from 11 years ago before we'd made contact again. Sam died a week ago. I am broken and I am full and I am thankful and I am struggling with the concept that we are not our bodies.
This is a real place, painted from memories more than 25 years old. The story goes that Chief Benge carved this saddle in a rock overlooking a pass and from there shot settlers. I think the official chroniclers of such say that isn’t actually so. I don’t know who carved it then, but it is there. I always imagined him sitting on his carved saddle, doing what he could do. He was just one man and he could only do what one man could do, but what one man could do, he did do. Maybe in the end it made no difference, and then again, maybe just the saddle being there made a difference in more lives than just mine and it doesn‘t even matter if he carved it or not.
An old boyfriend name of Sam took me there. He had sat there and carved his name in that rock. I’d like to go see if it is still there sometime. I wonder what he is like, 20 years after I last saw him. We used to go out there and stay until the middle of the night. He was an old soul Capricorn. He was a great mystery before I knew all men were either boys or great mysteries: Before I knew that I had no patience for the boys. I grew up on that mountain and I’ve always been that same girl even when I lost sight of her. Remembering Sam has helped me remember me.
Living on land with creeks and a long dirt road, you learn that things move. They are the same creeks, the same road, but in slightly different places. The ruts and the rapids and the pools and the puddles move around. And it reminds me of me, as a person. I think essentially I’ve always had this beingness that is me, yet I’ve struggled for the appropriate and constructive expression of that.
I think Benge and Sam knew who they really were. I can tell you, a cow knows who she is and that is an inspiring thing. So does a carrot, growing itself unfailingly, carrot to carrot to carrot. The sky may question itself, furrowing its brow. So might the forested hills changing colors in the fall. “Who am I really?” they might ask, but the changes and the cycles and the seasons or even the comings and the goings do not change their fundamental nature. All the navel-gazing in the world cannot reveal who we really are, only living and life and knowing does that. Beingness. It does not depend on an audience, it does not depend on anything. I am that I am God said, and indeed, we are.