An Element of Sanity

Mescalero, New Mexico

An Element of Sanity

It is the stillness which is most important. It settled over me late last night like a blanket while at the same time something else lifted and moved off of its own accord. The sense of elation was tangible even as I barely wakened to its presence, and just as quickly fell back to sleep. I woke early but lay still and breathed in the freshness of the cold morning air as it drifted in through the partially open window by my bed. Beyond that nothing stirred but my thoughts and the stillness was absolute, and precious, an element of sanity in the midst of what was heretofore chaos. I gathered my thoughts and wrapped the emotion around my shoulders before I ever got out of bed and it warmed my spirit well before the heat of the stove took hold.

Stillness. I have been aware of this from the moment I became conscious of the energies which influenced my every thought and action. Even as a small child I sought it out, sitting on the soft moss bordering the brook which ran through Brooklands, the place we lived when I was young. I found it too in the forest at Charnwood and later in the Ramapo Hills where I walked and rode so often. It was on the shore by Lake Welch also; the place where I sat and dreamed of leaving New York for places west, knowing I had to escape, the city was too close. So I found it also when I traveled across the country, high on the Great Divide, that same place Bob Seeger sang of, he felt it also. I learned to wake early so as to have that time for myself, I still do.

There are places where stillness is almost a constant, even if everything is ever changing. It surrounds my Nogal House, it exists on the Plains of San Augustine, and it rolls across the Tall Grass Prairie in Oklahoma, as long as the wind is down. It is, most importantly, an absolute requirement for my sanity and sometimes so out of reach I forget to seek it out. I learned a lesson many years ago, but I forget it sometimes. “It is better to put things in order and keep them that way than to continually try to make order out of chaos. It seems I forgot that for a moment and even if I instinctively sought out the stillness I require to attain that it wasn’t quite enough. It returned to me last night of its own volition and I will keep it close from here on, it will not evade me again.

I see now the allure of returning to the Plains and staying there. I understand, as I always have, what it is and what it was which set my spirit free over the two years I spent wandering the dirt two tracks close to home and further west. It is that same thing I require now, the time to surround myself with stillness and not allow anything else to break the spell until I am ready to do so. It is why I live alone, and why I spent so many years of my life drifting the highway and living as far from society as I could get. It is an essential element of my sanity which cannot be ignored and I need to honor that awareness by allowing myself the time and the space to experience it. That is my promise to myself, one I care not to forget, again.

3 responses to “An Element of Sanity”

  1. Jody Solome says :

    Lovely writing Cathie. You didn’t forget; you briefly diverged from the beat of your heart to ‘take care of business’. A must sometimes too. Which seems to have had added benefits as well. For it has deepened, once again, your knowing of the truth that is you, and glimpses of how to proceed through your future. I love that you take this time(path), for all of us in the hectic world. To stop, contemplate, and sense what it is to be deeply human(aware). And then lovingly, and soulfully share it with us. Thank You.

    • cathieeisen says :


      Thank you for taking the time to follow my thoughts and for ALL of the affirmation you have given me. It has been as much the need to realign myself with myself as your reflections on my journey which has returned me to that place!


      • Jody Solome says :

        I love you in that place too, Cathie. It is real, adventuress, and thoughtful. You once wrote of….”dawn…she donned her best finery…as to traipse across the sky…in her brilliant pink dress, her tresses of gold and orange strung out behind her…and lavender puffs of clouds tossed randomly across the sky…” Thank you for forgoing sleep to capture that morn after an eclipse, bearing witness and sharing with those of us who may have been too busy to notice, unaware of, or not at the requisite longitude and latitude. You captured it for us.

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