John Hamilton Farr (that’s me) lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. Something the late Bill Whaley inscribed in my copy of his Taos memoir Gringo Lessons not so long ago couldn’t have pleased me more.
“You’re one of the few who arrived and immediately experienced the spiritual imagination of the place and appreciated it in an articulate and instinctive way. What intrigues me is how many people move here and are tone deaf. I can’t figure out why they are here since they might as well live in Colorado: beautiful but soulless…the chthonic spirits are absent. ‘Course sometimes a man needs relief from the resonating spirits. They can drive you mad.”
-Bill Whaley: Taos writer (Gringo Lessons), publisher (Horse Fly)
How well I know. Kathleen Jane Mills and I moved here from Kent County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the summer of ’99, surely the biggest thing we ever did together except for getting married in the first place. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of my 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.”
Against the backdrop of el Norte with its primal Nature and brutal psychic energy, you need to know that Kathy went to heaven without me in the spring of 2021. She was the one, and so much of my writing since has been related. How could it not be? We were married over 40 years and I’ve never known such loss. I’m better now. It’s like she’s helping me. Photos like the one below from over 20 years ago in San Cristobal can make me smile. A few months ago I found a 10-year old anniversary card from her I didn’t remember seeing, though I must have. Inside it read with hand-drawn hearts and flourishes,
“To my dear love, John Hamilton—the places we have been, the things we have done! What a life together!”
After all we’d been through by then, the whole ragged, wild adventure, still lacking what most would call security, that she could be so proud and grateful is a miracle I can’t ignore. May you be as loved as I was.
There are over 900 essays and even more photographs at JHFARR.COM. This astounds me. You can search by any word or phrase you’re looking for, the date, a tag, or category. I find things all the time I don’t remember and they’re mostly good surprises. Take your time and try the links below, too. There’s so much more.
CONTACT INFO: Email me encrypted link), and thanks for stopping by.