The Art Festival in Moab, Utah

Sunday, May 24th, 2009


Yes, I know this Journal is about adventures, travels, my good looking inseparable passenger wearing his goggles and helmet, people we meet, some photography, some maps, sometimes some recipes, the roads taken, and yet it seems often coming back to the core of my feelings that drives me forward day after day… My heart pours out on these pages, my heart pours out toward this comment from Ellen. I don’t know Ellen, I hope to sometime down the road.

mushrooms b  
love laugh  

I was drawn to your blog by the beautiful pictures and then I started reading. I was really struggling with watching my beloved husband battle the indignities of a prolonged war with cancer. I just couldn’t get my head and heart around what we were facing and how I was going to cope and support him. Your words, pictures and struggle helped me many, many times and I wanted to say thank-you, for being so honest and sharing what you are living at any given time. Lots of times in the middle of the night, my mind just won’t be quiet, I get up and look at your pictures and read the blog and I know I can go on at least one more day.”
  Ellen [quote]

We left alone 3 or so years ago. I dug deep, scratched my soul with my bare hands, I still do, I seeked over and over answers of questions I have now stopped asking. I stumble daily on this uncertain road and it seems yet that this little Journal here is humbly helping others. Yes of course it joys me to read those words, and at the same time saddens me knowing another soul also is going through that dark phase that Life manages to throw at us so sometimes nonchalantly. When someone else’s “now” suddenly lets in the dark shadows of our vulnerability to Life, so many around them are also taken in sliding that slippery slope toward a bottom too easily reachable, and yet so hard to get back up it’s walls. I speak for myself Ellen, but I think I can also speak freely for everyone reading your words “we are all here for you both”. Aren’t we?

red bridge  
BBQ deep fried

There was a rainbow tonight when Spirit and I arrived back to camp after a long day, a few stops on the way. I had for a couple hours much “fun” at the Moab Art Festival, an event which lasted all day in between the thunderstorms and the low gray clouds that have been lingering in this area these pasts days. I met some incredible photographers, glass bead and jewelry makers, the food was abundant reminding me of “Fair Food”, the Music was playing and the local Taiko Drum Teams where a hit, full of Life, giving out Life, these youngsters with so much yet ahead of them.

band guitar c
guitar a guitar b

It has been a long time taking photos of other than Mother Nature and the change was challenging and pleasant all at the same time. As I went through them tonight, maybe because of time I have, maybe a mood induced by the weather, I decided for the first time to manipulate some of it’s colors, actually only one. I wanted a bit of the characters to stand out, background maybe to match a bit of the atmosphere of the day, a happy one and yet not a bright one unlike the days filled with sunshine we have had.

jumping girl  
drummer girl  

The youngsters where everywhere, look at that smile, can you not smile back?

baby a baby b

What a beautiful child, what a “Gift”, what a miracle, and this one’s expression below…

blonde baby  

These are my “happy mood” photos… I waited, and waited, camera pointed and suddenly he noticed me, I cannot help laughing at his expression. The adults, well, that is a different story, I don’t have such a long lens so I get caught sometimes…

woman in orange  

…and sometimes not!

woman in red woman a
waffle lady woodstock lady

Well, my own afternoon did not end up filled with joy truly as suddenly, as they say, with a vengeance my ear decided to let me know of a mind of it’s own. I had been already thinking about heading to Grand Junction, Colorado, on Monday, and camp out at St Mary’s Hospital parking lot for the emergency room and eventually see an ear, nose and throat Dr. The teeth are now fine, they did have much needed work, the ear is not.

woman in blue b  
  tie dye

After taking Spirit for a short stroll, a short ride ensued and a few blocs away I joined the Medical Festival going on. I was lucky to have a good Dr on call and the prognosis truly is of a complicated and painful one. It is called “Trigeminal Neuralgia”, sounds important and a true non sense even though described as “People with the condition are begging to be killed”. Trust me that I was almost there this afternoon. Basically translated in English, the main nerve navigating throughout the jaw has been pressured so long by a blood vessel that it has lost it’s protective layer. Looking back this is nothing new, but has always been a mild ear ache at times which I always attributed to riding. The years are stacking up, I do have medication for it now which will not do a thing for at least a week and is a nerve numbing of some sort. Not crazy about all this.

greek pastries  
eyes of a dog  
covered chair photographers

So I am a bit taken back by the situation. I have been reading a lot about it, my plan to get a second opinion in Grand Junction still remains and so does coming and going this excruciating pain making me wonder if Van Gogh maybe had this problem in mind also. The medication is a real “whammy”… it is Monday now, one a day for one week, building it up to three a day as I can understand why, it is a nerve medication, one that actually controls seizures as eventually will control this nerve exposed freely to pain. It is an obscure condition as no one knows exactly how to diagnose it except from the patient’s say so, no one knows the dosage needed, only from trial and error. That is if a second opinion concurs.

man and his bicycle helmet

How can I say this? My pain, physical, at times mental, does not phase me much. When it does, my memory only has to go back a few years and watch the frames of a past Life unroll from this spool from which within Lance himself has suffered so much. My own pain is nothing compared and again his own thoughts and courage has been passed on for me to go on braving the moments as he himself has done. We both live quite a Life I must say… it is rich, and again as I know he also does, I can only “Thank You” for coming along on this ride.

smoothie island  

Almost three years of Photography is finally in order on Smug Mug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Utah the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through Smug Mug. If you like to order prints, all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload them on the Galleries.

Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated.

Be well…

Ara & Spirit






















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8 Responses to “The Art Festival in Moab, Utah”

  1. Ginny Says:

    “I dug deep, scratched my soul with my bare hands.”

    These are some of the most profound words ever. You never fail to evoke such emotional responses with words like these that pour out of your head. Your journey is your canvas and you paint it brilliantly. Big hugs to you Ara.


  2. A Lady's Life Says:

    Gosh Ara, you are breaking my heart.

    I hate pain and I felt pain and I took care of people in pain.

    I dislike nerve medications because they affect the brain and once you begin, you can’t stop them cold turkey.
    If you need to take them, take as small an amount as you can.
    I have never heard of this ear nerve thing before.
    Fybromyalgia yes, Parkinsons yes (did you know there are two kinds? One treatable and the other one with lesions, not.
    Doctors forget to mention this little difference)

    I am so glad you are doing this. Going out into the fresh air, breathing in God and nature, enjoying peace and solitude as only nature can provide as well as the glory of the sun. You can watch the anger of nature as it yells at man to stop, reflect and be good.
    God Bless you and hope you feel better real soon.

  3. Artful RV Adventurer Says:

    Truly sorry for your bouts with pain lately, ara. Hopefully the meds will kick in soon. Pain is a distraction… and we all need you at your best, now more than ever. Take care of yourself, and stop in if you come near Ouray…
    friends Mark and Bobbie.

  4. mq01 Says:

    Ara and Spirit,
    You have left me with no words that can possibly express the feelings that your post and pictures have brought to me today. Be well. Be safe. Continue to take in and share all the wonders and joys that this great country of ours and the people within it provides. I ride with you my friend, in mind, body, and spirit.

  5. Louise Says:

    Yes, we are here for you and Ellen, both. People are kind and will reach out to offer you hugs, shoulders, hands and hearts as needed. It doesn’t cure, but I hope it helps.

    I wish you both some relief from your pain, either of the heart or the ear, or both.

  6. Kelly Says:

    So sorry to hear about the Trigem. Neur.( Tic delal.) I too suffered with this for 1 year. Mine started when I had a very deep filling done at the dentist. The nerve was exposed and damaged. ( Dentist would not admit to it ) I went many months with no clear diagnosis. Finally was put on Tegratol after losing sleep, weight and nearly my life…. Horrible…. After a few months on the meds. it finally backed off. I was to the point of having the nerve severed . Needless to say I am always leery of any dental work now.
    Please accept my deepest understanding of what you are going through.

  7. Pat Says:

    Ara, my wife has been fighting that condition for the past two years…..watching her when she goes thru recurent bouts is troubling. Hopefully, the meds you are taking will help as they have done nothing for her at all. The dentist that she goes to also has this condition and his was treated by surgery. Many will say don’t go that route but for him it was a blessing. Our son and daughter-in-law are both physicians and to hear them talk about the what options are available for treatment both concur there isn’t much. One thing they will say however is that pain is “real”! Should you in your quest for relief find the magic potient, please post it or send me an email. God Love You my friend….please give that wonderful companion of yours…a “pat on the head for me”

  8. conchscooter Says:

    My mind always turns to the issue of insurance and how the 50 million americans without insurance cope. Medicare for all real soon, I hope, to make the adventure of daily living a little easier to take, for those unlike my family that does have coverage. A bake sale to pay for surgery always seems rather laughable to me, not so the denial of payment that so frequently comes with insurance coverage.Don’t forget to tell us how much the jaunt to Colorado cost. Love doesn’t satisfy insurance companies.

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