“Life was not meant to be easy, you have been given the hardest test there is, but you have to make it and pull through”. ~ My Mother  ~
Editing our book, I stumbled upon a paragraph I had written a few years back, a good insightful day on the road while asking myself some questions, or maybe it was the space we were in which asked me those questions. A few days ago, before coming across the paragraph in question, I asked myself the same questions while writing those few words in our journal. I guess I had not found the answers, yet. These two different writings are six years or so apart. I need to start believing that our lifestyle today is the real way of Life. The one we started over seven years ago. That would be for us of course, tastes varies… However, moralities do not, or should not.
From a few years ago…
"Whitney Pocket impacted me much that day. We took a circular hike around it and ended up crawling through a window in the rocks which led to a chamber with no roof and walls covered with Petroglyphs. The colors streaked with moss of shades I had never seen before. From yellows to mauve, magenta and all in between. This is what my friend Michael wanted me to experience. I crawled through that opening as I had crawled through life those past years so much in touch with the environment, maybe too much sometimes. I knew many would only see these rocks as photos and memories. I saw them that day in direct correlation with my own life filled with unimaginable shapes and colors, textures each so different as the days of this journey. I felt as only wanting to be left alone and spend days, maybe weeks, feeling the silent vibrations of those walls. These rocks did not need me, I needed them. They belonged there as I also did. I felt as though they kept me on a straight line while present and afraid once we left, the tentacles of the outside world would again pull me sideways. So much beauty laid out in front of me. Why could not life itself be the same? I started wondering where did it all go wrong and how all here was so right? Present was the other side of the coin where few reached, and even if here, had they felt what I was feeling being so much what I always sought in deep contrast from the urban life. Away from the hot streets of steaming oils throughout the heat of the days, the air filled with smoke from the constant running machines, cars or otherwise, all allowing the masses to follow their daily patterns with the bells and whistles of clocks and their reminding alarms from cell phones and horns. Crawling through the portal led me to peace. Riding through the cities always coerced me to the billboards planted up high toward the skies as to not miss the materialism they said should complement our lives. The needs present here in the now, all perfect again. Petroglyphs lasted centuries, the billboards will always be torn down to depict shinier, bigger and faster objects brainwashing so many minds with more “must haves” filled with desires. This “here”, my choice and such a privilege to be among the remains of a culture still present even if having moved a bit further up the roads. We left at some point not having planned to stay overnight. My hunger had only been given a tiny morsel to taste. I promised myself to come back, well prepared for at least a week or maybe longer.
From a few days ago…
I am sitting facing West this evening, looking at my walls, or more exactly through the lack of them, contemplating the changes of the landscapes taking place. Spirit is laying by me also content, as he always is. No photos tonight, I cannot let the camera come in between us. I will not share and not allow for the dynamics to change. With deep breath taken I am enjoying our home. No stucco, sheet rocks, roof or windows. Could these years have taken me too far while maybe, only maybe, this is how it was all designed to be? Such question is always so controversial to me. It was indeed the design going back the many years ago. All has mostly changed now. I do take photos, not today, but I have never bought one. I don’t have to, I constantly share with Mother Nature their true sources. What I call “the real thing”. Not the ones printed in those mat or luster finish stuck too often in a frame measuring what someone else’s mind has thought would be the right width and height according to a sofa or a coffee table.
My own paintings, photos, which I say mine but do not own, they change by the minute, truly by the second. They disappear and like magic reappear as if another artist has now their name up on the marquis. I pause, turn around, East, West, all corners are blending. There is no start and no end, no borders, there just is. There are no opening hours, no schedule and I did not have to travel. Not these past times. The skies with no moon shuts down dimming the daylight allowing the stars to show off. When they themselves take a break, the sun is sent out and lightens up the show. It is always amazingly the same artist, the one so many, including at times myself, tries to imitate with a man made contraption called a camera.
They are memories for me because I do often use one, I must say with now a much lesser faith towards a present past reality never to preserve that moment. A glance of what once was for those minutes or hours, even days, I was there, here or anywhere. I share those same memories on these pages, that is all they are. I just happen to be here or there with my buddy next to me. I am not on a whirlwind scheduled commercialized photographic adventure, or "agenda" since that would include a schedule and our life has such a lack of it. I don’t defunct those memories with Photoshop to lure a buyer with what was, as no one has the ability to ever duplicate those moments, trying to create a better or even alike replica of Mother Nature’s doing as much as I try to respect such which they call art, yet not a reality so cherished.
Wherever we are, my own personal Gallery is always present. How lucky can one be not having to check a clock or calendar for opening or closing hours. Sometimes the canvas is bland as behind the dark clouds of a gray ceiling when colorless the unseen shapes are being reshuffled with a magic wand waiting for curtain to rise again. At other times, rain washes it all away and the changes became more profound. Lightning and thunder taking place when one can read in between the lines as the fonts change spelled by the strikes of the powerful branded fire bolts. How about then raising the same curtain exposing a beautiful rainbow?
It is all so amazing I find as over the years the connection has deepened to this point which has brought up that question "Could this be the real Life?" Have we really advanced or is it more we have gone backwards loosing touch of this "real" reality which daily faces me in my own fashion. Are more hiding behind the man made walls only for short and scheduled times sticking their heads out yet not truly seeing the enormity of our original stage, the one so generously given to us many years ago to enjoy. The one today which has shrunk overtaken by cities, industries, freeways and so much more that parks have sprouted with gates and fences keeping us out and only letting us in while being counted by a clicker. How ironic all this is!
I am at the mercy of the artist. Our activities revolve around those paintings. It is never quite my choice. There is no imperfection ever, there just is the moment and us needing shelter on days as today when a wintry act crashes in on this ongoing canvas. A few degrees colder, the low clouds are covering Nine Points east of us hanging low not quite deciding which way to go. I watch them as they roll incessant in their changes of shapes. Tomorrow, maybe tired of it all, a splash of blue and a sun resting through that particular day might come back keeping us warmer. We go along, this is one aspect we have no say.
Up in the middle of the night, the clouds must have been pushed away and the temperatures rose enough as I sit timeless and shrink, the skies overcoming me. Dozens at the time as my eyes adjust to the darkness, the stars multiply so delicately. One by one placed in their own order filling the above darkness turning the skies into a white blanket. And this morning, the horizon lined with an orange glow slowly rising the curtain up toward the blue skies, the moon in its thinnest crescent decided to race the sun and emerged head first beating it to the punch. Maybe we have been out too long without any walls to contain us. I do seem however having come a long way exiting the tunnel we entered in years past into our own landscape to enjoy, feel and yes, also share through photos!
And today, my deadline has creeped up on me. I forgot February being a short month as I glanced up the calendar this morning and I see, to my surprise with a bit of a shock, it is March First. A “Duh!” moment as I call them. There are always a few of those throughout our times on the road. I try to keep them down but they do appear challenging me. This one is. I have seven days left to put on a final polish on this book. We just went food shopping a couple days ago, the quickest round trip to Alpine ever taken, only four hours. I take breaks here and there, mainly facing our horizons taking it all in, this landscape no one owns, free for the taking and admiration. That would be in “Real Life”.
And if you stared at this one long enough…?
Ara and Spirit