Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Yesterday I decided to browse the internet for local jobs and immediately came up against requests for a resume.  So, I decided to download a resume template for Word.  It has been so long since I’ve done a resume that I immediately ran into the reality that my pre-Taos work history is long buried in the pauper’s cemetery of unmarked graves. Not only could I not remember the dates that I began or quit any of these jobs, sometimes I couldn’t remember the year or how long I worked there. Even the sequence was in doubt. Trying to remember the names of supervisors was hopeless so there would be no names to contact for references. While scraping the cobwebs off the walls of the memory bank it dawned on me that even when I could remember names, many of the people I once worked for are no longer alive and I don’t have any phone numbers to the other side. Wow, I’m feeling like one of the ageless undead! However, truthfully, I think there is more going on than a senior moment. It has more to do with the clean sweep of a pre-Taos identity.  Of course, this awareness summoned up thoughts about how I would actually wish to present myself to a potential employer. More importantly, what could I reasonably be hired to do.

I worked in retail for 22 years and I really don’t want to do that anymore, if it can be avoided. Along the way, I supplemented this income here and there doing astrology readings, making websites and selling paintings. These are all activities that I would much rather do than selling stuff in a shop. The retail thing is like a ball and chain. I never made enough money to do more than pay rent, utilities and food. Even then, I often had to call on mom and dad for a boost if anything like an automobile repair or other unforeseen money deflator happened along.  In order to launch over the prison walls, I needed a serious energy boost. An image comes to mind of treading water while waiting for the lifeboat.  You don’t drown but you don’t get to shore either.  Such normal modern conveniences as doctors, dentists and health insurance are still a remote dream. 
Italian Visitors Roberto and Elizabeta with Sunny Spruce & PQ

On coming to Taos, I left a lot of drama, trauma and disappointed hopes in Denver. Actually, much of it followed me to Taos but took on a uniquely Taos form. Taos was part paradise and part hell, nothing in between.  Being surrounded with people like me was the best part. I wasn’t a minority anymore and the class barriers disappeared.  Artists and astrologers were OK. Some of them even made a living, and even if you don’t make a living Taos is more tolerant of poverty. Nevertheless, it was like stepping backward a century.  This was partly good and partly not so good. Everything I was doing wrong for myself immediately came up as a stumble bump. While living against my grain was the only way I survived where I came from, it didn’t work well in Taos. I’m still learning about this. You might think I was a slow learner. Self-confidence isn’t my strong suit.

When thinking about a job to supplement our meager Social Security (not), the first thing that comes to mind is another job selling stuff. After all that’s what I’ve done more of than anything else. But, it also feels like volunteering for jail time.  Then there is the fact that my life is completely different from when I quit that last retail sales job after 16 years. That job was a mixed blessing. It paid the rent and utilities, not much else but at the same time I was immersed in Indian art and culture.  A lot of history walked through that shop. In addition, I learned much about the variety of people who visit Taos, but that is almost worth a book in itself. To avoid turning into stone from boredom, I created a website for the shop, learned HTML coding took over a thousand photos of merchandise, learned photo editing on an out of date pirate copy of Photoshop and created a thumbnail and linked larger copy of each item, then created all the theme and background graphics on evenings at home.  I frequently worked until midnight and days off and was never paid for any of this because it was my idea. The shop owner had no interest in being on the internet, but later discovered it was a necessity in the present world.  That website is still up but now looks antiquated and no one has been maintaining it since my exit.

The internet has grown in leaps and bounds and Taos is a bit of a backwater for learning the latest in applications and coding. I feel left in the dust. Besides, I don’t think I really want to do that anymore except for PQ and I. I’m married to the love of my life after twenty years of his dancing back and forth and much of our lifestyle is precast around his health issues, family responsibilities and art.  Ironically, he was perfectly healthy during my years of drudgery. Now we travel to Arizona when possible because he can breathe there, and I participate in helping with wedding and land clearing ceremonies, feast days, drummings and so on. We now have only one car and it wouldn’t work well to have a regular 9 to 6 shop or office job anymore even if I wanted one. 

The annual Artist Photo Party at KTAO Solar Center
In the best world ever, I would find a way of making income doing what I believe in and do best.  Perhaps I can find a way to put this computer to work anywhere I am and even make money painting. PQ and I have applied for a tax ID number so we can do craft shows here and there and I will go ahead and work on that resume. I have a feeling it will be therapeutic. Maybe I’ll do it just the way I want to be seen in this world. I’ll include the things I’ve done that are the most valuable in making me who I want to be instead of recording what I wish I didn’t have to be.  Everybody has a core dilemma that tortures him/her enough to jump over the fence, or else he/she suffers soul starvation. I don’t want end up a skinny ghost.