“What is it in man/woman that for a long while lies unknown and unseen only one day to emerge and push him into a new land of the eye, a new region of the mind, a place he has never dreamed of? Maybe it’s like the force in spores lying quietly under asphalt until the day they push a soft, bulbous mushroom head right through the pavement. There’s nothing you can do to stop it.” ~ “blue highways” William Least Heat-Moon
It has been shaking, poured over ice and not well digested these past few days. Meaning the Cocktail of Life has been suddenly rough as hitting a wall at some inconceivable speed. As if the kidney infection was not enough, the weather decided to turn on us in a cold and wet manner, or should I say, with no manners. ‘Sleep’ right now is good, I have actually enjoyed sleeping, meaning for me to wake up and not get up. This is a forceful with no choice in the matter ‘rest’, something I don’t do very well. And yet we have to move on tomorrow, we are finally going to meet the other vehicles on their way southbound to Overland Expo. They must have encountered themselves some obstacles as following them on their SPOT I watched them get on an easier road and camp exactly where we would have camped ourselves. I had taken a short ride to the National Forest Ranger building to inquire about those roads and was able to reach one of the vehicles with my SAT phone to let them know about the fact that they are right now impassable. Those roads are never maintained and winter was of a rough one.
“You are in our thoughts for a speedy recovery. I hope the antibiotics work quickly for you. Please know that you can always call us if you need someone to fly out and help you. I know you have friends in many places who will reach out to you, but if you find yourself somewhere alone and don’t know anyone, we can come to you. We nomads must stick together and take care of each other.” This was an e mail received today from my Friends Louise and Sean. It touched me a lot as I know the true meaning laying within those words. Consequently I don’t know why a phrase I read not too long ago has stuck in my mind as it goes something like this “… and at the end of the day one is really all alone”.
The depth of that thought is I find so sad and as above when I receive such kind words, from also many other caring Friends, it is as a lift enabling me to turn the hanging sign that would read “alone” to “not alone”. I have felt a change these past weeks, or is it months? enjoying the company of others. It is a big development for me, not that I have not in the past, but today is more as in thinking how nice it would be if… I know it has to do with the quality of Friends acquired, “quality” not necessarily in the sense of it’s physical presence, but of others to put it simply being on a similar wavelength. Sharing a common denominator. The exchanges of thoughts, such a gift us Humans have when we can lay them in front of us and discuss further their meanings, finally to walk away with a better understanding, a wealth we mutually acquire by doing so. It is a great allowance we can all have.
It seems days on end unable to write. It seems we have embraced these few days a reality that is now so unfamiliar to us. All ‘is’, as even Spirit’s eyes mirror an uncertainty I had not seen in a long time. From Page we first joined the Carbon Neutral Expedition and headed south to near "The Gap" and took a westerly turn toward the south rim of the Grand Canyon.We hit a network of roads in multitude of directions, challenging ones for us as they became when a few times needing an extra body from another vehicle to stand on the car’s step for ballast as to not tip over. Frustrating it was being within a convoy when wild horses are running ahead of us kicking up the dust, the wind blowing it away, the sun lowered in the horizon, desolate immensity and not a chance to stop for a photo or even taking in this painting present and so rare. It was a compromise and the attributes of the members made up for my lack of freedom to stop often as we normally do.
That was then, this is now us ‘present’ at the Overland Expo which has had an incredible turn out. I have been writing these paragraphs over the course of these past days. Yesterday was overwhelming and now the next day it is an unequalled experience, a surprise with sparks of smiles along the way. We have met plainly said so many Friends of the Journal, astonishing as it took me a while to emerge from a constant stupor when introducing ourselves following our names called. Of course Spirit is the popular one with his own of “name tag”. The conversations have been of many, meaningful ones, caring ones, significant to a point which will result in many thoughts I know while riding back north on Monday. Many photos I have not even had a chance to look at, I will be busy going through them once we return to Page to rest up for a couple days before heading out to “The Valley of the Gods”.
My present reflections are of many to come as I know will translate themselves into words and photos in the coming days. In the meantime…
Enjoy and be well, always.
Ara & Spirit
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