A Different Realm

NM sunset clouds

I didn’t need a coat to take this picture

It came from out of nowhere after all that snow and cold, a streak of dry and sunny days with record-breaking highs. This happens almost every year, but usually in March. Around the first day of spring, I think we’ve got this beat and then it turns all wet and nasty. Over the years I’ve photographed more hummingbirds in snow than I care to remember. Maybe that won’t happen this time with the changing climate. I sure wouldn’t mind.

Today we drove by two more houses for sale. It doesn’t matter what they cost because we didn’t like them. My wife was silent on the ride home. That didn’t last. “That was so depressing… I’ve had it with Taos,” she said—an honest reaction I’ve often had myself—adding that she felt like moving very far away but I would never leave. I don’t think that’s true. In any case, it didn’t bother me to hear her say that like it has before. All the energies of my life conspired to bring me here. How could this be wrong? A river might change course but no one says it screwed up. The changes are internal now. It’s not raining in my heart.

I can’t believe how old I am. It makes no sense. Except for having less energy to waste, I feel as vital as I ever did. Too bad I look like hell—what Anne Lamott calls “ear-hair uncles”—but there’s really nothing wrong. (I did panic a little the other day when I was in the bathtub checking out my manly parts and couldn’t find one. Good god, it’s gone! Or shriveled. What the hell, where is it? Then today I tried again and there it was.) So I don’t know, we simply have to watch these things. Reality is malleable and so am I, apparently. Nothing’s fixed or solved but everything’s okay. There will always be a question mark. We go until we stop and then it’s on to something else.

My late sister is on my mind a lot. I’ve had a couple of messages since she died. “Be yourself” was one of them. If anyone would know to say that, she would. The words are finally sinking in now. Nothing has to be the way it was when I was crazy. This is what I’ve had to learn.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “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.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Joe February 19, 2016, 6:52 AM

    I can relate to that. I look in the mirror and wonder who that old man is. When I was competing in karate tournaments a hundred years ago a lady fighter I knew had a sign over her locker that read, “Be stronger than your excuses.” That’s gotten harder to do.

    • Marti Fenton February 19, 2016, 3:05 PM

      I’m glad I’m not young. Having less time, makes deciding what to focus on much easier. I did like the way I looked up until lets say 12 years ago, but find it less important now. Also, since I’m already too old to deceive myself I’m immune to the cult of youth and all the silliness that goes with it. I like this perspective. However, I understand what you’re saying about Taos. I too felt drawn here by fate and it was confirmed for many years. However, every river can change its course and it seems to me that the energy that was Taos has veered around and detoured us. Sometimes you have to follow the flow. It might be that being in a different environment for a while might revive my feelings about this place. who knows. For now I’m stuck here. It’s as if the psychic mud is as deep and sticky as all that deep wet clay that makes it almost impossible to drive on our rural roads.

  • Marti Fenton February 26, 2016, 12:47 PM

    Well said!



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