Automatic Throbbing Universe of Joy

Kachina Peak from Taos Valley Overlook

Compare with previous photo, shot in roughly same location »Buy This Photo!«

My wife said this was spooky. I’m pretty well impressed, myself. It’s like the Universe is out to get me, and when it does, it’ll stick a big cigar in my mouth and honk a clown horn! First there was the hummer visitation in the sagebrush ocean. Then three days ago I got yelled at in my head: “HAVE FUN!” (twice) was all I heard, but if you have to talk about hearing voices, this is pretty nifty. After all, it’s not like being told to go jump off a bridge.

Yesterday I went hiking and hit the trail with vigor. Oh no, someone was coming! (I go out to the overlook to be alone, goddammit.) Okay, okay. It was a man, about my height but heavier, strangely dressed for 72°F in a hoodie and overalls, of all things. No hat, either. As I approached, he stopped and waited for me. (Nooooo….) I could see that he was smiling.

“Nice to see you out here,” he said. I mumbled something back and nodded. As I passed, he added, “Have fun!”

[BOOM]

Again?!? Oh yes, and brother did I notice.

Twenty minutes later, I was standing dumbstruck in the path, watching an astounding cloud formation: rain shafts from a passing cloud approaching the Sangre de Cristo mountains were twisting around each other like the beginning of a giant cyclone. I rolled my eyes because my camera was at home. No one would believe me, anyway. I turned to fertilize a cactus in the shade of a nearby piñon. When I zipped up and looked again, every trace of the amazing sight was gone!

I kept on walking. Happily, there’s nothing else to do out there. After a short while, I was startled by an obvious bird shadow that passed right over me. Looking up, I saw two ravens skimming low across the mesa. Just then a bluebird flew out of a juniper right in front of me and ducked into the next one! For the rest of my hike, every time I looked up to the horizon without consciously intending to, I saw a raven, flying low. Even from the highway driving home! You know what ravens are and what they stand for, right? How can I not pay attention to these things? Why would anyone even try?

The landscape and the creatures in it, even angel guys in overalls (?), interact with and respond to unseen issues of the heart. TV, movies, news, and other bullshit just get in the way. Get the hell outdoors and smell the air! Even in Ohio, stuff just happens all the time.

It has to, dammit. Everything’s alive.

»Buy This Photo!«

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.  

  • judyinboston May 29, 2015, 3:35 PM

    I think you ARE having fun, in a cool, naturalist kind of way. So many people pay no attention to their environment. I love that the hummer was attracted to your hat. I get buzzed almost daily in the garden.

    • JHF May 29, 2015, 4:24 PM

      You’re right, of course! The deeper issue involves experiencing trust, but your take will do just fine. 🙂 I understand about the garden, too.

  • christian ienni May 29, 2015, 3:52 PM

    so the other day i’m sitting in the living room, cranking up the Ceephax Acid Crew and enjoying loud musical bliss… but i keep hearing something in the background, outside… subconsciously i recognize the sound since i hear it all the time (they live all around here in my little corner of silicon valley suburbia), and usually just ignore or occasionally acknowledge it in passing. but this time… this time… it was REALLY loud and persistent, to the point where i ws hearing it over the music. so i pause the ipod and go outside to look: at least TWO DOZEN ravens (probably more) flying around, going back and forth between the tops of two redwoods, Gracking away ( 😉 ) like there’s no tomorrow, having an early evening sun-going-down blowout. i mean you could tell, they were just Having A BLAST!!! and yes, they were that active and persistent for some time i did think “hey this is awesome i should run in and get the camera…” but then decided no, absolutely not. this was for me, a moment experienced and enjoyed, never to be recorded or repeated. Welcome to Earth!

    (oh and yes, just like you, message received for me as well: HAVE FUN!!! AND GET THE HELL ON WITH IT ALREADY!!!!!….. 😉 )

    • JHF May 29, 2015, 4:59 PM

      I like that, yes, that you just stayed there and took it in. A deep appreciation for something real unfolding right in front of you has to be the prize. Let it soak into your memory, etc. As far as photos go per se, I think we have to leave some shots, just let them go. There will always be another, if we have to capture it somehow.

      • christian ienni May 30, 2015, 1:53 AM

        exactly! it was clear this was just a “right now” to be experienced and appreciated as is.

        and to be fair, i perceived it as them whooping it up and having a good time, but for all i know it could really have been some kind of huge territorial squabble; a flock passing though riling up the ones who live here permanently.

        • christian ienni May 30, 2015, 4:34 PM

          i think it might have been a ‘temporary territorial invasion” after all… the pair of ravens who live around here permanently have been hanging around my fountain all day, taking drinks, cooling off and generally feeling comfortable in their own space again (at least that’s the feeling i get, which could be entirely my own imagination of course 😉 )

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