Category Archives: Birds

A magic time

Life really DID seem to be a fairytale.  I was living with the most beautiful girl I’ve ever known, in an old magic adobe house, just above the river.  Our road would take you down along our river, through its canyon, until you reached the John Dunn Bridge on the Rio Bravo.  Our Rio Hondo joined the Bravo just below that bridge.

I painted two of the best things I’ve ever done during that period.

I learned that magpies are not all they’re cracked up to be, though watching them frequently cracked me up!

Arroyo Hondo Community Center

I’d never experienced anything like the singularities we had in that relationship, or the  “matched hearts and minds” we had.  I’d never met anyone even remotely like her.  It was certain I’d found my “soulmate”.  She stunned me and said she felt the same way.

Right by the sign that says, “Beware of Rattlesnakes”
Poplar logs left on the truck bed to dry/cure
Right down the street from our old house.

She took me camping and re-introduced me to outdoor life.  She insisted on certain diet constraints.  When I followed her example I felt better.  When I listened to her and followed her lead, I was healthier.

What a spectacular and precious spot! We had this entire alpine meadow to ourselves. Prettiest place on Earth.
Mia holds off the impending stampede!
Our awesome campsite next to the Rio Costilla
House at Hondo
Where I lived with her almost a year on the Rio Hondo north of Taos. The adobe structure is over 100 years old.

She taught me to cook better food with less; to split logs with an axe and heat our home with a wood fire; to compost and to do all our laundry as simply and contentedly as possible, then hang it to dry outdoors.

I don’t know if we would have survived as a couple, had I not had an alcohol relapse, but I’d like to believe we might have.  I’ve never felt more in love or more admiration/respect for a partner.

I did so many wrong things to her ,though, and behaved so badly around her, I now owe her a huge debt of gratitude I will never be able to repay.

I used her to feel good about myself – when my whole life had fallen apart.  I told her I was a non-smoker then immediately started smoking when I felt secure with her.   I was frustrated and angry over the way my life had played over the last few years, and I directed much of that frustration and anger at her.  I abused her, and the beautiful setting of her home – a wonderful, clean, natural and spiritual place – to consummate a crash into depression and relapse of my alcoholism.  Last Winter was the worst thing, the worst terror and behavior, the worst darkness of my alcoholism; a time when I was 100% out of character and lost – manipulative, mean and dishonest.  I am not proud of, and will always regret, the way I treated my soulmate – a gift from God whom I abused horribly.

My biggest amends to her is to simply stay sober and stay out of her life.

She taught me things about the world and the wilderness that I’ve since relied on.  I’ve since gone out to the high mountains with little more than my tent, sleeping bag, and small stove.  She showed me how.

But I will never see her again.

When it starts to really hurt, this stuff about my son, and I start to cry, she is the one I first think of – the one I most wish was in the room.  The next several months, without her help and guidance, may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done by myself.

That’s just how I feel.  People tell me to just say what I feel and stop – before I go adding language, logic and persuasion.

The Dalai Lama has said, “contented abiding is our highest form of meditation.”  I have practiced this and know it to be true.  It’s hard to feel contented, though, when you’re abiding the disintegration and death of you child.