For Carlis

December 26, 2017

Nogal House

Vera Cruz, New Mexico


‘Do not worry that I have become infatuated, I am too old for that. Rather, I am inspired, viewing familiar things, from an altered perspective. I am seeing the mountains, and my own personal creations, from the eye of an artist, so different from myself. If we learn new things on a daily basis, I have learned so much from you. I have trained my eye from a singular perspective. Now it is as if I turned back to look again on the view I just passed, and see it in a new and different light. It is good to have a friend who paints mountains. Thank you.’


For Carlis


I was sweeping

The dust

Out the doorway

When I chanced

To gaze

At the mountains

I was admiring

The contour

Of the hillside

And the way

The morning light

Cast her shadows

On the slopes

As she makes

Her daily walk

Across them


It was then

I thought of you

And how

Your paintings

So beautifully


On the same


I rushed back in

For my jacket

And camera

That I might capture

The vision

So we might share

The wonder

And inspiration

Which I savor



I am here

And was rewarded

By some pictures

And a slipper

Full of thorns


It was so lucky

I remembered

My coffee

But overcooked

The oatmeal

Though it still

Made a passable


It was worth it

As I was reminded

Of how wonderful

It is

To have a friend

Who paints mountains.


Having made a new friend I was reminded of him as the sun rose slowly with the dawn. I have for years made a practice of rising at daybreak so as to watch the first light make her walk across the mountainside. I was here to greet it this morning, and wished to waste none of it. Although I am looking forward to my next adventure it is always difficult to leave here knowing I won’t be back for weeks or even months. I have found much completion in this place and the serenity is nearly as complete as my solitude. It is the latter which prompts me to leave. I am almost too content with that also. Knowing I have a friend, amongst several others, in the place where I am bound, makes the transition much easier.


I ask myself in this moment why I tend to recluse here. It isn’t that there are not places to go or people to see. It is that I am so content when I am here that I prefer to busy myself with the things I find to do. By the end of the day I have little desire for anything else, and have become quite good at that. Even now, in the silence of this room, there is the soft clank of the woodstove, the chirp of birdsong and the gentle hum of the wind, and I am content. There is a pile of artwork on the couch, and the keyboard beneath my fingers. I have the sweep of the mountainside, waiting to be climbed in the warmth of the suns light, the endless canyons I have yet to find, and others to revisit. I would be remiss not to mention the few boxes I have yet to sort through. They are there waiting also and there is more to do if I look for it.


If I have filled years of my life with these simple things, and a garden in the summer, so I could do so all over again if I chose to. I can also go to the ranch and cut wood, wander the fields and in the summer mow and water. It is not such a bad way to spend ones days, or a lifetime, and I have certainly done worse. I have also done better, and I have found the equal to this in the depths of the canyons and the sweep of the plains in the country I am retreating to. There are also things I haven’t done, soaking in the hot spring bathes, floating on the river and drifting on the lakes. I am looking forward to those, and any other adventures I have yet to find. I am also looking forward to friendships, and spending time with others who are something like myself.


It is good

To have a friend

With whom

I can share

My inspiration

As I hopefully inspire


As well


I step

Back outside

For the same


As the sun

Is still wandering

The mountainside

Shedding her light

And casting

Her shadow

As she does

On each

And every morning


If I have watched

The same thing

For years

I have never

Seen it

In quite

This same light

Things always change

When you have

The chance

To share them


Thank you


For the new


It makes me

Want to paint

And adds

Another thing

To my list

Of things

To do.

2 responses to “For Carlis”

  1. agapejacqui says :

    Inspiration … Gratitude… Perspective! Such. wonderful qualities to invite into the New Year!

  2. cathieeisen says :


    It is so good to hear your thoughts and to know you are sharing mine!!! May the new year bring you all the best!


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