I'm sitting in my new living space, alone, having just found out that the project I came here with dreams of doing is not moving forward. I know that I will go through a variety of different emotions as the reality of this sets in.
My dog is outside playing with a piece of bark she found. She does best when my doors are open, and her outside world and inside worlds can merge. As I move into my reality here, I become increasingly aware the degree to which she is a projection of myself. I think for the first time in her life, she is able to have the best of all worlds. She now lives on a street where dogs are always everywhere. There are some unspoken rules, and I sense the topic to be somewhat political, but my dog can sense these things, and I trust her to make friends. She will speak for herself. And in the meantime, I have the liberty to give her the life I would want as a dog. I am living vicariously through her.
But actually I'm not. We are sharing our circumstances. I can see weather coming from 50 miles in any direction. The moon and the stars are bright, and my street is a dirt road without street lights. When the sun is setting, I am usually in my office facing west, and I can see it reflected on the hills around Santa Fe, and on the Sangre de Cristos. When seen from Santa Fe, the Aspen groves make a heart shape on the mountains, and in the fall it turns orange and red. The color those mountains turn in the evening tell me when it's time to start my walk.
I'll call Lorca then (she's usually already outside somewhere) and we go walking along the arroyo of the Santa Fe River. We are blessed.
All of which cushions the blow of this job not turning out. At 38 years old, and with a lot of pavement under my feet, I trust the way things turn out. It's a good time for me to hustle here, as I re-discover old folks still doing the good work, and discover other collaborations that have popped up since I left. I'm lucky that I have a network that I love - here and elsewhere - and experience it keeping me a float in economic waters that are different than I was initially expecting them to be. I have a loving family who supports me and wants me to win at whatever it is I do, and who will help me buy dog food if it comes to that.
The point, I think, being that it won't come to that. I am not here to squeak by, which is the other freedom I am allowing myself. How often do we take the opportunity in life to jump into waters as big as waters are? How often do we take a tour of what we know until we hit the edges of something vast?
When I came here, hitting one of those edges was not my intention or expectation. But although I grew up in a lot of different places, they were all desert, and climate changes fast here. It is my home, and I trust the depth of my knowing how to survive under these circumstances. I am understanding, in my body, why a people like the Palestinians or the Kurds or the Iraqi people or the Afghans or the Jewish people or the American Indian would continue, at increasingly slimmer odds of survival, to fight so long and hard for the privilege to exist on a barren piece of land somewhere. When you can see so many miles around you, and so much big sky above you, it is easier to see and feel the presence of an existence we share. I can understand the gratitude and loyalty inspired by a place out of which that awareness emerges.
I have been thinking a lot about my life a year ago this week - who I was with, and what we were doing. And in the same breath of being thankful to the Loki winds that started around a year ago this week, and eventually brought me here, hold deep gratitude for the people who took me in when I was so far from home. I hope that I can return the favor only because I miss you, and it would feel so wonderful to close the circle, and to introduce you to a part of me that might make the puzzle I was make more sense than it did out of context.