September 12, 2019

Nogal House

Indian Divide, New Mexico


I am remembering things that I have somehow forgotten. The peacefulness is returning to my life, and the frantic sense of necessity slowly fading towards the background. I am remembering what it was like to live my life with purpose and intent rather than the driving force of commitment to the needs and requirements of others. It isn’t that I don’t have things I still need to do, but the way that I am approaching the task that has changed. I am no longer driven by the force of having to do things, I am simply in the process of getting them done.

This change was not deliberate or thought out, it was made in a moment of pure desperation. It is regrettable that it took that to make the adjustment, but it was likely one of the best ones I have ever made. My debts have not changed, but the approach to resolving them has. If I had planned to be free of that burden by October, it will take far longer than that now, but it is ok. I have remembered what my life was like so many years ago, when I lived day to day, and I am not going to forget that again. I am still working, and will always have to, but it will be on my own terms, regardless of what I do. I pray that going forward it will only be myself I have to answer to. If I am unhappy with those terms, they should be so easy to adjust.

I am forgetting the effort I forced on myself for all these past years. Even the times when I have returned home in much the same manner I did this time, I never forgot. Though I stayed here for months with the same freedoms or even more than I have in this moment, I never forgot. There was always the understanding that I would have to leave again, go back to work, and keep on trudging forward. My goal has never changed, and neither has the approach, even if I had considered alternatives. How I have wanted alternatives! Though I love the work I have done all these years the ongoing challenges of dealing with other people’s failures and attitudes has worn thin the fabric of serving the communities and agencies I have worked for. If I struggled for years to return to that same challenge, I have finally reached the breaking point. I am so glad that I did.

I am remembering. Sitting here at my window I am listening to and watching the joyful activities right outside my door. Nature is having her way, and the birds are chattering and fluttering in their daily activities. There is a light breeze, the air is cool and even somewhat moist from the recent rains, and the hills have a tinge of green. I would go for a hike if I was not nursing my knee, but that will have to wait. I should go mow some grass and a few hours on the tractor would serve me well. That time in the fields is almost as good as a hike….I am learning that my life can and should be a gradual process, and that forced effort is no longer acceptable. I can and will do whatever it is I have to, but at my own chosen pace. I will also seek out any and all of the things that I require for my own happiness, because I am responsible for that. My time is now my own to choose and I will make the best of that I can.

I am remembering who and what I was so many years ago, and seeking to restore all of which I can. Where spontaneity was once an integral part of my life, I wish to restore some part of that. I need not run off half hazard to find my happiness, but I can choose the course of my day, and what I wish to focus on. There is plenty to focus on, and so much of it which can and will contribute to this newly restored freedom and happiness. My words and my art bring me so much happiness, and a return as well, and I can do them as I please. Yes, I have to stay steady in if I am to survive, but it is also a pleasure to do so. I will survive, just as I will rekindle my spirit as I am doing now, even as the tears of refound emotion well in my eyes. How I have missed this feeling and only now is it peaking back out from behind my armor, the forced protection I have had to surround my spirit with.

Why did I even choose to go there, except that I thought I had to in order to accomplish my goals? I have spent years of my life making myself work in less than favorable places in order to arrive here in basically the same circumstance that I departed from. If it was not a waste of time and energy, it was certainly a sacrifice of the same. I learned a lot, experienced a lot, contributed a lot, and I sacrificed a lot. I have detailed every bit of it (LOL). And now I have returned to the peace and the serenity that I have spent that part of my lifetime dreaming of living on a day to day basis. I have dreamed of publishing a book, and I have done so. I have dreamed of making a living with my artwork, and I am trying to. I have wanted to open a gallery and try my hand at that, and as of yesterday I am on track to put my hands to that as well. Wish me luck!

How many times have I said that all I really wanted was so much of what I have at this moment? I have come and gone from this place here on the hillside for the past sixteen years. I returned from Oklahoma in 2005, some fourteen years ago. I have come and gone ever since 2008, returning every time things fell apart elsewhere. Now, after all these years, I am going to do my level best to stay. If I am successful and happy I will have achieved everything I have ever hoped to accomplish. If I am not I will have to access the reasons for that and try a different tack, plain and simple. I pray that this works for me, and my hopes run high that it will.

In 2009 I was here. I had returned from Tucumcari after my dismissal from NM State Parks, much disillusioned as to my next step forward in my life. It was then that I realized my efforts to succeed professionally would be wrought with challenges that I would always struggle with. It tainted my desire to work for anyone, even at the state level, and the months after that time were a struggle to decide how I was going to find suitable work. I was blessed to find work here on the ranch and with NM Tech, and the ensuing two years were, and always will be, some of the finest times of my life. From there I resumed the struggle, went to Arizona and back, then to Mescalero, Fort Sumner, T or C, and back to Fort Sumner, before I came back here. The past eight years have been tough, and I have a lot of forgetting to do, while I work to recall the finer times as well. I feel now that I can truly begin.

I wanted a gallery, a small trading post, now I have it. I have inventory, time, and very little money, but I have enough. Having woken to this new reality, I feel deep in my heart that I will succeed. What I have above and beyond everything else is the pure desire and willingness to make this new effort succeed, and a genuine opportunity to do so. Am I fully prepared to do so? Actually, yes I am. If my plans were not geared in this direction, they were in more ways than I have considered. I have adequate resources, materials and timing to make this work, and I intend to do so. If I have been trying to establish a direction for my efforts, I seem to have succeeded. I cannot take full credit for my success, because I have been struggling to find my direction, but having also put some trust in the machinations of the universe. I seem to have found the path forward. Now all I have to do is apply myself to staying on it and moving forward. I think I am remembering how to do that! Now, I am going to work on just that!

I have made a decision, off the cuff, even if I had been considering it. Even before I returned here to stay I had been considering trying to run a gallery in Carrizozo. I decided to wait for several reasons but it was never far from my mind. When I drove through Carrizozo on Tuesday I then saw the doors open to the shop I had been considering, so I stopped. In essence, I was forced to make my choice, as my friend already rented out the building. I told him my thoughts and that I seemed to have missed my chance. In return he told me he had not rented the portion I would want to use, and a deal was struck. I feel even now, just going in, that there was divine intervention.

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