“Live on, survive, for the earth gives forth wonders. It may swallow your heart, but the wonders keep on coming. You stand before them bareheaded, shriven. What is expected of you is attention.”
~ Salman Rushdie ~ [The Ground Beneath Her Feet]
A long (15 minutes) piece of Music, background… morning… relaxing.
Artist: Snatam Kaur from her CD: Anand
This morning the cold has made it’s way into the sleeping bag, it is time for a liner and for also Spirit wearing his coat, his winter one. I woke up early unlike these past days when unusually sleeping late in what I think has been the comfort of a certain unconsciousness maybe. I woke up smelling the dampness of a few past nights in Alabama, the ones that welcomed us years back, 5 years to the day to be exact. It is all I recollect as far as the dates goes, as the start of my Journal which only went back a few days earlier is lost somewhere in space. It is amazing how memory works, how I can forget the name of someone met yesterday, yet in details with all my senses feel such times past. It was late, darkness had descended, the road was not a stranger to me, but as usual when looking for a space to camp and none presenting themselves a bit of tension starts growing.
I saw a washed out "camping" sign brightened by my headlights piercing through the fog, or was it the dew descending to rest on solid ground for the night? One of those blue signs with no lettering and the outlines of a drawn tent faded away. It had to be, my hopes soared as the narrow road made a left and a right and yet a few miles later I still could not find a promised shelter. Suddenly a field appeared, deserted, a couple tired yellow casting overhead lights gave the space found an eerie stage. Knocked over electrical outlets, tall grass in patches, an unwelcome remains of a gate house and far away, tucked into a corner, a couple campers maybe I thought left behind from once a thriving RV Park.
No matter, ground for my tent, our tent. Barely set up and a pair of headlights cutting through the fog turned into our direction with a roar and grumbling a bit worrisome. I felt a knot within me, the truck pulled up next to us, the driver leaned over to crank the window down. It was a young smiling face as myself felt a relief so instant I could already taste the good night sleep ahead. A second truck made it’s way. Two campers, two trucks, it all made sense. A couple kids, kids I call them when in their twenties, training to be tower climbers, spending their Monday’s through Friday’s away from Home. Camp anywhere they said, the gate keeper might be in the morning, and maybe not. No one else is here. Come on over, we are going to fix some dinner, if you are hungry you are more than welcome!
Couple kids! Well mannered. I could feel their parents through them, their respect toward their elders, their own appreciation for sharing a meal. Couple kids cooking. I remember the meal. Grilled chicken, vegetables, potatoes and the best homemade from their Mothers canned green beans and jam and bread for dessert. They had been taught well. They then had to climb a near by telephone pole to show me their prowess. They did not let me leave empty handed as I carried a few jars back with me, it was food for the coming days on this road which was just beginning, on this road that lead us here today, 5 years later. A memorable night as I wonder what they are now doing? I wish I would have stayed in touch with them, but as many that have joined us for only instants it seems like, they and that is always my pain, are now just a good memory.
Has the times passed mean anything? Retrospection time? Is this what I wanted to set off doing? Has it been good fortune? Has Karma taken good care of us? I know Lance has. All has. I have a bit of a smile when I think of him now. It is not a true smile though, it is a crescent of my lips from these years past unbottled from all the emotions a Human being can go through when driven by a will not wanting to succumb. 1830 days and nights more or less plowing the path. Is this a page that ends half way? Is there a new start again only because of a number? or is it the next step appearing from the shadows demanding my attention? I have to think of it as a special day I feel. There has to be some sense to it all, there has to be. There should be an easiness that has descended building up to this present stage, yet, I don’t know what to call it. The last words of every chapter lived are always the same regardless. Always. I can only close my eyes to feel his eyes on me, I can only feel his hugs through a distant memory, I can only hear his voice cutting through the prevailing silence as silence always remains as such, that is just the bottom of the bottom line… Lance is just not here. Regardless. Yet, I am. I must.
Tomorrow is "The Day of the Dead" Celebration. There is always a gathering in Terlingua’s Cemetery. Friends, acquaintances, food, music, a bonfire maybe, candles are lit. I remember the first time being a bit taken back. Celebration of the "Dead"? How could that be? Is it what they would have wanted? I realize today, it is so, even if emotions are still mixed for this Joyous Day. The need to feel again the good past times, the laughter we have had, the bright eye visions we have exchanged, the sounds of conversations, the jokes, the food we have shared, ate together, cooked together and so much more. It is that Day and it is a good thing there is such a Day to remind us of the good times we have had because what would be the sense of having a permanent veil on such past moments never remembering them?
The day after has now arrived. Last evening’s weather with high winds and dust storms was as to remind us of the event, to pay attention. As I did. Good Friends I saw, chatted, and yet it’s deep meaning occupied my mind throughout the present hours. I end up putting the camera away, sometimes that “object” gets in the way between the true vision laid ahead and the senses trying to make their way toward the reality wanting to experience. It cuts off the links joined to form the much needed circle. We are all fortunate that my Friend Voni (I know for so many “our” Friend) took some remarkable photos last night and with her permission, which she gave without any hesitation, I am publishing here a few for all to enjoy. This is all such a true example proving, as she uses a pocket camera, it is the Photographer and not the camera!
I had a good time. I truly had a good time and as this morning came around my own questions from yesterday had found their answers. Yes, the moment for a change has arrived, it truly has, I feel it and slowly this new path will also as the one preceding take shape and guide me toward a better Life. It will all come through and true.
Till next time.
"I have been juggling my Book, my “one-pan recipes”, “Spirit” and myself and also Smugmug is starting to look good if I may say so myself with now 6 Galleries. There will be more, adding daily as I go through these past years photos…”
Take a look. “Smugmug” stands for quality. Thank you.
Be well, always.
Ara and Spirit