Sunday, March 22, 2015


My best writing never makes it to paper. The best comes in a flash when I am somewhere, often in the car, without pen and paper. There are brilliant flashes of insight in blazing words yet when finally I can write them the core meaning evaporates and they become an ordinary handful of dust. The magic disappears like a punctured balloon. I wrote the following while trying to chase an insightful moment as it was making its getaway. I grabbed it by the tail and like a lizard, it left its tail with me and kept running, but the tail isn’t too bad.

Most that is profound and beautiful stays just beyond reach. This is my new interpretation of my lifelong struggle to climb the Monkey Bars that symbolized my childhood ambitions. We artists constantly struggle to bring the brilliance shining behind the curtain of mundane reality into the 3D physical dimension. It resembles fishing. When the fish bites, it is exciting but until you reel it in, anything can happen. The fish comes from a different dimension and it doesn’t want to come out of the water. In this case, I don’t want to eat it, just catch and release. I want to see a flash of what is behind being human.

Springtime on Taos Mountain
There are many lives that exist within this single stretch of time I claim as my life. Suddenly the damp cool spring afternoon air opens a window to one of these lives hidden below the surface of now. The light is fresh and strangely familiar, I look through a window to see if it is raining but unexpectedly it whizzes me to Denver many years ago. I don’t know why. Random slices of the past pop into my consciousness at certain times and then I may not experience them again until another mysterious trigger releases yet more memories. As I notice this effect, many other spring days from earlier times also rush before me like a slide show in 3D. Not just vision but all of the senses are involved. I am saturated.

So, tonight, I am in Denver during my last days in Cherry Creek. It seems ironic that I now live with a husband and two cats in Taos, the same social arrangement I had back then but with different personnel and stage set. The world, family members and I have transmuted and changed bodies, souls and personal history. Perhaps someday I will look at the current moment in the same way.

As time passes and the people and animals in my life move from present to past, I gradually morph. I am not who I was 25 years ago. In most ways, that is a good thing, but in other ways, I miss who I was then as I miss the people in my life at previous phases that are not present now. It isn’t that I miss what my life was then, but I miss the old self as another troubled friend I’ve lost touch with. I certainly don’t want to be her but I would like to tell her that everything will be OK.

Nostalgia is one thing but this goes beyond nostalgia. This seems to be entire past realities stacked on each other with the present at the top much like a double, triple quadruple exposure. As my life moves on, I am aware that there is not just one life but many and each one professes to be the whole life during its time. I sometimes try to imagine what it would be like to live 900 years. Could Methuselah remember all the stages of his life and the people and events of his years? I find myself losing pieces of time already. I’m wondering how one can write a realistic autobiography. Surely, it would only be a compilation of events that for momentary and possibly suspect reasons float to the top layer of consciousness. The present self judges and alters the past for its own purposes.

I have Cancer rising, Moon conjunct Jupiter in Cancer ruler of home and family and I have always wanted to hold the essence of each experience and make it eternal. That is the true nature of home in my estimation. To hold all of those times and understand their relationship with each other, and then understand how they create life as I now experience it. It isn’t either the true life or the mythic life, but to me something much more basic and tangible. It is the life recorded in the soul and senses. It ties us back to the distant past and yet it can bring the past forward to now. My Gemini Sun conjunct Mercury,  god of the crossroads likes the alchemical twist.

I wish to share the whole many-layered reality with everyone and yet I can’t bring anyone with me to this private picture show. Sometimes,  life is much like being at a big party on your own and it takes time to make one’s way through the guests, to walk through all rooms in the hosts home and taste the offerings on the table. There are also painful, embarrassing experiences one would like to delete from the memory bank, and thus avoid any room where such memories linger, but then it wouldn’t be this life.

Nevertheless, perfection is always here right now. It is the background; it is the theater hosting this drama. Chaos, fear, unrealized hopes, ideals, pain, grief, destruction and failures lay deceptively over perfection. This is my new reality. I gaze into the bathroom mirror and see an unfamiliar face. It’s older than the one I was used to seeing. I’m afraid I will forget what I used to look like, yet this new image is fascinating. I’ve noticed that since my mother passed I’ve taken on more of her looks and gestures. One would think that the older we get the more individual we would become and yet I’ve noticed that people become more like their ancestors as they age. As the world turns, we carry the past into the future.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


This was only the first layer of snow!
The old pueblo graveyard in the ruined compound of the original San Geronimo church always draws my attention. The graveyard is covered now by a snow blanket and its occupants thus beneath both snow and earth. For some reason this seems to place them into timeless repose. It was Friday that we went to the pueblo to check the condition of PQ’s ancestral home. Not too bad! But, that was yesterday and it has been snowing ever since.   Here in town we had to take the big ladder from the garage so that Corey could get on the roof and de-snow TV and internet dishes. There is no way that PQ could spend an entire weekend or
possibly longer without TV.

Jump to Sunday Morning. It snowed all night, and yet it is melting at the same time, thus hard to tell how many inches actually fell, there are more than 12 inches that survived. George kitty is bored and this is bad. He is looking everywhere for entertainment. He tried to kill my turkey feather fan hanging in the living room and after that began chasing Shadow around the house; finally, he took to rearranging the magazines on the shelf under the coffee table. He is an extremely intelligent cat and that makes him sometimes difficult to live with. He continually finds new ways to get into trouble; ways we hadn’t thought of.  I have one of those laser light toys. You can guide it all over the house and the cat will chase it.  George figured out a long time ago that this light was uncatchable and now responds only when he’s truly desperate for action. Anyway, I tried it and it worked for a little while, then he looked at me with that, “I’m only humoring you because you won’t let me do anything else look,” and quit responding.

It occurred to me this morning that one of the fantasies I used to turn to when bored at work was being snowbound in a mountain cabin with just my books and writing material. I later updated it to include a laptop. I would shovel a path to the woodpile and outhouse and the rest of the time, I would read and write. I actually had just that arrangement for a few months during my 18th year with the addition of a piano and Joker my Labrador retriever. However, that time we didn’t have much food in the house and my parents had to rescue us.  There was no telephone, so they responded intuitively and with a truck when it became obvious that the snow wasn’t going to stop and I wouldn’t be able to get out with my little 66' Valliant sedan. Since then, I’ve added some provisions and a 4-wheel drive to the fantasy.
George and the ladder. Notice you can't see the Chamisa bush.

Now I entertain myself with images of a small but adequate house in Cottonwood. Intuition tells me that this isn’t going to manifest right away, but experience tells me that whenever I imagine something over a period of time, it does come about. 

However, despite the desire to resume what we started in Cottonwood, this winter is exactly right. We aren’t going out more than three times a week for the mail, the rest of the time we have been inside and under the radar. Covered in earth and snow I’m probably preparing for a rebirth. The seeds that lie beneath the snow are going to be a mystery until they sprout.  I can hardly wait to discover what chooses to take root. The conditions are good for a new season. Despite the extreme and sometimes harsh nature of Taos, it seems more balanced than say the eastern and southeastern part of the country. I have a premonition about that but it isn’t time to turn it into words. Every act of nature has its own timing.