The eternal circle… Texas

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

There are things in Texas worse than a mere fifty miles of rock and sand. I’d rather be broke down and lost in the wilds of Big Bend, any day, than wake up some morning in a penthouse suite high above the megalomania of Dallas or Houston. – Edward Abbey

sunset e

Familiar drafts lately. My soul has again become heavy within this space suddenly feeling more as a corner than the vast fields surrounding me. The curtain drops, questions arise from this luggage I have tucked away but cannot and never will lock up, the curtain rises and the lid opens up. It is dark inside, the voice cannot be heard anymore, laughter and smiles have been gone forever, what am I to do I wonder as I sit on this lonely chair under a sky which tonight is even absent from the brightly lit stars. “Dam” I say over and over not knowing what else to say. Everything around me suddenly looses it’s value. I feel as my strength becomes weaker unable to hold it all up, hold it all together as I once promised. I try so hard to keep that promise going, keeping my word, building up my spirituality to only at times fall again and shed my tears that will just not stop. I am sometimes so tired.

sunset c

I should not think about what I write as I scrawl for myself. That is besides it all one more question that has emerged in the midst of this present time, so undesirable and yet so real too often. Writing heals my scars and “why” then I think others reading this would surely object to it’s darkness? My selfishness on this pages has to prevail, my self-centeredness cannot deviate, otherwise would be taking me deeper and deeper into those moments of despair I so hard try to avoid. I have shut down the passageway of this cocoon I hide in, I cannot know that anyone else will read these words when I write them as they lift the somber weights embedded so deeply within me.

sunset b 

And why tonight? Why not earlier? or maybe tomorrow? why now?… “I will be wiser tomorrow” I heard not too long ago, but we are not tomorrow as then the curtain might probably be down again and if I don’t write these words today it just might rise back up. It is as waves incoming, hitting the banks of anything left in it’s way taking away the pieces to make room for brighter days. I know they are also present. The cycles don’t seem to ever stop and as often as they happen the strength of it’s storm never diminishes even so mildly. I have to let time go by, it is with my writing my only other healing tool left, but sometimes the wait for the brighter moments seem to take so long as forever a circle so slowly drawing it’s line to close itself.

sunset a

And is it really I wonder “being wiser”? I often like to think so but I know it is not the case in this scenario playing itself over and over. There is no warning when the lights go out and this murky stage appears within my shadows. I thread lightly and yet the clarity remains absent for so long, too long. I know it is time for us to move on, let Mother Nature guide us toward her wonders we have not experienced yet, and some also maybe we have, some that have left us so breathless that once again I want to feel it’s own strength maybe refilling mine. As I was looking at my Archives I realized that this time last year we were in Utah amongst the red colors so vibrant for a heart sometimes dulled by such present unbalance.


We are never free, freedom, true unrestrained times do not exist regardless of how we live either such as us on the road or any other way we feel suited from our constant desires or needs. We will most likely be here till April 15th or so. A couple new tires have to arrive, as always again and again since they will not soon stop rolling, a Doctor’s final visit on the 7th and arranging the logistics of all this filled bag of prescriptions I take unfortunately without a sign of any kind of Health Insurance, which only hangs up on me when trying to join. Health Insurance is only for the Healthy! How ironic can that be?


And yet in the midst of it all, there was a ray of sunshine due to the presence of a couple readers from Alaska that suddenly pulled in into The Oasis mid afternoon, leaving us with memories which I know will linger when this too as they say “shall pass”. On the phone with a Friend, deeply engaged in a conversation, camping in the middle of nowhere as I still like to call this “camping”, suddenly a truck with a trailer, Alaska plates, pulls in. I wave with no idea who is here, I wave a bit more as my conversation was not yet over. I am looking, still have no clue, while this couple gets out and starts piling up some wood on my existing logs. “How nice” I tell my Friend, “Guess what? Two strangers have just pulled up and are adding to my wood! Does that ever happen to you?”.


It turns out to be Mike and Louise, almost as good as a Movie intro, as they have themselves been on the road for 14 months traveling basically the same path we have, and have been reading the Blog since the beginning. Mike was in the Air Force for 5 years and Coast Guard for 15, the Flag comes up, a welcome sight, and there is no rest for the remainder of the day… only when dinner was served. Just as everyone in this Big Bend Valley who lives so differently, everyone on the road also has their particular ways of living. Mike is a doer and I now know that his plan was not only to visit us, but to better our fire ring, give me some maps, some new routes and a cook book for when we start using a Dutch Oven. Of course it was a surprise, not a daily event for sure.

fire ring a

fire ring b  

I really did not do a thing, I felt like Spirit, I just watched. Coincidentally as I was cooking for some Friends not too long ago, dinner created a dilemma. The problem was that we needed coals for grilling. Once we had coals, we had no fire for heat on this chilly night. Mike, unknowingly of my thoughts toward a solution, sure had one as this is the way they themselves create their own fire ring wherever they are for cooking and heat. Basically a second area covered by the grate where the coals can be pushed in while the fire continues heating us. Now we only need a shovel and of course… a chain saw as I noticed being his main tool! They mostly get their wood passing through towns, stopping at recycling centers. Today’s flavor was mesquite and 2×4’s for kindling. Of course, “Coast Guard”, flares to start the fire… all goes well together.

fire ring d

steaks a  

It did not take too long, the system worked with no flaws. I learned a lot, a bit surprised about areas I had never thought about visiting, specially for winter time mostly in Southern Arizona. They camp much in “Wildlife Refuge” areas, a permit to camp those spaces in Texas is only $12 a year including all the camping. Not a bad deal. Mike is an avid fisherman and hunter. those Refuge areas are perfect for them providing the many meals they themselves grill. And no, they do not have a web site or even for that matter a laptop. Just like in the good old days…

Mike & Louise

Thank you both, what a surprise.

Twenty nine months of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. 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.

Internet connections, bandwidth, cameras, fuel… they are all part of this Blog allowing page after page to be published. Contributions to the site are welcomed always. Maybe your reading is worth $1 a month…  

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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6 Responses to “The eternal circle… Texas”

  1. A Lady's Life Says:

    tremendous shots!!

    I love the skies.

    I remember one particularly disturbing sky driving through the Province of Ontario.
    I have a 5 ton Astro Van and of course it was fully loaded and had 4 people
    and two dogs inside.

    These rolling, black, low flying angry, clouds came out of no where.
    It was like something I have never seen before in my life.
    They came at us, as if to say, we know where you are.
    A wind gust suddenly came out of them, almost lifting us off the ground.

    We pulled over to the side of the road but there was no where to hide.
    We were sitting ducks and at this weathers bidding.
    Luckily it let us by 5- 10 minutes later.
    We high tailed it out of there as fast as we safely could.

    Weather can leave a lasting impression on you.
    We are never in control and only have a false sense of security.
    We are blessed in that we see more of its beauty that its ugly side.
    This was a sky I’d be happy never to see again. lol

    You seem to be having a great life.

  2. Louise Says:

    I have no objection to your darkness, other than wishing peace for a friend. Your writing helps you; so, write!

    Mike and (the other) Louise did a great job with the fire ring, and those steaks look fantastic.

  3. Allen Says:

    …and metal “t-posts” fence posts for a tripod to cook from…y’all have got it going on 🙂 Kudos to Mike and Louise, we need more folks like them in this world. This post gives me a lot to think about personally.


  4. Ginny Says:

    Ara, you write beautifully and your words have a deep meaning. They are poetic in their forlorn state. You write what is important, and that is one reason I keep coming back to visit you. Not to mention I think you are amazing and I’m honored to be able to call myself your friend. Hug the pooch for me please.

    Love and hugs,

  5. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara,
    Your relentless honesty is just one of the many things that keeps us returning to your blog. To hide the blue thoughts and show only the sunny days would be patronizing. The truth is we all have blue thoughts, but many of us are unable or too embarrassed to put them into words. Why should we be embarrassed and hide our blue thoughts? It does not seem right, I suppose it’s just an unfortunate thing about our culture. I’m not a doctor, but I don’t believe medicine has a magic cure for the suffering that comes from bouts of depression, only some degree of relief from time to time. And relief is a good thing when it is available and the pain is severe. But without a magic cure, putting it into words is one of the positive things we can do to take some control over it. The dark clouds in your pictures and described by your readers are certainly familiar to me, too. I also remember a few times in my life when the clouds were particularly dark and thick, that the horizon was brightened by the arrival of a friend, just like your friends Mike and Louise. The life you share with us all around you in your neighborhood in Texas and circle of friends, and that we follow on your blog, has many dimensions . Perhaps that’s what makes it so fascinating and brings us back again and again. We think we want sunny days and cheerful thoughts every day year round. But that is our little human dream, not reality.
    Give Spirit an extra pat and treat for Randy and me. He has his priorities right – enough to eat, a comfortable place to sleep, freedom to run and friends to dote on him. Give yourself a pat and a treat for making all this possible for him.
    Pam (“Zelda”) and Randy

  6. Linda Says:

    What a wonderful surprise! Friends from afar….Looks like a wonderful time was had by all and the steaks did look very appealing to me as well. Another blog has been enjoyed and left to ponder by many. Thank you Ara for it all.

    And as always, kiss and hug Spirit for me.

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