Big Thing

Taos Mountain in the snow and clouds

Telephoto of Taos Mountain from our road two days ago

I had a wonderful personal revelation today while I was hiking in the snow (and mud) at Taos Valley Overlook. On the off chance that there’s a point in here somewhere, enjoy…

For years I’ve questioned what I did in getting us to move out here. Especially in times of fear, focusing on lack and want, I’d feel bad because I felt I’d done the “wrong” thing. This of course is nonsense, “what if” being idiot’s play, but I’d hate myself regardless. The self-judgment was a dangerous distraction with all kinds of evil consequences. There was also no way for me to cut it short. As an 80-year-old hippie’s even older Zen teacher told him once, “Your life is none of your goddamn business!” Things are better now. One evolves, but slowly, and even that depends on great awareness and desire.

Today, however, I felt a shift. Where I walked was like another country. So vast and beautiful, just earth and sky and mountains. New Mexico, good God!

As I crunched along the semi-frozen trail, the circumstances of my life appeared in a completely different light. For the first time, really, looking back, I felt like I’d accomplished something huge, and I was proud. Like this is my Big Thing. Certainly most recent, maybe not the last, and absolutely brilliant!

(The past events are just the same, of course, the meaning now quite different, yet I did nothing to effect this… Was there a point in here? You tell me. Just thought I’d pass that on.)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • Stephen Slottow November 28, 2013, 9:11 AM

    Three comments:
    1. Like most insights, this too shall (probably) pass.
    2. Who was 80–the friend or the Zen teacher?
    3. Who was the Zen teacher? Kobun Chino?

    • JHF November 28, 2013, 9:40 AM

      1. No doubt ’twill sink beneath the waves, but I’ll remember that I had it, especially in this context. As someone else’s Zen teacher said to her: “Very easy get enlightened. Very hard STAY enlightened!” Not an intellectual event, in any case. A wave of warmth, as if I’d stepped into a different life.
      2. The friend. Have edited post to clear up that confusion.
      3. Don’t know. Chinese-American woman or Korean? West Coast based.

      • Stephen Slottow November 28, 2013, 10:18 AM

        OK, who’s the OTHER Zen teacher?Kobun Chino was a (male) Soto teacher who taught in Taos, so the first Zen teacher wasn’t him.

        • JHF November 28, 2013, 10:27 AM

          The other is Korean. Old too, but still alive. Possibly in Zürich! Not sure. I can find out if you’d like.

  • Therese November 28, 2013, 10:08 AM

    I feel you’ve accomplished something huge. A “Big Thing.” Your story is a continual inspiration for me.
    So there’s that point, for me. And I hope you keep it up. This inspiration is a gift, and I am grateful for it. Trickle down, and all.

    • JHF November 28, 2013, 10:24 AM

      Why thank you. 🙂 Sure, I’ll keep it up. It’s like re-escaping from an ancient tidal wave. When I hear it roaring in the background, I get up and run again.

{ 7 comments… add one }

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