The roads less traveled. Texas

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Cadillac  

“Now just dig them in front. They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they will get there – and all the time they’ll get there – they’ll get there anyway, you see. But they need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, theirs souls really won’t be at Peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expression to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them to no end” ~ the character is “Dean” in “On the Road” by “Jack Kerouac” ~

church  
Cadillac  

A while back while heading to “The Oasis”, crossing the Stateline, a Friend for the ride exclaimed “Is this Texas? How ugly…”. I was not born in this State, I was not even born in this Country, but my feelings instantly and deeply felt a hurt making me realize how much I Love this State. It took a lot not to put the brakes on and as a gentleman would, come around, open the door to let here out, and yet, also as a gentleman, I did not. It was so true at that instance to think again as often I do and wrote only previously “we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”. The oil rigs were of many, the smell in the air was of it’s flagrance undoubtedly, the grass was of yellow, the dwellings most of all dilapidated, once thriving as today not as opulent. The roofs were caved in and the cars and the old trucks all rusted out along the roads as a reminder of the past golden times.

Motel  
Motel Motel

We traveled again these past days the similar routes taking us to Midland, and what some might see as “ugliness”, I again saw it as the beauty of the land mixed in with the human labor we could not do without, we could not run our vehicles whichever they are. We have seen the “extraordinaire” formations of Mother Nature’s work, constantly doing and undoing the colors and the textures and the shapes of her canvas, but this attraction is a bit of a different beauty, it is the heart of it all that allows us to keep moving as we did these past few days to Midland and back.

Cadillac Old truck
Cadillac  

We left a day early and arrived late as I was suppose to take medications 24 hrs ahead of the surgery. We are here, in Midland, and that’s alright because I know we are not staying. I had this vision when we passed some apartments for rent. I saw us renting a one bedroom and sitting there wondering what to wonder. Would the walls stay white or would they darken with time. How did we manage to leap so far ahead, maybe too far? The roads we can do, the Cities we cannot anymore. And yet here at the Hospital people are nice. They have been nice everywhere, including at Walmart. They have not lost it all and it is comforting. I smile at them, maybe they feel a bit of the Desert I brought with us, maybe a bit of the blue skies and the sunsets and sunrises here present were still visible within me toward them. I am floating soulfully a bit above all the layers because I know tomorrow morning will be the surgery and the going to sleep artificially which I feel is worse than the surgery itself. So my earplugs are pushed in a bit further than where they would normally be, there honestly is a bit of anxiety. But the travel was of a fine one.

windmill  

The advances of Modern Medicine. Did not feel a thing. I was in the midst of putting my ear buds in, silly me to listen to my music, I was still in the midst of putting my ear buds in when I heard my name mentioned as we were done. Very strange. 3 hours had passed by, the element of surprise. But the price to pay is afterwards, not as much as the pain, but the tilt of the complete body trying to reject the chemicals induced to allow such procedure to be without pain. I wonder often, as this not being the first time, which route would be better. The true pain, or this lethargic aftermath as almost, is, being in someone else’s body. Mind and all.

Trees  

We are back, a bit of a crazy time as we should have stayed an extra night, but the fact that Spirit had been so patient had me moved to bring him back to his land where he could run and be his better self. He took good care me as irrational as it may sound. What patience. Not a word, only this look when I came back out, this look with his ears down, these eyes wide open asking me if I was alright as he knew I was not, but also knew I was strong enough not to let him down as never I have. So slowly we made it, even managing to get lost only once and take some photos which I thought would look better this time around in black and white.

old truck Old truck
Cadillac  

I have above an excerpt of “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac because it has to be one of the craziest book I have ever read. Travels in the 40’s, much reality, a bit demented, harsh and poetic all at the same time. The common denominator being the thirst of adventure across these vast lands we live on. Chapters of fantasy when youth takes over their desires, sad and happy, cries and laughter, it is all there, amazingly. “as the cabby drove us up the infinitely dark Alameda Boulevard along which I had waked many and many a lost night the previous months of the summer, singing and moaning and eating the stars and dropping the juices of my heart drop by drop on the hot tar…” I think if the book had photos, some here might be it.

Spirit sunset

Till next time, you all be well, always, it is our best choice.

Ara & Spirit

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12 Responses to “The roads less traveled. Texas”

  1. garry Says:

    Awesome Pics.Heal quickly,
    Best Garry

  2. Joseph Schmoe Says:

    Great post Ara.
    I like black and white. Back in the day, I used to shoot mainly black and white as nothing shows shadow and texture better and for a marginally skilled novice such as myself, it was a lot cheaper to process.

    I often wonder, what it is that makes me envy your time in the wide open space. Is it the solitude, the vast beauty that you see on a daily basis, the quiet, the adventure? I don’t know. Although we lead two very different lives, there is a part of your life that I and likely all of your readers desire. The difference is that our envy or our desire does not overcome our want for creature comfort or companionship. So we achieve balance by splitting our lives into compartments. One for work, one for play, one for travel one for family.

    It is not good, nor bad. It just is. If we are lucky. we achieve some sort of balance and life is good. If not, we try to make changes. Somehow, I do not think balance is a static situation either.

    So take it easy on us Ara, when you must go to the city. In most of us, there is a part, no matter how small, that is as you are.

    Hope things turn out well for you and as always, thanks for the amazing images and words.

  3. Vstromdek Says:

    There is no evil or ugly in the great cosmic scheme of things. Only our own thoughts.

  4. Lorena Says:

    I like the wide open desolate landscapes, they are palate cleansing. What I can’t ake any more are the sprawling subdivisions. Happy healing

  5. Louise Says:

    My grandfather used to say, “There’s beauty in every fence post.” My family mocked him for years, implying that there couldn’t possibly be beauty in the long, empty stretches of road with only the fence for company. That type of road was a nuisance, to be gotten through quickly on the way to someplace “better.”

    How wrong they were. So very, very wrong. I wish now that I could have known my grandfather longer. I think he was a kindred soul, a true traveler trapped in dead-end jobs and poverty.

    I agree with Vstromdek, above. No ugly places, only thoughts.

  6. texascindy Says:

    Ara,
    It is said – “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I must say I am grateful that you are able to see things for me at times so that I can share the beauty with you. Prayers for a quick healing.
    Safe travels,
    Cindy

  7. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara, We’re sending our wishes for good rest and speedy healing your way. As my Granddad, a country doctor used to say, “sleep is the best medicine”.
    Your “illustrations” for “On the Road” arouse nostalgia for the romance of Kerouac’s work. You have revealed some real gems in this book, the youthful excitement and sense of adventure.
    Thanks to your posts and photos, my eyes are opening to accept and appreciate Texas as we find it, not good, not bad, but as is. In fact, some of your photos and getting to know some of your friends and neighbors, make me feel real affection for the place.
    We hope to visit you in three weeks or so!
    Take gentle care of yourself,
    Zelda

  8. Rodolfo Tenorio Says:

    Feel better. Great truths in your words and pictures. May see you on the road the next few months

  9. James NomadRip Says:

    I love the black & white shots. Texas is ugly in some traditional ways, though you are always able to catch the good stuff. Even the “ugly” dilapidated buildings and vehicles in your images are made beautiful when filtered through your lenses.

    We listened to that book on CD on the way from CA to FL. I had never read the book — I only knew it had something to do with Route 66. Being that we were going to be traveling much of that famous road, it seemed appropriate. After the trip, I was looking for how to spell Kerouac’s last name and stumbled upon a site that showed the last place he lived. The house is about 5 blocks from our place here.

  10. MsBelinda Says:

    What beautiful black and white photography, it is as if you captured “the soul” of the abandoned cars and landscapes.

    Glad to hear that your operation went well. My best wishes that you soon are feeling up to par.

  11. Heyduke50 Says:

    It is really fairly simple… Texas is not a place but a state of mind! No one can truly appreciate the great state of Texas without having first traveling from east to west and north to south across much of it. it is not until you have time to digest the people, the culture, and the scenery that you have seen the real Texas. It is after all best to keep it a secret.

  12. Vanessa Says:

    Feel well Ara and heal quickly. Thank you for this blog and for being you!

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