirit. Cheers brother.”
I grimace reading such comment, they are rare and then again I am sure they represent the opinion of many that would maybe prefer a brighter side on these pages, a better “entertainment” value, an in depth “ride report”… But, truly, they are bright pages, it is reality, it is awareness and not numbness. There are “peaks” and there are “valleys”. I do not hide the valleys with sometimes their tumultuous rapids rocking my thoughts. Reality encompasses the complete array of Life, the eternal balance and without one plate of the scale we would miss the other one, incomplete path since we are destined to live as we are. I have to say that it does me good to write, “let it all out” as the expression goes, without ever feeling or even thinking while locked into my cocoon in this mental background of mine of anyone that would pursue these words. Of course the so many eloquent comments are so welcome, they pave our road with an added and needed strength. The ones as above are also fine, I am sure if this gentleman and I would sit down and talk around a brightly lit fire, he would understand. And if not, I can only wish him the brightest path that could lay ahead of him. His own Dream.
Photos of last days in Ennis as with Jim, his guide was Belinda, as Teri called her, the true and real “cowgirl”. Her presence so strong, so Earthy and a kind heart as one rarely feels. We all had dinner together, it was the culmination of our stay at the Rusty Cowboy where an array of the best of the best of this summer path crossed us like magic. Ron Dakotah, Teri, Belinda, Jim, KC and Mia… I can just imagine how now Teri feels as the place is empty, no one in her backyard or in the tepee, no horses grazing besides hers, no more fun dinners and much of the teasing that ensued. But the memories, those unique moments, they will always be in our minds, never lost and always enjoyed.
We even had a chance to see another Friend of her’s, the “horseshoer”. Hard work, I had never witnessed or had even thought about what it would entail to keep those horses going. Young lady with seven children, traveling from city to city when the calls line up, how else would one attend this experience without this Life on the road.
We are in Bozeman right now, running errands, so we are still in Montana and for some strange reason I kept believing that when leaving Ennis we would live Montana. We kind of did. In a couple day we will join again Ron and his wagon and horses on 212. It is an amazing reminder to me that since he left, seemingly weeks ago, he has only covered 300 or so miles! We hope to be able to camp with him, we have much catching up to do. More photos are also from West Fork road, the couple dead end ones we wanted to return to, specially the meadow we found nearing at 9000 feet. But the weather the past couple days turned bad on us and will just have to come back next year, so much more to explore, as usual.
Ara & Spirit