Soul shuffling… TX

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Why those Photos today? For one, our “Smugmug” Galleries are getting populated, I think worth a look. In parallel, the “One-Pan Recipe” e-Store is now open and so, these photos might entice you to open up those pages and peruse the offerings. Both entities are “work in progress” as they will always be. It is a start though.  

“Great compassion is the root of altruistic action. It really is a source of wonder. There is no greater source of help and happiness. The capacity to devote yourself to the welfare of others yields otherwise unobtainable power and potential for good. Generate great compassion and you become a Friend of the World and a companion of the warm-hearted.”
~ Dalai Lama ~

Many “Love Songs” have been written, sang, played. “I’ve been Loving You too long” by “Otis Redding” entered my Life when I started “Culinary School” in Switzerland, many years ago. Some Music stays around as this one has and brings on the memories of my departed Son, Friends… it strikes a chord always evoking them.

More Birds on Matolle Beach

A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me—a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day’s blow
rang out, metallic—or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.

~ Denise Levertov, Variation on a Theme by Rilke ~

The Photographer

If one did not know better they would invert their feelings of beauty surrounding them in this present space into an eerie one. Full light from our Moon reflecting on every single rock and branch and cactus portraying their shadows coupled with a cold which is slowly descending on us for the night. The scene present is truly indescribable. It is a feel as no other. I woke up yesterday and as I opened my eyes I thought I had overslept a full day and again a Sunset was present. It was the Moon setting in the early hours almost as bright as it’s day time counterpart. For years it has been the question mark of a preference as such. Do I prefer a full Moon or a no Moon sky filled with a blanket of stars including the sight of some often traveling ones? Enjoying them all, there is no preference as there is no choice for this time spend here and now. The question as so many others has become obsolete. It is only one example of many.

The San Dunes B&W

the woman and her cat

Old Faithful

Spirit on the Beach

I am a bit smiling today toward a traveler who stopped by here yesterday. My smile is a bit of an old habit to counter affect a certain incomprehension I might have, and not smile. It brings me to understand my values of the road even more so than ever as our path is of a primitive space. Yes, there is water but a hot shower is about a two gallon bag. There is power through solar and yet, one has to be conservative. There is heat through a propane catalytic heater when the –20 degree bag and a liner is just not enough. There is even drinking water from 3 gallon jugs filled 30 miles away, transferred to one gallon jugs and then on to single Hydro Flask bottles through a Brita or Katadyn filter. Cooking is mostly also now through a solar oven since there is a very strict ban on outdoor fires, not even a gas grill allowed.

Flam Chen-5

Chem Flan Procession

Chem Flan Procession-2

So it takes an effort, no doubt, to live as such, whether here, or in Valley of the Gods, or on Muley Point, it is, has become second nature. Effort for what so many consider a basic comfort is a pleasure for me, it makes me feel as I am earning my stay appreciating every step taken. What is needed today generally can wait a few days, what I think is needed. This time around we are having a hard time reaching that point when the need is a real necessity as long as we have food. I think all this caught my Friend off guard. I forget to mention the "compost toilet". A miracle of an invention which truly besides being a 5 gallon bucket double lined with two 13 gallon garbage bags and a seat in a nice wood enclosure is not truly an invention. But very old school. The part that could be might be the dirt and water used to cover it all up, every time, that might be the invention. Horrified? Why? When I think of the millions of miles of sewer running through the world when all could be 12 months down the road growing tomatoes and lettuce… Kind of a smiling concept, isn’t it?


What is offered however is not found where toilets run, where faucets exist, where switches turn on and off light bulbs, where the shower has a temperature knob and where with one flip cold air will blow from a giant fanned monster sitting on a roof. As raw as the Lifestyle is, so is the offerings from Mother Nature. We are gifted here with Sunsets and Sunrises, with days of cool breeze and skies blanketed with cotton balls such as today. We are gifted even more not having a calendar or a clock as all has become so insignificant when the true nature of a real Life suddenly appears having finally sorted out the priorities filed in this drawer which does not seem to cooperate from a frozen lock.

The Feta connection

Spicy Chicken and Rice-6

My Friend truly enjoyed just laying back and for a bit of time taking it all in. He said he did. Then I don’t really know what happened. Maybe the better commodities of living called him away as he was here less than 24 hours. “Make yourself at Home” if someone stops by here I always say as ourselves have stopped and heard as such specially this last summer at Friends Homes who received us laying out the red carpet with the same warm expression. Magic is here, it is outdoor, rough at times, yes, yet those moments also go away as rapidly as anything else when acceptance is present, when no choice is within. It is not for everyone, if it was, there would be traffic lights on every dirt road intersections, maybe they would even be paved. Muley Point would have a Motel built on it’s peak and Valley of the Gods would probably be an 18 hole Golf Course. A few.

Spicy Chicken and Rice

balsamic chicken 1

There is no criticisms, there is no judgment. None, as here is just another flavor as there and a bit even further on the path we have found. Tranquil hikes with Spirit lately. Deep breaths of this air not yet tainted allowing for the senses to reach out and step up toward a reality that has existed from it’s beginning. I am becoming very attached to this space. It is I know because of the contrasts experienced not long ago. It is almost thinking if this land so quiet and serene “can it be real?”. It is and is giving back so much every instant while here.

Smiling eggs

My words. They never end it seems like. How can I be thinking so much. “A Sky, Air, Light…”. Try it.

Till next time.

Take a look. “Smugmug” stands for quality. Thank you.

Be well, always.
Ara and Spirit

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7 Responses to “Soul shuffling… TX”

  1. hobopals Says:

    As always, a post worth reading several times to absorb and try to understand all you have to teach about life–your life–your way of life. Ara, you and Spirt experience more in a year than some people do in a life time. I long for the freedom of the road when I read your posts. When I went last year, I can remember thinking that it was nice not to know where I would be at the end of the day and that I just couldn’t jump in the car to get there. I liked the ritual of preparing for a journey.

    Your pictures, as always, are incredible. I’ve got lots of pictures of the same huge tree trunk on the beach in Oregon (above). They are nice pictures that I took while Jack and I wandered around on August 1, 2010. Yet, they don’t have the photographer’s “touch” that yours has. It can’t always be the lighting or the time of day. **There’s something you see with your camera that shows to others what YOU SEE not what the camera sees.** I don’t know if that will make sense to anyone other than me, but it’s an innate talent within you. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Ara & Spirit Says:

    You are too kind you know. I am only sharing what I “myself” is being taught. Yes, there is a certain amount of Freedom, it is more of a mental Freedom however than physical. We take all the good days and the not so good days together with much acceptance. I enjoy the Photographic process, it is as an extension of the senses that happens… and sometimes not.
    See you down the road… and always “be well”. Ara and Spirit

  3. The Box Canyon Blogger Says:

    Ara my friend, your photos today… they blew my mind. What a gifted eye you have. love the B and W’s.
    love from Zion :))
    mark and bobbie

  4. Randy Says:

    Wonderful post special pictures. Your roamings and ramblings got Zelda and me on the road again but this time it was in the air to Bedford, Indiana. It’s cold in the midwest. And I’ve had to cook the last two nights because of you. Zelda says keep it up.

  5. Chris Says:

    Great Dalai Lama quote! One of my favorites!

  6. Lyle Says:

    Since I am so far behind in reading your posts, I suspect nobody but you will read this, but I have to comment about your remarks about smiles.

    I recently had the opportunity to deal with large numbers of the public. Thousands and thousands. The event organizers sent out a memo with instructions, among them being an exhortation to “Smile!” Perhaps I was resentful of the implication that we would all scowl and frown at the public unless instructed otherwise; at any rate, at the event I said to myself “Smile? You want a smile? Fine! I’ll show you a *smile*!”, and plastered a huge, Disney-esque grin on my face. And you know what happened? People smiled back! Came up and talked to me! Had their picture taken with me! Ugly old *me*!

    I was astonished at the power of a smile, even one that started out as fake and exaggerated. Now I smile more broadly and more often. Something I would recommend to anyone.

  7. Ara & Spirit Says:

    You know it! It becomes a habit… A “smile” is like a weapon to make others smile! Sometimes I come across a “grouch”… and I smile on purpose!!! Amazing how too often they start smiling too…
    Thanks Lyle… Stay well and continue smiling…

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