Writing a new beginning.

Of my words, of my self.


self portrait




“The Color of the Wild.”   What will be the first of many.  None but Harold and Hillel and A.J. have read earlier versions.  Now there is a new one, because if nothing else this past year, I have learned and grown as a writer.  So my words must change.


dead leaves rock and an open creek


Though there has been so much more.  Life is neither static nor stagnant.

As my mighty Rio flows, so shall I.


the mighty rio grande


Let me start by telling you this.

I’m still here.

That wasn’t my intention when I wrote this.  I wanted to be gone. I don’t know what happened. Really, nothing. The economy crashed, the real estate market collapsed, our debt grew, and our best wishes of selling and making a million that would be our ticket out of here was held on a string for years and then finally just fell off.  Faded away.

At some point, we figured, well, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s not so bad after all. 

We tried.  We looked.  All over Colorado.  Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Northern California.  And found nothing.  Nothing that compared to this.  Nothing as remote, as beautiful, and breathtaking.  Every time we piled into the pickup, that same one Bob had when I met him, and drove for days on end looking, skimming through ads, getting directions from brokers that thought we were nuts, hiking out of the way and skirting through fences, off dirt roads and in deep snow, driving through town after little rural town with “Meth Kills” billboards and women not much older than me with thinning hair and missing teeth smiling and waving at us from the front porch of the local bar, the only open business in town.  Bob and Forrest in the front seat, since Forrest is now taller than both of us.  Me and a dog in the back.  Now it’s Gunnar.  My bold partner with whom I brave the wilds.  Before him, there was old Alan. Alan Shepherd.  His head on my lap, my head turned out the back window smeared with his nose prints, looking for something I never found.

And then we’d drive back to our mountain.  And when we’d start to get close, you could feel it.  The excitement.  The thrill. The connection. Damn, it’s beautiful.  It takes your breath away every time.  It high, harsh, wild and free, and the most beautiful place on this earth. It’s our mountain, our home.

Now the in-law matters are behind us, the trees around us dead from beetles and burning from continued drought.  I gelded my stallion but keep riding, training and getting new horses to work with.  We’re still digging ditch. Forrest is working for the winter in the South Pole, and Bob and I are here. Happy. I didn’t know I’d say that when I wrote this.  And you know me; maybe next year I’ll say something else.

This year brought us closer to the land, strengthened our connection, tested in terrible challenges starting with driest year the mountain has seen.  Then there were fires, the big one, which burned a hundred thousand acres of wilds and came within miles of our front door.  Then rains, and floods and early snows.

I think what happened was this.  You define yourself when you defend your space.

Brothers in arms!  Or sisters of the earth.  I don’t know. I don’t know if it matters.  All I know is I learned I’d fight for our land as I’d fight for my family. And I’m not known to be really easy going.

So, here we are.




the rio grande in brewster park


13 thoughts on “Writing a new beginning.

  1. Uh-huh. The mystery continues daily.

    Numerous times lately, I hear the comment: “You don’t need to know.”

    One highly emergent woman told of the dark nights of her soul. She was haunted by knowing there was “some sweet, incredible something” that she wasn’t doing. Yet. She kept pushing the river – with her inner conversation/chant, “but I have so much to say. I have so much wisdom to share.” She went to all sorts of seminars, presentations, etc. and spent most of her time frustrated that she wasn’t ‘discovered’. No one came to her and plucked her from the crowd saying something miraculous like, “We’ve been waiting for you.”

    She realized her anxiety, enthusiasm, busyness and inner chatter blocked her soul’s emergence. She was told “You don’t need to know. Keep believing.” She decided to be quiet, with NO plan. She just trusted. She let it all go – gave up all the old ways of doing “it” and sat in her gifts.

    That’s when doors appeared and people actually came to her wanting her time, energy, wisdom. She now teaches other women how to take their gift into the world.

    Her story is what I needed to hear. I’m going through transitions I never anticipated. I’m sorting and letting go. I’ve stepped down from the high diving board pose. I’m looking at the goodness in my life, relaxing that I don’t have to run marathons and trusting those damned doors really do appear.

    I’m not sure if this speaks to you, but it feels good to share it with you, Gin. Your honesty sparked mine!

    I suspect, mountain woman, whatever you do, it will include writing. Damn gifts won’t leave us alone.

    • If I didn’t share this today, I was going to share something about learning to let go, to find oneself in silence, in not doing, not keeping so busy we can’t stop to breath which so many of us (women especially, i don’t know) tend to do. Find our value in how many hours we put in. Heaven forbid we stop and just listen. We feel less worthy and of less value if we’re not busy. But I”m starting to see, that business was filling us up with fluff, and it’s much braver to not do, to take the time to look the world in the face, and if we can do that, out there naked and exposed rather than behind the cover of some important business we just must be taking care of… then we start to see the truth. Around us and with in. I think this is something I need to share with you, dear Amy, though I don’t know why.

  2. Gin, you hit the nail on the head. We do too much. The process of stepping back and listening is the breath of a new life.

    • Yes. I’m just figuring this out. Seems like society teaches us we’re better of filling our time to the brim with “stuff” – things that make us feel important – we learn to judge ourselves on how busy we are – and feel lesser of ourselves if we’re not running around with ten other things that need to be done. Why? Is being busy better? I look back and see keeping busy kept me from thinking, feeling, living life fullest. I started noticing I was missing out by filling my life with “substantial” and “quantitative” measures that others can judge me on. Does our society not place value on thought and creative process? Not as much, as we know. So we must learn to create that value in ourselves, which seems to go against social teachings of keeping busy.

  3. Wow!! I’m a bit speechless!! What a beautiful world you are creating for yourself…with all that nature has to share!! I wish you bright blessings on your journey!! So often i dream of retreating to a deeply natural environment…and living simply. But it is not yet time for me to know that adventure. Thank you for sharing yours. It inspires me!!

    • Thank you, Dear Alania, and may your journey take you where you must go – be brave in your quest, for at times i feel I am a coward for hiding out amongst the trees and not on the front line making a difference.

      • We each have different journeys. Your gift for SEEing the trees and HEARing the voice of Mother Earth…tells me that you are exactly where you are meant to be. The need to prove how strong we are is human…not divine!! Thank you for your caring words!! We are one!!

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