“All of our Lives” in the Desert. Tx

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

“Our lives are woven from a melody of calls that draws us out and help us define ourselves” ~ David Spangler ~ [The Call]

“The Day of the Dead”, Terlingua, November the 2nd, has now come and gone. It is always an emotional gathering, some might not understand it, how can one “celebrate” the Dead? I remember I did not myself when exposed to it the first time, or even the second time. It is always also a pleasant get together with the locals, much food is brought, sounds of guitars, big bon fire, candles lit on every grave, all is surrounded by much conversations. Most are living full time here, the locals meaning, some spend the few hot months away, but all are so aware of the compromises this Desert demands to be part of what now to me shows up as an “elite group”, a “community” I so much feel more and more I am part of, we are part of. So many come, land is inexpensive. They see the prices hovering from $150 to $200 an acre. The temptation is too great, the imagination runs wild, they buy land, they want to live here, permanently or maybe part time. I always joke and say “this is at the end of the World” when one asks me of it’s geographical location. The land is purchased and yet the dreams are quickly broken as most parcels remain inhabited when showing off the true colors of what it takes to live here.

Day of the Dead  

Life here, moments, time, nights and days, all can fly by and does at an alarming rate. “And what do you do all day?”. I have dozens of answers for that one. Never been an issue for us, the flow has always trickled down as the path allows. Now, with the task of writing a Book and a Cookbook, well, the hands of a clock are coming in to play a major role. Of course hands of a clock alone is not going to make anything happen, my internal discipline which has long disappeared is the culprit which will make it all happen. Not difficult and yet not easy as “all day” there is “stuff” to do and places to go. There are mental breaks, physical ones also in the form of a nap when specially staying up too late because I got up too late, a matter of catching up on time, an illusion here. I witness others which come to the Desert, even my Friend Shawn who was here for a few days and well versed in survival which he actually teaches, and I can now honestly say that no one has as clue of the needed motions to survive in this space and fully live in harmony. It is an acquired knowledge. Mental and physical.

Day of the Dead  
Day of the Dead  

Water is gold here, it is so much as we do not want sharing our shower, (but we do!), we watch the flow and listen to the water pump as if it was our own heart beat going a bit too fast internally wondering when it will stop, as also listening to the little voice going on “it’s enough… it’s enough…”. We dress up warm in the cold, heating has not only become expensive, it is the round trips to have bottles refilled or for the more fortunate ones in possession of a big tank to have the propane truck come in. It is the fact to have the ingredients available to sustain our certain hunger and cook them, as hard enough it is to find those ingredients in the towns surrounding us. Shopping is at a great expense not only due to their higher costs, but for the fuel used on such round trips.

Mr Death  
Day of the Dead  

Above it all there is a serenity we seek for, we thrive for, a privacy which has made us compromise our entire path of Life, a “Lifestyle” we have created encompassing not only the mental aspect of it all but also resulting in enabling us to have water often hauled from miles away or at great expense built a rain catchment apparatus which itself needs to be filtered, the need for propane for heat, refrigeration, cooking, power obtained and created by solar panels and expensive peripherals, generators for the cloudy days when the sun is not going to provide us the necessary voltage. The little towns are far, 30 to 40 miles on one side, about 60 miles on the other. There is a motion in the usage and the quantity of the goods used including food that needs to come to a need to purchase all at the same time to avoid unnecessary trips for each, instead being all purchased in parallel at the same time.

Day of the Dead  

We live in dust, the winds often blow at a constant rate even making us wonder when it will end. We eat it, we breath it, we even drink it in our water filled from a big jug to a smaller jug and then on to an even smaller bottle. We live in “dirt” as I call it, but “clean dirt”. All is beyond staying clean. I could not help smiling, internally laughing, when a neighbor Friend who had her camper here had spend all winter, when returning it north, cleaning it and yet not to her satisfaction. Of course we try, most everything needs a cover as in one hour even a phone laid flat on an indoor surface will have it’s first layer of dust. There is no dress code here, no one looks at each other for what they are wearing. Holes are present often, tears are not mended, colors do not match, (as I smile), hats are of many shapes and materials sometimes not even designed for that purpose. I have taped moccasins because of their holes so they can hold up and use them a bit longer, we shave or do not shave, we comb our hair when we feel like it, we skip a day or two showering when the weather is cold and we have not moved much. We all joke here saying “showers are overrated”. None of the above is a “crime” as most Urban living one’s might think and probably say out loud “Oh! my God…”.

Day of the Dead  
Day of the Dead  

The prize is huge, for most that do understand what living as such can bring to one’s Soul and Mind. It is what one cannot buy. It has to be created willingly as slowly when the inner wealth appears, the physical wealth slowly will have no importance whatsoever. None. We are all the same here. Might be an Adobe dwelling of any size and shape, a camper, an RV, a water tower, a shipping container, a tent, an old ruin without a roof within the Ghost Town in Terlingua, we are all the same with the greatest common denominator called and named “respect” within this community living so physically distant from each other, and yet so ready on the call to help each other in times of need. We all know about our compromises to be on this land, there is no need to talk about it, it is an understanding we all have here.

Day of the Dead  
Day of the Dead  

Ara & Spirit

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Shawn's Bike  
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2 Responses to ““All of our Lives” in the Desert. Tx”

  1. Maureen Says:

    Beautiful post Ara. Thank you.

  2. Lyle Says:

    it’s a lot like living out in the asteroid belt, isn’t it? A frontier, of sorts. Many aspects of life there would be good to incorporate into the most urban of lives– respect, consolidating trips to the store, helping your neighbors. Beautifully described.

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