July 14, 2016
Nogal Canyon Road
Bent, New Mexico
How to fill my life’s picture with the vision I have of what I’ve always wanted? If there is one subject I have pondered and focused on it is this, and I have written volumes regarding the same. I should herald the fact that I have not only held true to that dream but also lived it to some great degree and yet, in the same breath, it remains unfulfilled by some fault of my own. There has been the adventure, the freedom, the log cabin in the mountains, the self contained school bus (thank you, grins) and even those free spirited dark eyed men, to name a few. Still yet I have spent the better part of the last few days, and an inordinate amount of time before that, bemoaning the scarcity of the same. None of this is, in my opinion, some grandiose vision which is seemingly unattainable. In fact I feel that I am so very close, I just haven’t been able to grasp it firmly enough to fulfill it.
The image is clear and I have been so close at times! There were the years on the road when I wanted so little else but somewhere to settle and live that life. There was a young man I met who came so close but we slipped away. There was the Cabin in the Gap, an hours’ drive from here and the man I was so certain was my destined partner, and he was, for a time. There was the one who I followed to Oklahoma after him. We stood on the edge of the prairie there and came so close! There were the times in between during which I lived the dream all by myself, and those too were some of the best of times. There was even yet another, whose dark eyes flashed with so much life and brilliance but dimmed just as quickly with his failures. My optimism finally failed as well….No regrets, there were gains all along the way and I have learned from them all.
How to? I am as free to choose as I have ever been and if I take stock of what I have within my reach I could almost get there. In fact, I could get into my truck right now and drive an hour north of here. I could unlock the door of my Nogal House and spread my leather on the table and draw the image that still lingers in my mind and begin. I could take my paints and fill in the picture, punch holes in the leather and lace it to some wire and I would be done. I could make a few of these pieces, sell them, fix my kilns and buy some clay and glazes and begin. I know what used to sell and it would be easy to replicate them. It really is that simple, but I am not quite there yet, but I am close. Knock a corner off of my debts and I am there!
Perhaps I am closer than I think, having breathed life into that vision. That is so much a part of it, to let that image come to full recognition. It is like the picture I still see of the shield I would have created if I hadn’t of had other commitments. It is that same commitment which I have made to my happiness which I am not going to allow to evade me any longer. I assessed my accomplishments this morning as I was walking out the door and what I saw was good. In spite of the distraction I had allowed into my life I still managed to build myself a very comfortable dwelling and to amass the things I require for my comfort and success. I have the vehicles I need for the purpose they serve, and even an extra or two which satisfies my wants, as well as the tools and materials to pursue my art. I even have a studio in the making (another bus, LOL) and I can also reflect on my list and draw comfort from the same. I penned this three years ago and have kept it on the wall since, having made progress to some degree on all and have succeeded at others.
- Reduce/eliminate my burden of debt
- Create and market my artwork
- Complete and make every attempt to publish my book
- Better my work environment (change jobs?)
- Make my writing pay, a blog perhaps?
- Begin another book
- Finish my renovation of the bus(es)
- Have all my vehicles in good running order
- Ride and or sell my horse
- Sort my possessions (again) and lighten my load, no excess baggage
- Realign my focus on my health and happiness, set clearer goals J
- Find my place in the universe, a more permanent dwelling spot?
I have arrived at yet another turning point and I offer it to the world that we all might share the thought. My conundrum is no different than my quest; it is one we all share to one degree or another. It is the way we choose to deal with it which determines the outcome. I have never been a quitter even if I have at times stayed my progress by compromise or acceptance. There have been times when the constraints were genuine and I made the best of them, with no regrets there either. I spent twenty years providing for my children while still trying to live my dream and I have spent every year since then trying to fulfill it, for their sake as well as my own. If I have chosen one priority over the other without using my best judgment, so I had to make that choice to find out. Moving on from there I can reflect on the mistakes as well as the gains, and the gains were good. It is no different than when I stepped out on the highway in the height of my youth and ventured forth to parts unknown. I have satisfied my curiosity and found the things I want the most and those I can live without, which is what our journey is all about.
I arrive at this new year of my life and I ask, “How to?” I know how to, I have been doing it all of my life. It is deciding on what the priorities are and putting them into practice which decides the outcome. I had an image in my mind this morning of a piece I wanted to create and I may well have taken the time to create it. I decided not to as I had a previous commitment and as with several other things I want to accomplish, they are going to have to wait their turn. At the same time I saw this through and put into words the dreams and desires I want to purse. I have given them the life and the substance they require to become a reality and I will honor that as well. That is how to, I have done all this before!
July 12, 2016
Nogal Canyon Road
Bent, New Mexico
I have gone still for a moment, turning inward to heal and restore that which I have placed behind the needs of another. I bemoaned that circumstance for the past several years but rather than remedying it instead perfected the process. Am I sorry for having done that? No, not really in the least, even if I lost some ground in the process, so I gained in others also. I am stronger, clearer, more centered and determined than I was four years ago; even if I was on the right path then also. I have gained a focus and an appreciation which I might have missed otherwise and the delineation between my wants and my needs, and the awareness that my needs have been fulfilled, is as clear as it has ever been. Sure, there are still a few things that I really want, but my path to their attainment is also clearer than it was.
I stand alone again now, and I am grateful as I have ever been for the solitude and as importantly, the lack of distraction. If I have always had the desire for companionship so I have gloried in my freedom and always chose my own company over anything less than the best. Was I in the best of company for the last four years, no, but in so many ways yes. How can I explain or justify that statement except to say that one can be fascinated by another’s beauty and grace, intelligence and ability while still acknowledging their failures. Certainly I can and should do better but I can honestly say I have rarely kept company with a more amazing person and I am only sorry that he could not find it in himself to fulfill his greater destiny, though who am I to be the judge of that? It is so much easier to project our vision on others than it is for ourselves and it is that which I am so trying to do for me now.
I have spent my life trying to direct other people to a greater purpose, to guide their energies towards the joy and happiness I so pursue in my own life. If the proverb, ‘We are all teachers and best teach what we most need to learn,’ is true then I am the perfect example of the same. We have all, for the most part, (for there are some truly miserable people) been given the gift of joyfulness and vision, just as we are graced with a fair measure of energy with which we can do as we please. If we wish to focus on the sorrow and misery of our lives it is ours to do so. At the same time we can redirect that energy towards whatever pursuit or idea we choose and I for one have made every effort to make a positive of each and every event in my life. Certainly there have been failures but so they have strengthened my resolve to better my circumstance.
So it is that I have gone still. There is no immediate crisis in my life, having eliminated he who was in a constant state of the same. For once I have no desire to create a new challenge or go flying off on some new adventure and there is little need for change at the moment. Sure, things could be better but they have been far worse. Rather than plunging off into the unknown, as I was so apt to do in the past, I prefer to ‘Put my house in order and wait on the will of heaven’, a Runic council which has served me well whenever I have applied it. This is something new for me, I have never felt so settled or so still and I am taking great pleasure in the opportunity to peruse the future from such a solid stance. I may not be where I want to end up but neither am I so miserable that I cannot be content with what I have. I am also more aware of the part that I play in fulfilling the other requirements for my true happiness. I certainly have a lot to work with and if I take pause for a moment it may even take care of itself. I am going to sit still for a moment and find out.
July 7, 2016
Bent, New Mexico
The Simplest Of Things
It is the simplest of things which so struck me this morning, as if my awareness has suddenly been heightened in the absence of distraction. I noticed first the slight dampness in the air, so evident after the arid dryness of the past week. So there were clouds also, soft billows of pink and gold in the breaking dawn, and I closed my windows in answer, just in case it rains. I have left them open all week, thanking the slight breeze which cools my shelter every evening, freeing me of the heat of the day.
Then it was the finches, dancing in the cactus outside the door of the outhouse. The ‘Portal Potty’(See ‘The Outhouse Shrine”) is living up to its name and is as much a quiet sitting place as it is functional. The chance to sit outdoors, literally, and watch the morning come to life is precious in itself and I marveled at the activity on the brittle hillside. Cactus and mesquite are but a platform for the life which teams within their branches. So it was I said a word of thanks as I drove out to work with my tea balanced in my hand and the sun just touching the higher peaks.
Even the horses seemed to sense the calm of the day and rather than dodging their battle for the morning grain I walked calmly, for the most part anyway, amongst them and thanked them for their patience. My favorite mare even allowed me to stroke her neck for a moment as I let held the bucket for her before I poured it out. She is kind but aloof so the chance to touch her soft coat was a joy in itself. That wasn’t all though, as I drove to my post I caught a glimpse of a flock of white doves, just freed from their coop, swirling into the morning sky. Their joyful flight, and the symbolism of the same, peace and freedom, could not have offered me a greater affirmation. What that I have that in my life at this moment and am so grateful for the same? And why, I might ask, would I wish for anything different.
So it is I have rediscovered the treasures of my solitude. Certainly such joy is meant to be shared when the opportunity arises but in the absence of that, and barring unneeded distractions, I am at peace with myself and my life! Having brought so much stress into my world at a given moment I am once more grateful for the opportunity to rise above that and realign myself with the true essence of things! It is not that I haven’t always known this but only that I have too often forgotten to remain mindful of the necessity of it. It is so easy to become distracted and to forget the simplest of things, and that they must come before all else if we are to prosper.
Sometimes we put the needs of others before our own. There is no fault in that if the effort is well placed but so we must take care to replenish our own coffers. I do that very well, when I am alone, and perhaps I even have enough store to share some also, but I let it go too far. Having regained my balance I have found the joy which has always defined my life, and been to long absent. Funny how close it was and I couldn’t reach it, now it surrounds me in its fullness. There is nothing else I need today. I have been reminded again, as I have so much of late, that all of my needs have been met and my wants are so few. It takes but a moment of stillness for this to settle in. It is amongst the simplest of things.