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"We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendships we can create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone"
~ Orson Welles ~
We had a visit from a new Friend yesterday. We have been trying to hook up since the days past of us being in Big Bend always to no avail. So here we are and coincidence, he does not live too far. The best plans I always think are "no plans" and let Life do its thing. It generally does. Chuck showed up spoiling me with wild caught sockeye salmon [over a pound of it!], some of those wonderful small golden potatoes, zucchini and squash. You are the Chef he said as I then took over and did my thing. The salmon was wrapped in foil with garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, green onions and a new find of mine "Mexican Sour Cream". The brand is "La La". Give it a try, it is addicting and trust me that you will never buy regular sour cream again! A nice fire in the pit waiting for the coals to steam the salmon, the rest in a pan also with garlic, Ghee [clarified butter] and some olive oil. I never use salt and Chuck was surprised how then tasty all was on its own delightful real taste of the ingredients. And yes, we ate it all to my surprise!
I am today worn out as I decided to spend one more night in the Forest before slowly heading towards Alpine where we will store the trailer/sidecar for a while. It was the most of a physical therapy as I call it I had done since my hip replacement. Worn out but feeling good! The more physical therapy one does, the better all feels the next day. Laziness only brings up pain to the surface. I got lazy a few days past and felt it the next day. It rained all night, foggy morning and damp. Luckily the temperature is going up but Chuck left early seeing a clearing window in the forecast. Tenting with a motorcycle. Those days for us are pretty recent and I smiled thinking "tent 0, camper 1"…
Peacefulness, silence, serenity and the breathing is deep and calm. We got "there", we arrived at these "moments" pretty quickly. I missed them so much that at times I look around me almost afraid that this very present moment is going to escape me. I have to reassure myself that it will not. This present is the ultimate as I cannot even put it in words and wish it on everyone to experience it. It is "nothing" and yet, it is "all". Just the fact that we are spending another night here, that decision based more on vibes than anything else as maybe I don’t like to move around on Sundays makes me happy, slows me down. We have nine days to reach Alpine. More or less 700 miles. Plenty of time… Lingering!
We have another new Friend, Donna, coming by today and bringing us lunch! She stopped by yesterday with her cute and well behaved seven years old daughter who took on to Spirit so quickly and when I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up said "a Veterinarian"!!! I hope she does. It is so cool to already know at such an early age what we would like to be. I knew at five years old that I wanted to cook and had started baking cakes. Pretty awful ones I hear. The rain has started again so we will sit and have lunch in the camper as one more time my thought is now "tent 0, camper 2". Reality of facts… I think we are having spaghetti.
So I am now wondering a bit what is happening. We only have been on the road three days and this will be the third Friend we spend time with as the first night we also visited a long time Friend, Cindy, who is a camp host in an RV Park as she kindly comped us a night and with her better half took us to a delicious Italian dinner! Am I being spoiled or what? These are some nice new beginnings I must say. Very nice.
More road today Westbound in the heart of Texas, surprisingly all foreign to me. We really never had a chance to explore this area and we might stay here a bit longer than planned. Remember? "The best plans are no plans…". All can change from one day to another, from in reality one nano second to another. I very rarely listen to music when riding and it seems to be the same when driving. Engine noise has always been my tunes. I started comparing riding and driving and decided that I can call them both "helmet times". Helmet time is thinking time when the mind’s door opens up and the thoughts from nowhere start flowing. Driving is definitely not as exciting as riding, it is the wind on my face that I miss as I am not quite ready to stick my head out of the window!
Helmet time always seems to start with a question and as I am as human as anyone else I seek for answers which if materializes opens up the path on how I came about with such an answer. It occupies me besides being, for myself, interesting and opens up some facets of Life’s passages I had not thought about for quite a while if ever. My memory has been a question mark lately and I brought it up again this morning. I had met a few days ago another gentleman in the Forest that also was camping and yesterday bumped into each other again while he reminded me that we had talked a couple days ago. I had forgotten and I don’t know why but a white lie came out of my mouth while saying "Oh! yes… I didn’t recognize you because you have a hat on today…". What a stupid thing to say even though it turned out to be true! Yet, I can remember some names of my classmates 55 or 60 years ago. Names of teachers, what they looked like even if all in between there are some obscure times.
While thinking about my ancient past I asked myself, and this is not the first time, "what am I doing here?", "how did I get here today?… now". Of course I know the answer of this long Journey which has now taken 68 years, yet, it always astonishes me. I came from thousands of miles away, from this little town in France called "Coulommiers" about 60 kilometers from Paris. I hitchhiked many times through Europe, the Middle East, Africa and any of those regions could have been my Life’s stop at one point but it was obviously not so. I have totally lost touch with any of my classmates whether in France or the three years of Culinary School in Switzerland. Anyone I met throughout the Journeys. My Father, Mother, only Child, everyone is gone. Never had brothers or sisters. And now I think, excuse the expression "it really sucks…". I feel fortunate to have a few good Friends in my Life. Kind, loving, respectful, honest and always there as I am also for them. I feel fortunate to also be surrounded with many kind acquaintances while here and there we exchange realistic thoughts.
I feel like a game’s token, a movable piece that has fallen from the box it belonged into another game it does not belong to. I am not alone but it is often a lonely feeling. A foreign one as the rules of this game I was thrown into are still obscure to me and yet I try to navigate its path. I know the game I came from, I remember it but I don’t know what shape I am. I wonder if Monopoly has a little sidecar? Maybe they do have a little dog. Why was all rearranged? How? Is the Earth that small? Was it just a walk on the wild side on the East Coast at first and now feeling more at home and content on the vast spaces of the West? The path could have been different. Of course it could have. I could have had many brothers and sisters, half a dozen kids, parents still alive and together happily married after 50 years… Could’ve… Should’ve… We all know the drill but can’t help continuing asking the questions. We might discover sometime something we didn’t know. Maybe?
And yet, my faith in Life and people never diminishes even if astonished at times witnessing what is happening in this World of ours. If all the hardship and sadness of our existence would be taken away, we must realize that Life itself is a beautiful thing and at the same time, I myself, know that without such sadness and hardship I would have not discovered that fact. I would not be who I am today if when we left ten years ago I would have been a millionaire driving around a two million dollar camper and staying at all the five star resorts in the country. I would have never found that depth that keeps me going. I would have only been skimming the surface… As once again this Mayan quote comes back to mind "It is through pain we gain wisdom". I know as a fact now it is so true…
Helmet time, indeed!
Ara and Spirit