Archive for January, 2015

Photos of the past, Words of the present. TX

Friday, January 16th, 2015

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“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”
~ Buddha ~

Ludwig in Las Vegas. PCTB 44

Another gray day, cold and windy, the solar is struggling while showing 12.2, sometimes 12.3. It is winter after all and we have it made compared to just a few miles North of us. This is when the thirst for Life leaves me dry trying to get into the moment and setting aside the too many questions and thoughts which arise from this barren Desert. We can sit still, we can close our eyes but time marches on. It does not ask for permission. Sunday will be a nice day, tires pressure was checked just a couple days ago and we shall be ready for the road ahead. There are still many spaces unknown to me in this area or if well known worth another visit. It is never ever alike the previous time. Must be that "time" thing!

Luna PCTB 58

And another with the same menu. Too cold and wet to cut some paneling for our "Cave" but there was hope this evening as I took on a glance of the sun in between the clouds. It has been a good day also while Skyping with a good Friend, Madeleine, or Missrider as her handle is, with whom we camped in Montana having the most wonderful relaxed times. Besides that, working on our Photo Coffee Table Book as I am half way done. I have already ordered a small sample of just 20 pages to make sure of the quality of Blurb and the fact that I picked a good paper for the printing. Choosing 60 photos throughout these past eight years has not been easy. I would have liked a couple hundred at least but it is not doable. The cost of 60 is already prohibitive!

The Boy and his Dog. PCTB 34

Today was the flip-side. Mr.Sun made its appearance all day and a good Friend showed up to do a bit more work on our roof! It is actually finished. We now have a six foot drop from the top facing East, meaning we will lose the sun on the hot days a couple hours earlier. More paneling in the "Cave", there is still so much to do but the fun part is coming up. One step at the time as my vision for it is starting to take shape. Somehow! Only a couple spaces now above and below the windows and I realize it will be time to paint! I have never done such work and videos sure help a lot including tips from other Friends here and there. A couple of my favorite words lately “trim” and “jumbo outlet covers”. For those who do this kind of work, you will understand. There is an order to follow as I thought I would do the vinyl flooring first but… painting has to be the next step.

Sunset towards Varney Bridge, MT 28

I started thinking how it came all about to name this space "The Oasis" as it seems so well suited. There is here such a strong sense of our Human condition separated from the rest of the World. Internet is indeed the only connection at times. The clock and a calendar often do not exist. Our Human condition here is never based on wishful thinking, only on observations exactly the way things are with no escape. All present can be so easily verified by the way things are. Life here is looked upon very simply in a very straightforward way. It is reality also marked with frustration and pain as I so much try daily to escape them and I do think I am doing a good job at it. I do because there is not "here" any attempt to secure a relationship with the "world out there". I don’t have to solidify my experiences in some concrete ways. We are changing as also the " world out there" is. Constantly. Everything is impermanent as also are the relationships with our surroundings.

Old Faithful PCTB 55

When I examine this notion of impermanence, this madness of news which I glance at times, I see that it is all pervading. I might think of an eternal consciousness principle, sometimes of a higher self I would like to achieve but realize that all is only made up of temporary mental processes and events as minute they can be while here. This "higher self" becomes speculative at best and too often imaginary to begin with. I realize so strongly that the idea to secure ourselves, to cement our relationships, all has only been invented. It is here that I can completely abandon the clinging that we normally feel or want to feel for some relief from our queasiness in anxious and uneasy times, even at the best of times.

Visual mirror, Riley WY PCTB 36

The reality of the present is Life itself. Time. Moments. Digging deep down, pain, impermanence and ego are indeed the three marks of existence. They are the few aspects of truth about Life. One is that frustration and pain are of reality. If we are honest with ourselves, there are times when it is downright miserable. That is when we try to sugar coat that underlying layer. Even when things are fine, when I look around throughout that weekly news burst I see others in the most appalling conditions. Children starving, terrorism, hatred, wars, intolerance, people being tortured. There is no escaping when the fonts are clearly black and white, sometimes colors when photos are also present and I can only think "how can that be?". So much suffering with a cause. The cause? We are merely trying to survive. We are constantly trying to prove our existence through the newness of it all which has been and is "Social Media". We can be extremely humble and self-deprecating, but even that is an attempt to define ourselves. We can be defined by our humility but the harder we struggle to establish ourselves, the more painful our experiences become.

Night time riding PCTB 21

But… all this cause of suffering can be ended. This struggle to survive, these efforts to prove ourselves and dig into the self gratification path is so unnecessary. It is the classic "why can’t we just get along"… as we can. We don’t have to prove we can survive as we do naturally survive. No malice, no judging while being simply direct and straight-forward. There are here no expectations. There is no "I think it should be like this or like that". Nature is what it is and as I abandon those expectations and accept them as face value, the relationships with my Friends and this World becomes very simple. I enjoy practicing being mindful of all the things so many torture themselves with. I enjoy mindfulness and awareness about the way things really are without complexity and manipulation.

White Sands National Monument, NM PCTB 27

There is one word which keeps bouncing these days while it’s projection is plastered on so many pages. That word again is "ego". Making it to the top… what top? The Freudian definition of that word is quite different from the Easterners practicing a truer path of Life. I smile when I think that "in the beginning" things were going very well. They say, and I do believe it, there was a kind of a primordial panic which produced confusion as I also think to these present days many are still confused. Identifying with this confusion trying to emerge and stay above the panic is what created the ego, that thin surface of an Ocean so deep and dark, too menacing for many. Ego deals with situations in only three ways so distinct, so cut and dry. If we like the experience we try to draw it in. If we dislike it, we try to push it away, if we feel neutral about it, we just ignore it. Labels of those experiences are too often used. Manipulation starts taking place as bags of tricks are then invented. The ego then can float on the surface a bit longer… It takes a life of its own and in the minds of many becomes a reality, a belief even though it is not. Back to “what top?”.

A Portal on the Pacific Ocean, Pizmo Beach, California PCTB 11

Ego these days has so much merged with materialism and consumerism. People killing each other on black Friday sales over a television set. Really? It is a craving never satisfied. "Look at me" in my 400hp fast car, check out this new faster and shinier phone I am using. Novelties wear out but we cannot let the ego wear out as we look upon the next magic glow still behind glass door not yet shipped or purchased. Maybe this pedestal we would like to stand on? It is not anymore using an item which becomes important, it is wanting it. Craving becomes an occupation like drinking salt water to quench our thirst. We know what we want because it said so in such and such advertising. We like predictability as the thought of a new possibility unheard of frighten us as we look upon with a fury at anyone who suggests anything innovative. What else can we call this aspect but "ignorance"? Blinders are worn to only look straight ahead, never to the right or left. Adamant!

A Star is born, Muley Point, Utah PCTB 9

The next step turns into fighting, acute aggression as we start building a wall of anger between ourselves and our experiences because the novelty wears out now so much faster after we have it plastered on all the pages of Social Media with the "look at me" "instant gratification fashion. The 15 minutes of fame these days has turned into the 15 seconds… We truly torture ourselves and fall into a frenzy to escape such torture which in turn causes us to fight even harder and get even angrier. Ironic? Yes. At some point we don’t even know anymore if we are fighting with ourselves or someone else. We are too busy and don’t even think about an alternative to such fighting which does not even occur to us.

Double Sunset, Texas PCTB 47

I always wonder about the liberation from all of the above and know it being the reason I so much like being on this island I call "The Oasis". There is and will always be a doubt and an inquisitiveness for something better but I am as possible happy to not be absorbed by the all consuming preoccupations of others. Is it possible to relate to the World as simple and dignified Human Beings?

Ara and Spirit PCTB 42

Enough rambling for today!

                                       Stay well,
                                                     Ara and Spirit