I went downtown today! At first, I was reeling and wobbling. I’m not used to walking on sidewalks anymore. I felt like a babe taking first steps. In a way I am. But this is part of my restart on life after a year without PQ. Everything was more real than I remembered. The impression was more extreme than a front row seat at a 3D movie. The sky today is a dazzling blue, and the clouds are huge, shapely cumulus mounds towering over the big mountain with brilliantly luminous borders that challenged my eyes to believe. I felt dizzy and took gasping deep breaths between views. I remembered, this is the Taos I fell in love with and was immersed in for years. It was my stomping ground. I never took it for granted, but it was once as familiar as my living room and kitchen. Apparently, my inner lenses became clouded with the dust of struggle and routine, and because it was gradual, I hadn’t noticed the loss.
|Me and PQ at a Friends Party |
For tourists so recently released from COVID19 restrictions, today the Taos spirit put on its most iconic outfit. I spent some time in the John Dunn Plaza drifting down the walks and peeking into shops. What a wonder! I’ve only shopped at Walmart, Ace Hardware, and the grocery stores since we returned from Cottonwood Arizona a decade ago, and during recent years, PQ found walking around just to partake of eye candy on Bent Street or the plaza too much for his lungs. Before Pulmonary Fibrosis became his minder, he was fun to shop with. He was one of the few men I’ve met who loved to go through boutiques and suggest what would be a good addition to my wardrobe. His taste usually suited me better than mine. I had to seal today’s reunion by buying a book in the place where I made my first Taos purchase thirty years ago. Back then its name was Moby Dickens and I have a photo of myself standing by the front door. Sadly, this is now the only bookstore in town. I, like many others buy most of my books online, but direct physical presence is more satisfying. It concerns me that Zoom meetings and online purchases have taken us away from physical contacts. We may be losing our personal connection with the living world as we spend more time with electronic substitutes.
I was already middle aged when I first came to Taos, but I knew I would leave my previous life and start again here. It seems to me that human lives resemble a book divided into chapters. Right now, I’m re-reading my life-book up to now and underlining the cogent sentences. Every time I open pages of the past, I notice more things I forgot, or now have a different take on. My soul is urging me to dust off the binders of previous volumes and see what I can glean that may inspire a new chapter.
I’ve lived almost like a hermit since PQ transitioned. It took months before I could feel solid earth beneath my feet. Even the walls of my house seemed strange, as if they were a simulation that might disappear. I was trapped in some liminal dimension. It wasn’t at all like my life before PQ and I became a team. For as long as I’ve been in Taos, he was always on the altar of my soul’s temple. We had continuous contact even when we didn’t see each other for days, weeks, sometimes months. I literally felt him all the time.
Over my almost thirty years in Taos, I’ve upgraded my identity several times. Today I re-experienced the original intensity of my early Taos life. I don’t wish to relive any of those thirty years, many of them turned me inside out with shock and heartbreak. Taos is beautiful, raw, and dangerous, at least it was back then. It is or was a land of instant karma. However, there were valuable elements in each challenge that added missing parts to who I am. Now my higher self is gathering them together for me so that any scattered parts that may be useful will be put to use.
Intuition suggests that I need to be ready to pack my bags with the most important items from a past gleaned in Taos and be ready for the next journey. I don’t know if this will be literal travels or exploring new landscapes of heart and mind. Right now, even my Living room seems different because what I thought was reality moved out.