After leaving Albuquerque, driving to Taos at night was ultimately about running from a confrontation I had been avoiding for years. I was still into developing the character of Samson Pyne, mind you, but I had to settle a battle: a battle with grief that was fueled by something else that was yet to be defined.
Everyone talks about the stages of grief, but no pamphlet or person seemed to be able to explain the mind-altering chemical changes my body had been going through during the years since my father had died and perhaps for many years before. All my grandparents had died and not affected me like this; why then should the death of my father affect me in this way?
Different people thought different things about my behavior after his death; some even took advantage of it. Grief had led me into a world of promises that I couldn’t keep. Grief had led me into despair. Grief had led me into what was misdiagnosed as clinical depression. Grief was leading me…where? Absolutely nowhere.
And so it was now that I sat in my truck, just outside of Taos, New Mexico, watching a hot air balloon drift into the sky, descend into the Rio Grande Gorge, then rise out again. As I continued to watch, a cold reality began to set in: this battle was something I was going to have to face completely alone.
I sometimes think we spend about 20 percent of our lives actually doing something and about 80 percent of our lives trying to figure out just what in the heck we did. I briefly thought about the grid again and those circles that perhaps we aren’t meant to ever leave once we become a part of them. Hopes and dreams exist there. People become dependent on each other there. For all the dangers of getting lost within, there is still a form of security within the grid. Looking down at the dashboard I realized the truck had over 140,000 miles on it, but -- did it really matter?
There was no way to know what would lay ahead. I was about to begin a journey into the unknown and my only external witness would be some made up fictitious character named Samson Pyne and the 35mm SLR camera I had the forethought to bring with me.
There would be one last familiar stop I would make within the next few hours before leaving everything behind. There existed a piece of land in southern Colorado my father had hoped to build a cabin upon before he died. There are certain memories of people that are important for a person to hang on to, but there are others that with kindness must be released. Perhaps this would be the place where I would finally be able to simply let grief go. The "something else that was yet to be defined", I would deal with later.