Thursday, January 31, 2013

NEW YEAR VS. OLD HABITS




This is the last day of the first month of the New Year. I am finally getting used to writing 2013. It is also the last day of PQ’s birthday month. He celebrates the entire month of January or at least the rest of January after the 21st. We are in Arizona for a few days so that he can enjoy the lower altitude and warmer temperature. Also he needed to recover from celebrating his Birthday. However, our main excuse for being here this time was an opportunity to see one of my first and dearest Taos friends who now lives in New York City and is visiting her son in Phoenix.

The drive out here was beautiful.  We were barely ahead of a storm all the way but the cloud activity in the sky and the unusually clear air took the monotony out of that long stretch between Gallup and Flagstaff. As we were driving, I could see remnants of old Route 66 here and there and remembered that life-changing trip I shared with my aunt and uncle when I was twelve years old that included Southern Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.  I knew immediately that the Southwest was my true home even though it took a long time to get there.

Old Route 66 was closer to earth than I-40 is. I remember only two lanes that moved along at a slower speed and at the same height as the desert brush and red earth. The immense sky came all the way to the ground back then, just as it would if you were on foot among the red rocks, dust and brush. For some reason that long ago experience floated to the top of my mind vanquishing the big time gap between now and then. Sometimes I feel like I’m viewing right now through a double pained window and the past through a dirty window but this new year’s first month seems to have cleaned my perception all the way back to that first road trip to New Mexico and Arizona. What does this mean? Are we on the edge of an overall cleansing experience? That might be ominous. But I'm enjoying the memories.  The philosophy behind modern technology is apparent. It takes us further away from the landscape, into disconnect and abstraction, as the highways get higher and wider and the cars move faster. But this time it isn't working and the landscape floods in through a wormhole of memories.

My dreams have been full of tumult the last few days. I’m apprehensive that life is about to become a pot of stew stirred up again by the top chef. That is usually both good and bad for those of us who are used to drifting quietly at the bottom of the pot like cubed potatoes. At the beginning of this New Year, I can already sense that the time has come that PQ must decide to prepare for a lung transplant and that I must find an income.  We have been postponing both of those decisions for the past three years.  In reality, that is what I see for 2013, the end of postponing. We went to Sedona this afternoon and hit some of our familiar spots but the feeling of unrest wouldn’t go away, so I suppose I’m stuck on how to begin. And, I must admit that everything important starts this way.  I’m working up the courage to jump out of the familiar box.  But this time, I’m counting on being smart enough not to jump into another box.

Sorry, I'll be more careful with my aim next time. Courthouse Butte on the left Bell Rock peeking up near the center.
I discovered this afternoon that my iPhone camera does panoramic shots. Probably the rest of you that have iPhones knew that all along. That feature just appeared accidentally on the Court House Butte Trail, and I didn’t know what I did to launch it. I’m posting that first panoramic photo although it isn’t very good, but perhaps it’s a sign of other undiscovered features. PQ’s favorite bracelet given to him by a Navajo Medicine Man seemed lost forever two years ago and then just before Christmas a new one of the same design but even finer came into his life. I’m thinking these are signs, however mundane of other serendipitous possibilities.