Sunday, January 31, 2016


Winter slogs on at the pace of a minute hand. It must be moving but watching the clock makes it seem stationary. It has been a challenging season. I find January and to a lesser degree, February to be the time of year when time seems to halt.  Presently our family situation appears to become more complicated each day. My first response is to feel victimized by fate but my other self is aware of the humor as well.  Our Subaru is now the family bus and PQ was the sole driver until cataract surgery. It gave me a few days to renew my driving skills and that was a good thing.

Inspiring Crossroads (Click to Enlarge)
We dream of a week in Arizona but we are unfortunately still indispensable in Taos, still hitched to the threshing wheel.  However, I’ve noticed that my gray mood is shifting on the scale toward color again. Nothing in life is secure or actually predictable and so we never know in what condition the road will be around the next curve.  I have Jupiter conjunct the Moon rising in Cancer. My moods and outlook do shift to extremes but I’ve learned that this allows me to follow sensations that have not yet formed into ideas that congeal at mid swing. I’m a skeptical optimist.

I haven’t been able to write for a few weeks but ideas are now beginning to bubble to the top. I keep a notebook and sketchpad in my bottomless black bag to write down ideas before they disappear like fish that jump above water quickly and then just as quickly disappear. I tell PQ this bag is a real medicine bag containing PQ’s prescriptions, keys, bookkeeping info, makeup, brush, lots of pens and pencils (I am a Gemini, and running out of writing/drawing material can’t happen), my iPhone, sunglasses and Square. Oh yes, also a book to read in waiting rooms.  I could read from the iPhone but I still like real paper books so that I can write comments in the margins. For me reading is a conversational activity.

Slow winters are conducive to reflection. Beneath frozen earth and snow, new growth is preparing its debut. I don’t ski, we are held close to home by current circumstances, the garage is too cold for painting and there is much time to steep in an alchemical brew of winter weather, mud and memories renewed.


Memories heavy with years
crushing my chest,
Pressing down on my heart,
Stopping my breath.
Memories present in sensation
Though distant in time.
People once so present
Parted by a deep gorge of time.
Great times, lost times
Times I’ve strained to repair,
I’m being overcome by oldness
Though I've barely learned to be new.
Seeing life from the future
With backward focused eyes
Hoping for good providence
Around the next blind curve.
Memories, is that all there is?
Memories created of stacked up nows.
Kaleidoscoping round and round
Each twist changes everything.
Patterns ascending from center
Still bright from that first light.
I’m still new at being old.
There is a long way to go.

I’ve noticed that my flights of fantasy are now cruising closer to earth and real time. I would rather get to Arizona in the near future than dream of trips to Europe that can’t happen without a miracle. I would rather perfect the things I do now rather than take on new skills. And while I am deliberately renewing some skills that atrophied from neglect, I doubt that I will ever fulfill that old desire to learn French or Russian. Once I wanted to raise and train horses and next to be a dancer more than anything, simultaneously an anthropologist, and finally a psychotherapist.  At first, I was stunned to realize that time was narrowing my options. It took so long to get through the deep muck at the trail head. Was it bad luck, being born into a family that assumed that my nature and everything I cared about was demon possessed?  Or, more likely perhaps my life was about mining for gold in a different field. Yet it will be disappointing if there is no picnic after a long and difficult hike.  I’m coming into the closing stretch and I want to focus on something I can still realistically access.  Most of my disappointments turned out to be blessings after the initial suffering. One of my life lessons seems to be dis-illusionment.

Turning sixty was a seminal moment. That is when I realized that the rest of life would have to be about being, not doing, and while I’m at it, I can let my hair go grey, quit listening to Dr. Oz tell me how to remove those wrinkles or direct me to the latest weight loss miracle, all the while aspiring to look like I did at 30.  On whose authority is it a sin to follow nature into the greatest unexplored mysteries of the 21st century.