Monday, November 12, 2012


We returned to Taos from Cottonwood Arizona a week ago.  To my surprise , I had reentry problems.  Although the trip to Taos (home) was pleasant and so was the weather I experienced an upset stomach and sleeplessness the first night home.  PQ did better than I did and he is the one that finds breathing at 7000 ft. challenging.

I haven’t been up to par since I returned.  Four days ago, I slipped a disk in my back reaching for an item in the garage while PQ and I were beginning a long dreaded cleanup and organization project to make the garage usable as a studio.  Last night while lying awake, the subject of home, what it is and the emotions it elicits began running endlessly through my head but unlike that herd of imaginary sheep to be counted, it wasn’t making me sleepy. When I’m in Cottonwood/Sedona I feel light, free, surrounded in wellbeing and at peace.  Yet, I always worry about our Taos houses, imagine my neglected plants in distress and miss our favorite restaurants, running into friends and family at the grocery store or post office and the familiar presence of that fine elegant mountain that overlooks Taos. Either way, I’m pulled into pieces by the limits of time, space and funds. 

This calls up memory of a visualization introduced to me in a meditation years ago in which we were to imagine ourselves on a raft floating down a mountain stream while taking note of all the things witnessed along the way. Unfortunately, I ran into a snag immediately by conjuring an agonizing choice between staying in one place in a cozy imaginary cabin by the river where I would enjoy the familiar landscape through the changing seasons and befriend the native creatures that came to drink and graze. This possibility was nostalgically opposed to the allure of discovering new vistas while floating down the river. Perhaps this is a Gemini dilemma. Of course, I have a Gemini Sun with Moon/Jupiter rising in Cancer, the curious seeker vs., the homebody.

So how does this relate to home? The Encarta Dictionary explains that “home” is the place of birth, the place where a person, family or household lives, the place where an animal is indigenous, company headquarters, a sporting goal, native territory, and a place of refuge. However, to me home is a place that always dances several steps ahead of the seeker like a mirage. 

For some time I’ve experienced a recurring dream about home. Actually, it is about many homes. Usually it starts with the present house but then somehow I accidentally happen into the neighborhood of a house that I once lived in but then forgot.  Often there are several different homes in these dreams going back to my first apartment as an adult. As I rediscover each one, I recognize the piece of soul I left there and then I’m overwhelmed with nostalgic yearning for a loss I can’t replace. The dilemma is that I only have one body and limited time and space. I cannot be in all of them and time runs thin. 

Perhaps this thing about home is actually about consolidation. Maybe it’s like going through the garage, finding the things you forgot you had and then figuring out what to do with them. Right now the garage is piled to the ceiling on one side with boxes of stuff from my mom’s house, a few of things that grandma left with mom,  and things we had in our Arizona house that I hope to someday take back to another Arizona house. On the other side are tools, camping gear, paint, seeds and plant food.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot about art supplies, canvases, unhung paintings I don’t have enough walls for and stretcher bars. 

Someone Sent Me This Photo Taken at Their Colorado Home
I just realized that the garage holds the essence of all those houses/homes that I can’t choose between.  No wonder it nearly broke my back.  It’s heavy stuff.  What should I keep, what should I mourn and bury as dead and what should I dust off and bring into the house because I finally found a use for it? 

As far as literal homes are concerned, three places still pull on me.  They exist in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.  It’s a migration pattern. I was born in Colorado and lived there until 20 years ago.  It’s the place of family history personal crisis dashed hopes and wistful memories.  New Mexico is the land beyond the forbidden psychic border of family history, a place I chose on my own, where I ran the gauntlet, met my spiritual family and my soul mate.  Arizona is freedom, clarity and the place I first recognized as a land of ancient  dreams. But what to do about the dilemma of physical distance, place and time? Maybe it’s more achievable to stay with exploring the garage. No telling what kind of alchemical magic awaits discovery in there.  

Then the survival importance of home struck yesterday.  I’m still a bit shaken by it. PQ called me from the driveway with a voice that indicated that I should come at once.  He said, “There is a dead little dog here.”  It was lying at the base of the sand pile left over from making  our patio.  He was almost hidden in fallen willow leaves and faded grass that blended with his long wavy tan and black coat. I recognized him as the little dog that walked by our front door the previous day.   What could have happened?  I had assumed he was one of my neighbor’s dogs. She has several.  I called her and verified that it was the animal I’d seen the day before but it turned out that he was new to the family. She offered him a home when his owner, a colleague wasn’t able to keep him. She was shocked and thought probably she accidentally ran him over the night before.  She had parked her Jeep only a few feet from where he lay. She called and called for him that night but never found him. When uprooted from our home place, we often falter like a leaf blown from a tree. The energy body is discordant with its environment and bad things often happen. How easy it is to lose things important to us even when we are away from home on vacation, but being ripped up from the our emotional roots can also be life threatening for people as well as animals.

Santa Fe Rainbow from Last Week
I suppose that what I’m getting at is that home is the center of our personal mandala. Everything else radiates out from the center, and without an earth based center we flail about emotionally and spiritually. However, a visit to Santa Fe a few days ago broadened my sense of home.  It is a place I love to visit the way one visits a favorite friend or relative.  Its the home of somebody else but I feel welcome at the door. The home of dear friend or friendly relative is another design layer on the mandala, after all, we are also visitors for the time of our life on Mother Earth.