Garden Skull

March 14, 2020
Nogal House
Indian Divide, New Mexico


The crisis outside my life seems surreal this morning. I woke to a cool clear morning, the air moist and fresh from yesterday’s rain and the sky a brilliant blue. All of the colors of the landscape seemed sharper for the touch of moisture and for a moment I stilled completely by the beauty of the dawn. My morning prayer was raised with the sun in my eyes as I slept well and late, unhurried by any urgency or pressure. My life is as good as it can get right now and I am taking the time to savor that while I can. I have chosen to take pause while still putting forth a sincere effort to support myself and so far it is working. If my income is sparse the money trickles in as needed and my time is well used. To compare this to the rapidly escalating events beyond my solitary perch is ludicrous, but necessary. This event is affecting all of us and each day it creeps closer to our lives. I don’t know anyone personally who is ill but before this spring break is over I imagine I may. I could even be exposed and have already had a close brush with it at the airport in California. So far I have been spared.

Do I stay home today because of this? Can I allow an excess of caution to keep me here rather than trying to market my wares? That could be an excellent idea but I still need to sell my art and now is the time to do so. There is lots of traffic today and the travelers pass my store. It is a good day to be there and I can sell outside and limit the risk. I will do so, but not without some trepidation. It seems foolish to take the risk and I have to consider that, but life goes on as well and this is bound to get worse. Two weeks from now I may have no options but for the moment I do.

This is surreal when I compare it to my immediate surroundings. I am ten miles from town in either direction and I live well away from everyone else. Given my simple life much of my time is devoted to my daily routine, my writing and artwork. The necessity of travel to obtain my staples and to market my work take very little of my time, though my gallery begs for that attention. I am ready for the effort in so many ways but this virus has me stalled just at the moment I was ready to get going. I will go anyway, at least for today, but I am also ready to retreat. My appreciation for the opportunity to make that choice has heightened immensely and I will not waste the chance. If I have to hunker here I will continue to work and create more product and endeavor to market more on line as I should be doing. That has been my least favorite option but it is a good one and the appeal just redoubled also. I can and will succeed, and do my best to stay well in the process.

It seems to me that the ultimate outcome of this entire event will be to drive us all further apart and to propel us all towards the digital reality of the times. If we can work remotely we will and going forward that transition will likely become a constant for so many people. In some ways that will be a good thing but the ‘social distancing’ that it creates is a life changer also. Whether this entire outbreak was purely coincidental or highly engineered the powers that be are going to take full advantage of that as well as the fact that we will instinctually respond to it also. It has already turned our focus to our immediate needs and none of us will ever return to the place we were before it happened. I have never been a ‘prepper’ per say but I am now prepared! Certainly my lifestyle has always been geared in that direction for many reasons but it has taken a new light for certain, and I am not disappointed in the outcome. In fact, it has already taken me another step forward towards my independence from the mainstream, and I find it very comforting. The ensuing contrast to the reality that most other people exist in is almost surreal also, at least from where I sit. The thought of living in a large city at this moment is appalling and my heart goes out to each and every person who has no options but to do so.

I started a story many years ago when the rain forests to the far south were on fire. The smoke reached us here and for weeks the sky had a dull grey tint to it. The feel of it was oppressive and it loomed over us like some ominous portent of Doomsday, much like this virus is now but it was visible and distant. I began a fictional journal at that time with the intent to write a full length book but the sky cleared and I abandoned the effort. I hope to return to it someday as it was a great story and for some reason I have always been fascinated by the human response to some worldwide crisis. It seems that from the present perspective that is because we have all lived with the potential for the same and having some understanding of how that might play out prepares us for that.

Because of that same practice I am somewhat prepared, and even more so than most, but not at all enthused to exercise it either. I prefer the serenity that I have surrounded myself with and having finally established some means of maintaining that I am unwilling to go backwards. Presently there is little choice in the matter but to settle myself deeper into the solitude and stillness, and it is a welcome retreat. Certainly I am concerned about my finances but quite honestly I am more focused on my immediate needs than anything else. In some ways I could view this as a welcome respite even. If this whole issue does escalate I am so off the hook for a minute because everyone will be in the same situation and I will be absorbed into the lot of that. It works for me, and I am but a small fish in a very big ocean who is simply trying to do what I feel I am obligated to do, which is pay my debts. I thank God that my living expenses are so few, and I appreciate that so greatly at this moment.

Instead of worrying any further I am going to go plant some seeds, seeing that a garden may be of the greatest importance right now. I am then going to market my wares for the day and hope to make a few dollars for the days to come. So long as I am outside and mindful of what I do I feel reasonably safe. If someone comes by who is ill I will kindly ask them to leave, it is as simple as that. I have never been rude or unthoughtful but we should all practice the same. Maybe I am even wrong to be in public myself, as we should all be careful, but for the moment life goes on. It seems I will be hunkered down soon enough, though I pray that we don’t have to. In the meantime I will send out my blessings and continue to pray for each and every one of us. I saw a falling star just last night as I gazed on the incredible beauty of the cloud spun sky, the stars illuminated by the moisture in the air and the rain still falling gently above me. My prayer came quickly and easily that we all remain well and healthy and that this illness be short lived. This all may seem surreal but such prayers are as real as it gets. Be well my friends !!!

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