“You can close your eyes to things you don’t want to see, but you can’t close your heart to the things you don’t want to feel” (unknown)
We took the road southbound to Lander from the Glacier stopping overnight in Shelby, Montana. I love the store signs from the 50’s and cropping such images is always fun. The “words”? Mostly written on the side of the road.
The road is straight ahead of us on this sunny Sunday morning. The hills are of this green which can only show the past winter’s rainfall precipitation. Yes, I think, do I know it so well as in this moment while running away from herds of mosquitoes I am not very jubilant missing some absent connections we never had a chance to experience. I feel ambushed and overpowered, I feel as having not followed the path I wanted to pursue. On the shoulder of the same road I stop now, seeing more flowers as carpets not only lining up my steps but also running up the hills. Take a couple photos and check my e mails. These words below followed as I could only then sit, as I could only suddenly not think, yet from miles away felt a connection it’s familiarity having never left me as a wave suddenly choking me, loosing touch of this present I so hard try to hang on to.
I love your website, pictures and Spirit. I too [as Lance did] have terminal cancer and when I am down, all I do is pull up your website. I’m sure Lance was thinking of you as I am of my children and try to encourage them to do all things right and true and keep the Lord in your day. We do not know why these things happen but there is a higher power who has a plan… I’m certain you were meant to help many people as you are doing, I’m just so saddened that it is this way. I love your pictures. When I became ill we had a 5000 mile trip planned through the west for I have never seen other states and have always loved history; but we could not take it and won’t get to go. So, dear Ara, ride safe, free and blessed for many of us pray for you. Many hugs to Spirit.
I breathed again and the reel of this Life in fast backward motion played, blurred, frames juxtaposing, a slap never awakening me as a fog settled in and the clarity of it all went away as so hard I tried to catch it. What was my complaint? The cold of these last days? The swarming of mosquitoes? The rains and the storms and the sitting in the tent for hours to no end? Where those my complains? Had I again lost touch with this stage we all live on? I had. I felt ashamed. How quickly we soften and misbehave and only look for the silver lining we so constantly seek day in and day out not remembering what is of importance as that same stage that over and over can spoil us, can also and does turn around showing a not so smiley face we too fast have forgotten it’s drooping lips.
I don’t know Jane. I wish I did, maybe I will as I will write to her. I did. I felt honored that this simple path of ours with this giant interrogation mark stamped too often in black and white that seems to present itself every morning and night has brought her a smile. I felt so suddenly a responsibility as this stage was no more on the page that found us Spirit and I alone wandering in all directions. Am I really helping? Are we when myself seek for answers and a direction in all constant tangents of every minutes for the nights and days? Clarity has now come back as we sit in Lander for a few days. I cannot get away from thinking about Jane. I am sad, my chest feels heavy as around me the World seems to be in it’s usual motion turning and turning and mine seems to have suddenly stopped to re-evaluate the priorities that encumber us with a constant mode.
I look around me, happiness does not seem to have found it’s roots within this constant motion as I deal with others on the shoulders of this same endless road directing everyone to their seemingly unknown destination even if so they feel and see that distant image the minds have materialized within their senses. I keep hearing the grumbling and the groaning and the bemoaning for nothing of any worth, none, zero. Stop I want to yell. Stop and grow up. Think of what matters. But no one stops for Jane, no one stopped for Lance, no one stopped for Bill, no one stops for the so many others… But “I Can”. And do “so”.
And what is my own destination as I feel it shifting unwillingly without too often a grasp of it’s reality as when reading such words when I want to "do" for others and yet trying to "do" for myself. Where do we go? What do we do? So many questions unanswered when the answers are truly right under my nose. Follow the "spirit" that has guided me for these past years, let my heart unfold and express simply what is within. So simply, so honestly. That is all as the waves of a complicated Life has for me no room to expand. The worth of you all is so much today of such a greater value, the worth of you all that have helped us put “Old Faithful” back on the road, because if all your worth have created for Jane to smile, if only once, this is what makes it all so priceless. Truly, can you now, as I do, realize it was not for us, it was not for me or Spirit, but for Jane and the so many others I receive words from who also are on the same unfortunate path, but do “smile”.
I think of Jane again. How can I not. In a conversation a while ago this gentleman expressed how "lucky" I was when he found out about the core of the Journey we are on. I was left speechless thinking how one can even express luck having lost their only Child as when recomposed asked him the question. "How lucky I am", he said in reply "to have found this path allowing me to inside out feel and see and sense all the beauty surrounding me". I understood. I know too well of the alternative of one slowly crumbling in a corner, one letting their own Life simmer into annihilation and disappearance of the mind and the soul. I want Jane to also be lucky, I want her own children to be prosperous for their own time to come, their own years ahead forging their destiny as Jane’s and Lance’s has been, and so many others. So many others.
"I have had a great deal of interest in my photography over the years, for which I am grateful. Their sales are of much importance funding this Journal. Yes, please feel free to purchase one or two… or a few. I have been adding some photos lately, there will be more as I sift through about 100,000 of them.
Take a look. “Smugmug” stands for quality. Thank you”
Be well, always.
Ara & Spirit