The Ram Along the Trail


“A body ‘as to move gentle an’ speak low when wild things is about.”  ~  Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“It is a commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and love for a time in the wilderness.”  ~  Loren Eiseley

On my way home from the laundromat yesterday I was thinking about where I could take a few photos of the storm clouds engulfing the mountains tops. It’s always fun to share photos on Facebook, to share the beauty of the land surrounding Taos. The beauty here is so often stunning. It is perhaps the main reason I choose to stay here. I have no stock in much else here, none that would anchor me in any effective way. Friends, yes, but friends do not always have to be in proximity. Within my musings and schemings there came a news flash that I had not been out west to the Rio Grande Gorge in quite some time. That is where I ended up, by choice. It’s about a mile out from the visitors center by the bridge (it’s a National Monument along with miles of land along the river), along a rocky low-impact trail, to a park bench somebody donated as a memorial to somebody else. The bench provides a place to sit and enjoy a breathtaking view of the full span of the bridge, which crosses above 650 feet of air over the river. That was my destination. I sat on that bench and wandered around a bit as well, snapping some photos and basically grooving on the place. There were quite a few people passing in both directions along the trail. That’s the thing, out along that wide open wilderness trail most everyone you meet looks happy. It’s that kind of place. As I walked along the trail in returning to the trailhead I saw something headed my way, headed out along the trail, out where I had been. It didn’t take me long at all to realize that it was a ram, a fine looking bighorn sheep. He was a casual fella. I stepped slightly off the trail and just waited as he approached. He adjusted his path slightly as he came upon where I stood silently watching. But his course correction was only slight, his path maybe only 15 feet or so from me, and his demeanor did not change at all; he remained calm and unassuming. Of course I snapped a few photos. That’s him in the opening photo. Cute guy. When I got back home, about a ten minute drive, I soon fell into a deep sleep. When I awoke I was full of anger. Why? What had I been dreaming? I have no idea what that was about, although I have strong knowledge of some of the deep undercurrents in my unconscious mind that conjure up those dark moods when they come. But those moods and those currents are vehicles, conduits of sorts. Filters. The source, the pain, is a soul thing. I still feel it this morning although the crippling part of the mood has abated nicely. After awaking I had to go out to my ex’s house to pick up some stuff and drop off some stuff. I was basically in and out, my lingering more about playing with and hugging the boisterous dog than anything else. When I was headed back out she commented on the heavy rain that had fallen. I’d been sleeping during the heavy part, in fact I didn’t even know it had been so intense. So I was stuck for words, in part because I didn’t know what she was talking about, but mainly because I was frozen within an angry mood. That’s what I mean by crippling. Sometimes, no matter how strong my rational mind is being I just can’t break the spell of a mood. It is simply stronger than rationality, which must relegate itself to being no more than an observer. Tears of frustration over the emotional stasis could easily have occurred, but one does not show tears in this world anymore. It’s a bad rule, a crippling rule, but if people see you cry it is perceived as an effect of weakness. You don’t go there. You just don’t. Yeh, I admit that one strong reason that I do not go out into the wilderness much is that I don’t want to come back. But I have to. And the anger and frustration? Hmmph, I’ve said too much already. Dude I don’t want to look all weak and stuff dude. It’s just pain; ya gotta be tough, like that ram. Time for me to shower, dress, and go to work to have some fun. The Holiday season is upon us. It is going to be a long one. Yes.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


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