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Where not all roads less traveled are roads...

Header Photo: Table Mountain, Golden, Colorado, with views of downtown Denver.

Friday, April 3, 2015

On Whims


"Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing—keeping the unknown always beyond." Georgia O'keeffe

Somewhere in the sun beaten, God forsaken, barren Land of Disenchantment: This is what comes of last-second whims—a sudden brainstorm to throw a stick in the spokes of routine. 


Reflect, if you will, on all of all your lefts instead of rights, ups instead of downs, Yeses instead of No's… or better yet, cowardly No's instead of Yeses. Life is a game of darts, bullseye's far and few between. For better or worse, the wonderful/tragic thing about this philosophical meander is that past choices are the building blocks of here and now. Wave a magic wand and change just one left to a right, one No to Yes or Yes to No, and it could well have set your life on an entirely different trajectory. Yep, it's as arbitrary as that. And to think, we made a good portion of what seemed inconsequential—if not whimsical—choices under the influence of youth, drugs, and alcohol. Miracles do happen. 


Bobbie and I engaged a whim—traded the usual ruin and cliff dwelling escapades in southeast Utah for the unknown funk, rust, and degradation of New Mexico. There, under its hallmark calling cards of glaring sun and incessant wind, motoring along harrowingly narrow slivers of asphalt in the process of being reclaimed by chico brush and sage, a sobering landscape unveiled—an unyielding sea of stunted, buttes, bluffs, and desiccated vegetation that couldn't decently shade a rattlesnake. 



Eastern born and raised, Georgia Okeefe found grace and inspiration amongst the aridity and sterility of the this highland desert. Indeed, it's the kind of place only artists and archeologists could love. A mere stone's throw from sky island mountains can land one in an ocean of nothingness. But New Mexico is like the high school gal with a good personality; if one looks beyond the superficial, they might just fall in love.  



The drywall upon which my "dartboard" hangs is full of holes from errant tosses, misguided attempts, failures. Sometimes I wonder about the value of change for the sake of change and wandering for the sake of wandering; it seems less noble than learning for the sake of knowledge.

 I try for the sake of a rare success—laugh, cry, paint, for the sake of expression. Because if I express, I exist. Otherwise, I have nothing much to show for my life. 



"Someone else's vision will never be as good as your own vision of your self. Live and die with it 'cause in the end it’s all you have. Lose it and you lose yourself and everything else." Georgia O'Keeffe.





9 comments:

  1. This blog entry comes at a very timely moment as I sit here in the salty humidity wondering what to do until mid July. New Mexico has lots of places that are wonderful to me so I think I will be heading back there soon. There is so much hiking, biking, exploring, beautiful skies and scenery that need my attention in that state. The best part is the extreme lack of others to clutter the landscape.

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    1. 5 minutes of New Mexico will balance out all that salt-air and humidity… I'm drier than toast and thirstier than a sponge :)
      mark

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  2. Clearly you need to drink more beer:-)

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  3. All of what you write has value for me. But your first real paragraph, the one that starts with "Reflect," is very profound and suitable for framing. This stuff really needs to be turned into a book...like "Killing Time", Jesus, Lincoln, Kennedy and Patton already having been taken. :)

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    1. Ed,
      Gee, I don't know about "profound," but I guess if one slings enough underwhelming hash against the wall some of it might stick… unlike my darts :) Gracious, tho...

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  4. Only six photos and one of them is of a beer? That must be a record. hhhmmmm...maybe need to head back to Red Rocks Country. ;-)

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    1. Hey, That beer has key symbolism in regard to the main analogy/point of the post. It was under the deadly forces of "youth, drugs, and alcohol," that I ended up married to the "scenic" gal instead of "the girl with a good personality," an intelligent, but much ignored wallflower that blossomed into a princess in her 20's, and a knock-out by 30. Wish I'd have scratched below the surface, (sigh). But, it is through blind mistakes that we got "here," and had I not married wrong the first time, I wouldn't have met Bobbie. Things have a way of working out :)
      Anyway, as you will read in a later post, we found beauty below the surface of "nothingness" in New Mexico that I wouldn't trade for red rock Utah :)
      Thanks for provoking an (apparently) needed explanation, P. Pal…
      mark

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  5. Love your black and white. Love the beer label. For sure my life would have been different had I made some of my yeses into nos and a lot of nos into yeses. Very profound post. Georgia O'Keeffe is right up there with Catcus Ed in the quotes department. Love them both, their books, their art, their attitudes..................You are clearly a man of taste and deep thoughts! Wish I could claim either of those.

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