Tentative Book excerpts and covers. TX

Monday, January 13th, 2014

"I have seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts."         
~ John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley”.

It has been three months since the start of writing this book now going into a third edit, after we take a long break into the Park. That would be Big Bend National Park.

Ara Spirit Print 1600 x 2400 FRONT BOOK

Front cover

…my buddy Spirit who patiently sat by me while filling these pages, as I heard him say one day “Everyone has a dog, can we also get one so I will have someone to play with while you are writing?”

…for more reasons than one, I am ready to put it all down on paper. I hope I can do it. It is a personal challenge which will take me through the steps that have led us here, seven years later, two wanderers and a freedom sought dictating their whereabouts.

…there really was no beginning as there will be no end. It is all in the imagination. A human made concept to make us believe so. This book has no chapters, it is a continuous life story. Chapters are only moments put together back to back creating these illusions we have been so programmed with. The reality of Life is in the Heart. Timeless. There is however within all of us, a first breath and a last one. I witnessed both…

Where is Home? It is on the road, it is at the small cafe, in the sparkle of our eyes, in the smiles returned, in the sleep on the ground and the pictures painted by the stars above. Life is in the living, life is now. Tomorrow has no guarantees and yesterday has passed. Today is the time of life as all other times are just memories and dreams. Enjoy the day, today is living as living should be. Life is in our hearts as we travel this great land. Worries are few for the chosen few. The ones who have made it a reality to enjoy life for what it can be and what it isn’t for so many years are few. We look at others and only wish they were free too…

As Spirit also writes…It has been cold tonight, I am wondering when he is going to get my coats out again. My hair is so short, especially under my neck and belly, that only my shivering gives him that hint of covering me. I don’t like to lay down right in front of the heater because it dries up my nose, the sunburn I get while riding is bad enough. I do need to thank him for the sunscreen at times, and also for removing that stupid windshield on which I kept bumping my head and was blocking all the good oncoming smells. So yes, I love to ride, feel the wind, the faster the better and the smells are like being in Heaven. They do however, sometimes, pass by too quickly, not letting me savor them. I have my own Ural sidecar, wish it was a BMW like his, but, oh! Well, it does have a BMW emblem on it. I fake it. My buddies who see me at least think so. They have to walk, I ride. I am not a mean dog, but it is my job to protect this rig of ours. Sometimes he is happy when I growl, even bark, sometimes he tells me to quit. I have a hard time distinguishing when I should and when I should not. So I do it to be on the safe side. Humans can be funny about this kind of behavior. I often feel they don’t know what they want…

The frost was everywhere on some January mornings. Christmas had been quiet, the same with New Year’s Eve. Nothing had changed here in the desert. It did not recognize the dates or probably forgot about them. We spent much time at The Oasis with the memories of the past years when the common denominator of good times, happy ones filled with love was family. We had shrunk but the heart was reopening, filled with warmth. A huge present came my way through one of the many phone calls with my Mother. She was coming to the States for at least a month and also wanted me to have a dwelling of some sort at The Oasis. It was time to change gears, get organized, look at a calendar, even a clock. This was big news, good news. We decided to meet in Atlanta, 1200 miles or so away…

Those days led to more riding a bit over my head. Too much confidence and not the right vehicle for the roads taken which were technically impassable for Old Faithful. It also led to a new lesson and a word which I afterward often expressed out of need and not desire “U-turn”. We had no business going up Chicken Corners through Hurray Pass. All with tall sharp shelf-like ledges, hair pin turns I could not right off negotiate, and a deep water crossing which put an end to the rides for a while. Too much water. We did cross it while Spirit’s car filled up like a bath tub, we made it up to the last hill, and the engine died. That was a first. It was the end of the present in Moab, as we arranged to be towed to Salt Lake City for repairs. Costly…

As the conversation went on it became clear as to why the campground was crowded. Another surprise for the day. It was Columbus Furlong Day. A celebration for Pancho Villa when he rode into town from Mexico over 100 years ago. There will be much going on when 100 horsemen from Mexico will meet 100 horsemen from the nearby towns on our side of the border and ride in together. A promising parade. I could not believe my luck while I rode back to camp to get my camera gear. Such good timing. The day was truly memorable. It started with the parade. Colorful riders of all ages, beautiful horses, flags flying and over 200 horses. All lasted a long time. Pancho Villa finally showed up, a look alike of course with costume and all, and as he saw Spirit in his car, he rode off the parade route, came behind us and asked to have his picture taken with him. I love that photo! The main square opened up, a stage for the many singers that afternoon, vendors set up selling candies, clothing, boots, you name it. The children were running around, there was friendship in the air and us in the middle of it. I then found out about the free food. A huge pot was set up on a burner and someone was making fajitas for 1000, stirring it all with a paddle just as big…

Nearing the little town, I saw a couple choppers in the air and smoke coming up from a bit further away. I heard gun shots. As we got a bit closer and pulled over, some dark silhouettes were running around in military gear. More shots, smoke. They must be in the midst of filming a movie I thought as I stood up and watched, excited about the show unraveling. None of it lasted too long. The smoke blew away, the choppers flew away, sirens were now in the distance and we entered the park looking for a good spot for the night…

The backdrops were of the most humanly possible beauty. The spaces of serene textures as one would think the mind could only sink in and find a certain absolution enunciating a signature that would remain for times to come. The main paved roads unfortunately, as the season was coming to an end and many came for those last days, often annoyed me. It was the tailgaters too close for comfort. I could see them in my rear view mirrors. Their eyes so clearly like pin balls going back and forth from their speedometers to us, and sometimes, even glowed like little balls of fire. I could only imagine what they were saying. When we would arrive at a straightaway, double yellow line or not, changing gear with a cloud of smoke they passed us. Then of course, they were stopped a few miles ahead, vehicle mostly on the road, window down and door ajar on the traffic lane, taking a photo. Soon after, the game started over…

Ara Spirit Print 1600 x 2400 REAR Cover

                                                                                                                             Back cover

Happy Sunsets 2014 calendar LuLu Journal

2014 Calendar

Stay well,
              Ara and Spirit

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6 Responses to “Tentative Book excerpts and covers. TX”

  1. Desert Scruff Says:

    The writing and editing has paid off, Ara. It reads very well.

  2. texascindy Says:

    So good!! I am loving it! Familiar stories but with a new life. Can not wait. Hugs!

  3. Randy Says:

    What a tease, I can’t wait for the book to come out!

  4. Markco Hendricks Says:

    Looking forward to the read Ara

  5. scruffy Says:

    looking forward to the book Ara, and especially like that you gave Spirit room for his interpretation ~ two sides to every story. Be well and warm you two ~

  6. Gary lytle Says:

    A piece of art just like your photo’s, reads like we are there with you and spirit. You do good work, God Bless and protect.

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