Writing our book spanning 7 years on the road “Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash” has taken me to those past times when the future was uncertain. Yet, we still don’t know the day before that day. It is now only a matter of editing those past days we did make it through.
“Christmas it seems to me is a necessary festival; we require a season when we can regret all the flaws in our human relationships: it is the feast of failure, sad but consoling.”
~ Graham Greene ~
I almost gave in. I was so close. I even read a nasty comment portraying me as an “Artist without a Soul”. ??? Yet, I smiled. It was a sad smile, not for myself, but what I felt towards him or her. I wished him/her a Merry Christmas and a Happy upcoming New Year. Unfortunately, as a few in the past, it was a fake disposable e mail. Most likely an outstanding coward citizen. I took it a bit as a compliment because I had never called myself, or considered, ever being an artist. The “without a soul” part. Oh! well… There must be a few different definitions of a soul.
I was practically so near giving in into somber days being the first ever Christmas spent without my Mother’s presence. Yet, a few days ago, as it often happens, a word came through the cracks of a door I had left ajar throughout these times. That word came through after writing to a good friend of mine, that I was tired of being unhappy. Exhausted! That word is “happy”. It is so simple. Isn’t? I know my Mother always wanted me to be as such. So I decided to be “happy”.
I know she is herself happier now while keeping company with Lance who is facing west, as she faces east watching that sun rise every day, both making sure the times ahead will be smooth. That is how my Mother always was, and so was he. It is all part of acceptance throughout a time where truly “time does not matter”. Emotions are human, time is not. Just a measure, just as miles per hour, a gallon, a foot or a yard. I missed these pages which always have kept me company. I am glad to be back on them. These two and a half months have been a 7 year journey, a mental one. It is now a mile marker for me as my book has seen the last written character. 90,000 words later. Now starts the editing and re-editing. The fun part.
We just came back from a Christmas Party we were not even going to attend. I am glad we went. People were kind, good spirited, the food of course was great and I met a couple others attending which I knew their names, but had never placed a face on them. All was so amiable. The conversations interesting and fulfilling. I can only talk about motorcycles, computers or cameras for about ten minutes! We had visited other friends earlier. Ones who come down to Terlingua once a year. It is also always nice to see them.
So the first run of the book “Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash” is amazingly completed. It was a couple of days ago. I was surprised, happy and sad, all at the same time. I had to go for a walk with Spirit before laying down the last paragraph. The story did not really end, as there also is no beginning. Now we start editing from the first line to the last, a few times. I did not know what to do with myself that first day. It has been such disciplined times which were a must as here, 5 pm can show up before you know it. The sun moving on is much faster than me.
And now, today, it is Christmas Day. We have lingered at The Oasis. Placed a flower near Lance and my Mother. Sat with them for a while and talked. Brought up many happy memories, all good ones I now live by. It is a choice and I have made mine. A bit of Skype and telephone calls with close friends, hanging a couple ornaments part of a few Christmas gifts mailed to us, good weather, good food and my buddy tanning most of the day. What more can I ask for?
I feel as I have signed on again on that doted line for a renewal on this lease of life, and as much as I can, now rejoining the present. At the same time I am looking forward to the roads awaiting for us once we depart. Where else could we go right now in these winter times when we have it all right here? As much as I have learned these past years, these months seemed to have put a lid on a bit tighter. The lessons truly never end.
Stay well and a Happy and Healthy New Year,
Ara and Spirit