Running Alone in Photographs: Excerpts & Insights

The wind was fearful at one time, when he was very young, timid, like a little boy.

       Those days are long departed.
  Now; he has confidence, formed from carving his name on the atmosphere
       to touch the world in millions of fractions that push away all the knowledge and everything you know.
                                              dusty secrets for you to unravel.
    He lets you become yourself, to bring about laughter in the moisture of life.
From: Running Alone in Photographs – page 146-147. chapter – Bpien Tdoi

Mirabal's first Novel
Mirabal’s First Novel

When I’m in the village I sometimes do a process I call “the power of the moment.” I pick up the book and flip the pages with my thumbs quickly and ask the person across from me when to stop.


I quickly turn to the page and I read to them the page – most of the time the magic is amazingly uncanny and will really reflect their own personal challenges or the transitions in their lives.

“I can’t change what has happened in my life.
Although I’m changing my outcome.
that’s the best I can do for now…”  – 
The main character Reyes Kristina Wind talking to a reporter.

The book was my first novel and it was one of the most intense academic processes I’ve ever had to undergo. I was blessed with a 6 month scholarship and everything was paid for – office space, intensive research facility and room and board included in Santa Fe at the School of American Research to create anything I wanted and I spent the first month partying like a freshmen in college.

Then I really thought long and hard about what I wanted to create.

I started punching the keyboard, from one letter to the next and eventually (in about 3 months) I had over 1,000 pages of stuff – just random stuff, however, it was all about me and I had to cut out half of all that shit. I really was pretty sick of myself by then – hearing my name, seeing my name, etc… So, in order for me to keep on creating I established a fictional character that could encompass my journey.

Through the process the protagonist became a woman who grew up on the pueblo with her grandparents – a type of bildungsroman as it would be called. For me personally, I turned myself into a reporter who found her living in the mountains about Taos Pueblo.

Reyes Wind Excerpts  PRESS HERE!

Enjoy listening, once a month I think I will read a chapter for you all.

Loving regards and many hugs…


Taos pueblo Ryes Winds home
Taos Pueblo Reyes Kristina Winds’ Home

30 thoughts on “Running Alone in Photographs: Excerpts & Insights”

  1. Thanks for this wonderful blog…I do hope you will read once a month…I am sure you have much to do each and every day but I, for one would love to listen to you…your voice is very soothing.


  2. this blog just made my whole day, i was so totally excited to read this and to listen to you read. i have this book, and would love to know what you wrote in it. I am so excited to listen to you each month. i hope i don’t have to wait a month to hear about your running. post some running pics or something on your FB page as well. Happy Running to you and look forward to your next blog post especially the running ones.

  3. Just for you, read it if you want or don’t. Whatever. We all like to know we’ve been heard, so…

    Notice how children cozy up and are your instant friends all secure and content and never stop insisting you keep telling more stories? Their hunger for oral tradition is insatiable. Which tells you something about how instinctive and elemental that bonding and passing on of information is that written words alone will never outlast – why academia’s validation or not of Turtle Island history is just a knowing chuckle to The Real People.

    Our college years performing Oral Interpretation of Literature made me especially satisfied hearing you open up Believe in the Corn and be so presumptuous as to announce that even though they had come to “hear the Indian play the flute” – haha loved it, you are SO over everyone’s expectations – you were going to do what YOU were called to do and READ to them. Not dazzle them, not do the monkey organ grind. I teased you about that too but you KNOW I get it. You may remember when you asked if anyone had any requests after that, I insisted you tell the Vietnam STORY.

    Kinda like how they came to hear Dylan just for the lyrics – plain, not peanut – so their brains could focus.
    When I saw him with the band in Nashville there was so much NOISE CLUTTER from the sophisticated equipment blaring off the oversized venue, I just longed to hear him stand up there with his lonely off key voice that Changed the Times and tell me his stories. That’s all we really come for.

    That is the simplicity of Readers’ Theatre. It’s a personal, intimate invitation to focus and engage. So glad you respond to requests.

    Well, I get all anal about it. Sorry, that’s what education and a keyboard does to you. If you could hear my voice, I could express it from my heart better since it’s connected up to it and not under the control of letters.

    That girl who is really you sits just like me and has my bad attitude that I know is a good attitude, too. They put part of my spirit in your body and part of yours in mine so that should concern you, haha, and they did the sane thing to everyone else we know. Cuz we are all related to everything. Weeds and all. So that’s why we gotta tell our stories to whoever will listen til we hear our own voice again.

    Love ya my bro

    Hit delete anytime

  4. One question for you . . . wasn’t this actually your second book? I recall a book right before this one called Skeleton of a Bridge. Do you not consider that one as your first?

  5. I read Running Alone last year I think. From the very first page I sensed it was more biographical in nature than not. Reyes Wind has so much of Robert Mirabal in her that I could not help but think that the story must be yours. Upon completion I was left with a half-full glass of wine, hoping there will be a sequel… something like After the Fools or Wind Comes of Age. Her life on the Pueblo, living the life of an Indian woman, needs to be explored. There is so much left of her that we have not seen; and that those of us who know her are eager to discover.

    Colleen is right… everybody loves to listen to a story. Read to us my friend. Your voice has a quality that makes us want to listen… and an intimacy that draws us in. Listening to Po;Pay tell his story is sheer pleasure that transcends even your singing and your flute playing. Read to us and we will listen intently… and we will come to know Reyes in a way that we will never know her on our own, listening to our own voices instead of the one who creates.

    Thank you for your abundant gifts. You give so freely of yourself, and that makes you a good man in my eyes.

    Love and blessings always…

  6. I bought the book a few years ago and really liked it – I think I will read it again! Please continue your artistic journey – I love all that you do – music, dances, art, farming, running and all types of writing.

  7. Bought your book several years ago and read the chapters over and over again- except for the last two….wanted to savor the words. All these years later i know that it’s ok to read them cuz the story never really ends, eh

  8. I have Robert’s novel “Running alone in photographs.” for a two years. Although I am not so very good English language expert 😉 I enjoyed in every word that he wrote so I patiently used English- Croatian dictionary until I’ve reached the last letter. This beautiful novel is my favorite book. I keep it always close to me. It is all times somewhere in the cupboard or in my hand bag… on the desk or together with a cup of tea on my tea table.. I just like to keep an eye on it and from time to time (in fact, very often) I open it and keep reading again and again… I will be so free to comment that everything what you says Gayle is just like I feel myself.. And, I absolutely agree Colleen… you wrote stellar comment in the name of us all..

  9. 🙂 What to say Robert but thank you for everything. You made us happy. It has been beautiful to read your novel. I used my English-Croatian dictionary because I’m not so good English language expert, but I tried to enjoy in every word you wrote.. I look forward to hear your voice again.. With love, your devoted friend from Split, Croatia.

  10. Once again Robert you brought back a calm and peacefulness to me with your voice. Keep writing and farming, playing flute and whatever makes you happy because your joy radiates so beautifully out from you and makes the world a better place. Maybe we will see you at the Regeneration Festival on September 2nd. I would love to see you there doing talk story and inspiring the youth of our community. I too have the book and think it to be an awesome writing and window into Robert Mirabal. Thanks again for your blessings.

  11. I came through strange ways to your book. I acctually orderd a CD directly from you and got a couple of weeks later the book 🙂 and not the CD. I knew that it was meant to be like that and strarted to read and never stopped until I was through it. What a great novel …

  12. Good evening Robert,

    You are captivating. I enjoy your blogs. I say STOP at page 111.

    I like the simple wisdom of the main character. I would appreciate it if you read your book. Your voice is powerful and majestic.

    Thank you for making this connection possible.

    Lots of love and hugs back to you.


  13. so i was the first one to write you a blog post and it is still being in review ha ha is there something you don’t approve of? or did you just over look it. loved the blog and the reading happy running

  14. Hey Mirabal,

    Great blog as usual. I always like the pictures you post. Looking forward to next weeks blog. Thanks for reading to us and hope you continue to do so. Will be picking up Running Alone next month.


  15. I bought your book last year in Taos at a little shop on the square downtown. I think the man that was there at the time said he was your brother-in-law. He said you wrote it from your feminine self. Anyone that reads it can see you in the book. While reading, I have so many turned pages and areas I underlined to read over and over. Having been a struggling musician years ago, there were a lot of areas I can relate to. To create art is so completely different than the having to put up with the business of it. The depth of what you wrote is amazing. We later visited Taos Pueblo and bought your book Popay speaks. We had seen you perform it at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. I have never seen such a wonderful performance in my whole life. You take humanity to another level.

  16. Nyah weh Lidija. 5 hours and 23 minutes til Blogtime, boys and girls, don’t touch that dial. Tick tick tick 🙂

  17. I told Tammy to get over it, Robert was busy having the FCC put a 30 second delay on what I wrote cuz you can never trust me, but she just had to bug you. Running makes her Crazeee

  18. Robert,
    I adored being read to by my mother when I was a child. It is one of my fondest memories. I always asked her to read more, I didn’t want her to stop. I felt the same as I listened to you read. Please do read to us more. You are a great story teller!
    Thank You,

  19. You are so cool! I don’t think I’ve read anything like that before. So great to find somebody with a few original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

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