THE PUZZLE OF SOLITUDE


The oaks and  elm trees are almost naked;  butterscotch leaves are face down, like half eaten lollipops. Lurching in the east; a mass of thick charcoal clouds without any wind to push them towards us.  This outdoor stillness and the hum of my refrigerator are subtle signals of the approaching hand of winter. The silence is like a cooking pot cover that secures my spirit into acceptance.  Listening to classical piano concerto’s, blue grass on Saturday, the blues on Sunday and rock & roll on Friday. Musicians are my guests, as much as the wild birds that pluck  from my feeders.

Sometimes, solitude feels like a draft and no matter how many sweaters I  put on, the seclusion tugs at my bones. There are a lot of us soloists that reside in Santa Fe. We are not questioned or scolded for our behavior, we are left alone!  If I am drawn into an empty canvass of what seems my destiny, I draw the opposite silhouette.  I am the light against the dark.   The green light in my head  reminds me that I have my teeth, my long legs, and some passion for almost everything that God and man created.  I just can’t decide which passion to follow. Should I do a  museum, gallery, lecture, drive to Taos, go to a concert, dance at El Farol, take Flamenco lessons, engage strangers in conversation, watch old movies, read more of the stacks of books on my bedside table. Should I interview the straggly teenagers in the park or hit up the high rollers? Should I write, submit or edit:  clean the laundry room, make a thick chili stew, iron my clothes or pick up leaves. Living unstructured is a discipline that threads easily some days, and when it doesn’t, I have to control my passion for daydreaming.

My daydreams: to inhale ocean air, to bogey board, to hike, ride horses, go to Lincoln Center, the wine county, Prague, Sicily, and Russia. My passion to be around little children at Christmas and stare at their patent leather shoes, and to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast, to converse on philosophy, the arts, social trends, and the interior life.  My passion for impulsive trips on the road to Kentucky and Tennessee, anywhere I’ve never been; I will go.  The obstacle I place in front of me; I don’t want to travel alone. I’m plain afraid. I’m afraid to fly more than two hours, my sense of direction is worse than anyone I’ve ever met, and I pack too many clothes to carry, and end up with a raw neck and numb arm.

Once in Annecy, France, I walked for hours trying to find my hotel. I circled the squareOld part of Annecy (France)

twelve times. I’d not eaten a meal in several days because my coin satchel was half full . In a moment, I just fainted and swooped down to the ground. A Frenchman was kneeling beside me when I opened my eyes. We sat on a little iron bench, and he offered to take me to dinner.  He was so kind, he kept bringing food to my hotel because he said I didn’t know how to travel.

The train of clouds are still in the east; fluffy white cream and silvery puffs of pastry. They too cannot decide whether to cry; or remain strong and commanding.

Dating is one passion I never had.   Even when it was as organic as sharing a cup of coffee or taking a walk after dinner. Dating now is about business and getting connected. It’s selfish sex with a price. I hear men and women tell me these stories and my response  freezes.  ‘Oh yea, she wanted $250.00 for a few hours; without sex.’  For  a woman she is expected to be complete; with independence and like total clarity about who she is and what she wants. ‘He  told me I had too much baggage; who doesn’t over fifty?’  I think we are always in an  evolution of  personal understanding of our experiences.  You can’t put people into cross word puzzles and expect them to stay there.

Now, hours later the clouds cried, and their tears pranced in a slight wind. I curled into my favorite club chair and watched a 1937 screw-ball comedy, ” We’re Rich Again.”  Like my Dad used to say;’ You’re whole life can change overnight.’  My bed is warm. My friends are loyal. I allow myself to write everyday.

REVOLUTION RUMBLINGS


I‘am stalked by a sensation of revolution; the upheaval of a crusted and molded foundation erupts and the contents spill into chaos. The spillage of this eruption is sparing political leaders. Everyday they appear more childish and temperamental.Your referee whistle is blowing, and spinning your diatribe into tongue twisting hollow promises.

The annoyance of conflicting orders robs me of my Aladdin (magic moments), and the mental sweep to clear out my conscience.  I feel like time is stained with stop signs, alerts, and too many laws. What happens is subtle, but when so much time is placed in soulless activities, life looses it’s Aladdin.  Even if you’re sitting at the local bistro and dining al fresco with perfectly agreeable friends, and chanting; our souls ache for reprieve.

Imagephoto by Dick Spas.

MIDDLE CLASS, MIDDLE-AGE MAP TO WHERE??


I rolled the dice this morning; got seven. This always lifts me UN-proportionately to

the triumph.   What is a seven going to do? Nothing. The dice don’t do it;  what happens Is

I believe it’s a lucky day;  like the wind won’t knock down my outdoor writing arrangement,

and I’ll be able to write for hours, and not be interrupted by registered letters, construction noise coming

from the new Drury Hotel,  or tenant complaints.

What  we all treasure and wish we could stack up in a treasure chest is piles of peace from whatever our lives do to make us nervous, edgy, and cuffed. Or we stop the behavior which I think is more difficult.

If you’re a middle class, middle-aged person who expected  to be retired in Costa Rica by now with a book and a bottle, then you have to rearrange the internal map. 0414131321

I ‘ll never retire from writing; I hope one day I can live in my home again.

SIFTING THROUGH THE SNOW


The silky drape of the winter sky sometimes adorned with lacy clouds is blue as sea and has shaken the clouds all night so we have sixteen inches of snow   at the Santa Fe ski basin. I’d rather be sailing. I don’t happen to get snow shoveling without gut-wrenching lower back pain.  How do you shovel snow?

I’m wearing one cotton camisole, one shapeless thermo insulated turtle neck, a down vest, and when I go outside I wear a down jacket. I’m so bundled up it feels like my limbs are bound in masking tape.  My teeth look whiter and my hair is flat instead of frizzy. Snow changes everything.

From my desk, I write, without thoughts predefined, just a drain of emotional threads from my heart, listening to Zap Mama   as she takes me to the wild, naked, warm region of Africa. I wander into unfamiliar snowy woods unsteady, juxtaposed between, acceptance and self anger for being so so… whatever it is that I pump into myself.

Nothing is worthless; not one moment should be wasted because there is always that window of escape. Our minds are there to take us away. I’m escaping now, Zap Mama Pandora Radio station on the headset, and writing. This is taking the moment out of frustration and into pleasantry.

My steps inward returned  1210121316  accomplishments: emotional break-troughs, mundane tasks accomplished, solo ventures, match.com dates (another story) and a comedic sideshow as I wrestle with sealed boxes, make repairs, and toggle in my patent leather too stylish boots to actually be called snow shoes.   In these moments, I assure myself that evolving is never ending, and we do not ever know what to expect from ourselves.