Sunday, May 13, 2012

From Dark Into Life


Patricia just woke me from a dead sleep. She stirred and then quit moving. Her skin felt hot to my touch. After a few seconds I noticed that I didn't hear any breathing. She was totally still, not moving.

I put my hand under her nose and didn't feel her breathing. Then I grabbed her wrist to check for a pulse.

No pulse!

Once again I checked for a pulse.

Still nothing!

There I sat for what seemed a long time but it was probably just a few minutes. My head and body frozen by shock. "What do I do now" I asked myself out loud as time seemed to stop.

Finally, I reached for the phone and dialed 911. As soon as the operator answered I blurted out "I think my wife is dead, think I need an ambulance."

~ ~ ~

That moment was the beginning of a turning point in my life. Though I didn't know it at the time things would never be the same ever again. For months after that moment in time I'm not sure that I was alive. Most wouldn't understand being truly dead inside, you just are. You go around and you're breathing but you don't notice anything. It's much like you died also at that moment. Though you don't feel like it because you're not hungry you force yourself to eat.

Two days after Patricia died I went to live on a horse ranch in eastern Colorado. Soon I was taking care of the horses there. Every day I brought them hay, made sure the stock tanks were filled. Still, I wasn't alive yet.
Over the next few months I began grooming the horses. They became close friends on this ranch that was off the beaten path. Nothing else was around out there, you've never been to place as quiet I'm sure. There are no cars out there, no phones ringing, no cell phone service even. You hear the wind rustling in the buffalo grass, the singing of the barbed wire fence. Little sounds that you normally wouldn't notice become very loud in such a place.

Little by little I began to notice things, it seemed for the first time of my life. The curves of the body of a horse, the way grass moves in the wind. Awareness began to awaken within slowly. Emptiness that I never knew existed began to fill. It was as if light began filling my entirety and my mindset began to change.

It was around that time I picked up a digital camera and began to try some photography. Most of my first efforts were rather terrible but a very few photos stood out from the rest. I was wondering what made them better than the rest so I began to study photography. Rule of thirds became and mantra to live by as did the term composition. Just about every photograph that I had seen in a magazine I would study trying to define what made it great. I had decided I wanted to become like that person.

I shot pictures all over the ranch, every image that I could capture. Along with all those photos I gradually began to waken further. I was becoming truly alive and aware of everything. Then began even more stirrings within, words began to flow. Can't really explain it better but I had to write something.

This is where I began to write some poetry. Really deep feeling poetry. There was also a lot of poetry that wasn't too good. Still, I kept trying and trying as I began to get in tune with the muse. Later on, I would become published in poetry worldwide but that would coming in a while.

All the time I'm learning photography I was taking care of the horses. They listen as you are talking to them but they don't say too much as long you are bringing them hay. You also spend a lot of time lost in your thoughts. Soon you begin to realize where you really want your life to go.

Before that one fateful day in 2002 I didn't know what I really wanted to do. I had just existed. That is the only way that I could describe it. I had decided that I would never be just existing again. It really was a self-discovery. There were many of them actually, each one becoming a part of me.

From those beginnings I've even reached the point where I am today. This is a place that I couldn't have imagined ten years ago including writing this story you are reading. Where I will be going tomorrow is always a pleasant discovery on this ever expanding journey that I am on.

This year will be the seventh year that I'm married to my present wife, Brandy. She has been a blessing to my life above any other. As I have gone into writing books she has stood beside me and supported me through all. I'm so glad that she had become such a part of my soul and heart. There really is no other for me.

Sometimes, a great loss can show you what you've always been missing in your life. It can open you up to becoming a truly loving individual. Along with the love that you begin to experience it is almost as if you have begun to bloom. You go...

...From Dark Into Life. 

The End

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