“Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning.”
~ Katherine Anne Porter, author
This is my 19th trip to Santa Fe since we moved back east 18 yrs. ago. Some time back I noticed themes in these sojourns that coincided with what I needed or where I was in life. I don’t know how long it’d been happening, but I could trace it thru a few visits. All my friends calling immediately upon my arrival, filling my calendar the year I needed community. Reconnecting with former healing practitioners the year I needed clearing and clarity. This year it’s about coming full circle. And the layers of them are freaky cool.
For the next week I’m settled in a super nice place nestled in a pine & piñon forest 20 min. outside Santa Fe. On top of a ridge above the tiny village of Cañada (pronounced Caun-YA-da). Population 439. I have no cell service. Internet works best on the kitchen counter at my back, facing the opposite direction from where I work. To get here I drive up a slightly washboarded dirt road. A good friend got me in. She lives across the driveway here on the property. I love that. I’ve always wanted a best friend for a neighbor.
At first I kinda freaked about the lack of contact with the world. My web designer. My friends. How will I do it?! But I learned the landline in the house works. Something I didn’t guess since the house is a second home. And it dawned on me I’m saved from email distractions, because I have to move the computer while I’m writing if I want them. Noooo worries. But here’s the kicker. I’m writing my book in the exact spot I did the <first> final draft of my novel with an editor years ago. In the same chair, at the same table, looking out the same window in this house that this very same friend got me in back then. Full circle.
And in two weeks I’m hosting a private retreat for a writer who’s completing her memoir. A Writer’s Dream Retreat because it’s designed specifically for the individual, and includes lots of coaching from me. The gal who’s coming started her memoir in a retreat I co-facilitated 5 years ago. I started with you, she said. I feel drawn to complete this with you. Another full circle.
And the big full circle, after 18 yrs. I’m moving back to Santa Fe when our lease expires the end of January. A move I’m excited about, and one I’ve fretted over finding a place. I know this town well. Know how I live in it. Where I go. What I do. Know the essentials of what I want in a home and rhythm in life. I’ve tried shifting my head. It’ll all work out fine, has every move, I tell myself. But this move is different, and I know it. We’re setting up two households. Have no fall-back. The thought’s not been far from my mind.
In Whole Foods a woman approached me as I read the label on a small bottle of rose oil moisturizer, started talking. It felt easy. I learn that, like me, she’s moving to someplace she loves where she feels expansive. Like me, growing a business. And then she says, ‘You oughta move into our house since we’re leaving. Our landlord’s great.’ And tho I knew I couldn’t budget her rent, I thought. . .can it really be this easy?
The first morning, as I rounded the bend halfway up the near 1/2 block long driveway, intent to try for cell at the road, before I found out the landline worked, two huge mule deer stood in profile at the top of the drive. Their heads turned, big dark eyes focused on me. Ears larger than their gorgeous black & white faces erect, like gigantic seed pods. I stopped. We watched each other for minutes. Over and over I told them how beautiful they were. Not until I reached for my phone, looked down to set the camera, did they walk on. I knew it was some sort of blessing.
The Native Americans think deer are shaman. Some think them messengers from Gods. Perhaps so. Those deer and I met before the woman in Whole Foods. Before I connected all these full circles. I have a feeling there’s more to come.
Another small journey. Getting to Wise.
A Writer’s Life
Tell me. . .what theme might be running thru your life this season?
I’ll tell you a secret. . .days seem to be melting away, even tho I’m present to the moments.
Special Thanks to Lindy Teresi for my home in the woods these 10 days.
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