Gabriel Roberts

Truth is Beauty

Author: gaberobertsart (page 2 of 8)

Driving up to the Land

We met upstairs at the old apartment building-turned-art-gallery where we rented office space. It had high ceilings and wood trim around all the doorways, with etched-glass windows above each door, creaky wood floors throughout, and a piano in the grand front room that overlooked the town’s main drag below.

Chris was playing piano when Ryan arrived and we waited for him to finish his song, or to finish his need to play some piano. He played “It’s All Understood” by Jack Johnson and the big chords echoed throughout the hall. Ryan and I sat across from each other on a couch and chair in the sitting room, smiling about Chris on the piano and rolling a spliff. The girls were occupied together with something and so it was suddenly just us three guys and we were going up to the land. I was somewhat anxious to leave, as the night was getting on, but made an effort to quiet myself and wait and after a few more trips through the chord progression Chris was done and standing tall and ready to go.

I drove the Subaru out of town and put some music on, and on the short ride down the highway we lit up the spliff and then I turned off onto the dirt road that climbed up to the land. We hadn’t been up in a few days, and not together in a long time. We said something about the girls and laughed and the Subaru climbed and I tried to avoid the rocks in the road. It was quite muddy, and when we got to the steepest stretch I didn’t give it enough gas to get up, and feeling the car start to slip, I put it in reverse to back down the hill to stop on the flat spot. I was stressed about the car and especially the mud, having smelled the engine always after making the drive up, and, despite having owned the car for two years and driven it across the country, unsure about the little car and how it was doing. All the way back down the hill I stopped the car and Chris opened his door and got out and yelled “Holy shit Gabe!!”, and Ryan got out of the back seat and exclaimed “OH HO!! MAN!!” and I yelled “What?!?” and Chris said “You almost backed off the edge!”. “Your back wheel is hanging over the edge!” said Ryan. My heart was pounding and I pressed the brake as far to the floor as it would go and pulled the handbrake as Ryan and Chris walked around and laughed. “Yeah your whole back right wheel is off the edge!” said Chris, and they both laughed.

I wanted to get out and Chris told me to put the car in gear and I dumbly said “what gear?” and he said “any gear, so that we don’t roll off the cliff”, and reached inside from the passenger window and pushed the stick into first. I said something about the smell coming from the engine, convinced in my spliff-blasted brain that there was something terribly wrong with the car, and I popped the hood and Chris peered inside and I slowly got out of the car and walked around to see the wheel hanging over the edge of the road and the darkness below of the drop we’d nearly taken.

“Oh God” I said, and walked around to the front, feeling sick and already swearing that I’d never again drive stoned, and Chris determined that everything looked okay under the hood and Ryan put down the hood prop rod and was fumbling looking for its seat in front of the engine, and I could see he was struggling with it but after being in charge of driving and getting us nearly killed, I’d lost all assertiveness and numbly stood and watched until he asked “could you come help me with this?”, and then walked up and put the prop in its half-broken little plastic clip and closed the hood. Chris offered to drive and I immediately agreed and asked “how confident are you that you can drive the car out of this?”, and he said “about 99%”, and got in and Ryan and I came around back and got purchase as best we could over the edge of the road, our chests up by the back bumper, and Chris revved the engine higher than I’d ever heard it go, and we pushed on the bumper and then Chris dropped the clutch and the Subaru jumped forward and scooted away up the road. Ryan and I climbed over the edge back to the road and walked up as Chris stopped the car and then gradually reversed back to us. We decided to leave the car there at the base of the hill and Ryan and I walked back a bit to find a good spot to park and we walked from there, carrying a few snacks and sweaters up the muddy hill and onward in the night all the way up to the land.

They were both in good spirits but I still felt sick inside and thought about how I almost got us all killed and I said “I’m sorry guys” and they said don’t worry about it and Chris said “hey at least you stopped when you did!”. We walked three-across up the hill and they made more jokes and already the whole thing was something funny that had happened to the three of us. It was never something that I had done: it was something that happened and we were all in it together. When we reached the big blue and yellow bus we said hi to the little meowing black cat and bedded down straight away and slept through the night, and in the morning we walked back down the hill in the mist, Chris wearing an old wool jacket that he had once loaned to Ryan but who never wore it. The jacket later passed to me and I still have it today.

Eat Cereal or Go to Mexico: Painting Pictures Ep. 56

The eternal question! I explore the answer from Craftsbury, VT, with four audio clips from Mexico. Brought to you by Charlie’s Pizza.

Click here to stream:

Go to iTunes to download and subscribe to Painting Pictures:

Song at the end is a cover of “Funtimes in Babylon” by Father John Misty.
Click here to support the podcast:

Miles Roberts in Desert Mounties: Painting Pictures Ep. 55

My big brother Miles joins Painting Pictures to bounce around the spiritual, cultural, and political landscape of December 2016 in Craftsbury, Vermont. Beanies, cats, elections, Canada, and cozy pants are mentioned. Closing sequence of man struggling to saw through a tiny piece of wood.

Click here to download the episode and subscribe to Painting Pictures via iTunes:

Or stream it right here:

Happy 2017

It’s 2017 and here we are. Obliged to take the next step into tomorrow, and make some resolutions! Who’s got ‘em?!?!? The number one resolution of 2017, as it turns out, is “To Be A Better Person”, which barely beat out “losing weight”, I think. Or going to the gym.

That’s a step forward! That, that; that, my friends, is worth celebrating.

I gave many hugs to strangers tonight and wished them a Happy 2017. I’ve never experienced the fullness of celebrating the new year like I did tonight. Dudes, mostly, but some chicks too. Everybody was FEELING IT. Seriously, bro. Feeling it. Convinced that 2017 will be the best year yet, partially because they say it can’t be as bad as 2016. But secretly they know that 2016 was pretty great in it’s own right.

I’m feeling it. Big stuff, yo. “Big Stuff”, as Larry David said it, gesturing to the engine of the Toyota Camry he was trying to sell. He had no idea what was under the hood…

Bunny Kitty brought to you by Cats: Painting Pictures Ep. 54


From Craftsbury Vermont, in the company of Kitty and Bunny, a solo slam-jam with thoughts on Bridget Jones, house-sitting, potty-training, and yoga at home.  Featuring a slice of epic Christmas Music.

Click here to download the episode and subscribe to Painting Pictures via iTunes:

Here’s a permalink to the episode:

Show Notes: link to Handel’s Messiah:

Paintings for Sale

I’ve got a small selection of framed pictures here in Vermont that can be purchased.  Email me at to buy:


“From Calderwood Hill (ochre)” 2016 Craftsbury, VT, 6.5 x 5.5 inches $175


“From Calderwood Hill” 2016 Craftsbury, VT, 11×18 inches $750


“Le Marabout (after Matisse)” 2013 Sacramento, CA 12×17 inches $275

“From Overlook Road” 2016 Hardwick, VT, 8×12 inches $350


“Apricot Tree in Bloom” 2015 Paonia, CO 6.5×8.75 inches $350


“Hardwick Town” 2016 Hardwick, VT 8×12 inches $400

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December 2016 Desktop Calendar Background

Good morrow good sirs and madams!!! Tis the season of snow! Here in Craftsbury, Vermont, the snow is falling heavily today and it’s beautiful. Our background for December features a photo from here in town, just yesterday before the snow really arrived:


Please click on one of the following links to download the background for your desktop:
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Click here to donate and support more calendars:

November 2016 Desktop Calendar Background


Howdy cowboys! Welcome to November. This is about the usual time of posting a desktop calendar background these days—a week or so late. Who knows when these things come out! Thanks for being here and going with another desktop background.

This photo is from Cape Elizabeth in Maine. That there is a seagull! Click any of the following links to download the image for your desktop:

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This is not NPR: Painting Pictures Ep. 53

A full hour of audio that does not include the voice of Robert Seagull. Dedicated to Cinnamon the Pony, with thoughts on burping, iPhone updates, the price of apples, and driving in Vermont.

Click here to download the episode and subscribe to Painting Pictures via iTunes:

Here’s a permalink to the episode:

October 2016 Desktop Calendar Background

Here’s a new background for October! Well, what’s left of it anyway…

Photo is of Lake Elmore at sunrise (or shortly thereafter) in Elmore, Vermont.

Click one of these links to download for your desktop:
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