Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Travelers 2020

In early January of this year I loaded up my little Mazda with it's newly aquired snow tires and headed for Snowmass, Colorado, to teach a three week immersive at Anderson Ranch.  This was my 6th time teaching the Winter Immersive, and I was looking forward to it.  It meant twenty-one cold, snowy, wonderful days in the Colorado Rockies, teaching in the mornings, and cross country skiing in the afternoons, then back to the school to my studio to work on my own. I would visit good friends, spend time with my daughter who lives in Snowmass, and just generally enjoy myself.

But not to be.  On my arrival I noticed a slight drippy nose, then a cough, then of course, the start of a cold. It lasted a few days, then turned into a sinusitis.  After spending a small fortune on humidifiers, herbs, and nose sprays, at the end of the second week I began to feel better.  But again, not to be. To my great dismay, I realized, after a day spent with a dry, hacking cough and muscle aches and joint pains, that I had started up with the flu.  For the next few days I wobbled around campus feeling sorry for myself, finished up with my class, packed, and headed home(which meant a 9 hour drive including a snow covered 10,000 foot pass). Still sick, back home in New Mexico, I marvel that there was ever  a time when I felt well, and wonder that I could have been so cavalier about feeling good.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Quarrel 2000

In 2000, after the Gore/Bush fiasco, when we waited for the Florida votes to be recounted, I thought things had hit a new low.  Everyone was anxious and unhappy as we waited for the results of the vote to come in.  I remember walking around for several weeks with a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach  Now, at the end of 2019, I look back almost nostalgically--what a sweet and innocent time it was. A few votes gone astray, a president I didn't much like, but, what the heck, in comparison, now it seems like a chapter right our of Leave it to Beaver-"Not to worry. We'll get it all worked out Beav!"

Currently, all seems terrible, horrible, awful: the climate, the shootings in schools, houses of worship or anywhere people gather, the huge schism between left and right, the courts, the enormous discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots, the persistent racism--all the tough issues we thought could be taken care of are now hopelessly lost in a quagmire of anger and hatred. As we roll forward into 2020 I can only hope that, as the poet Robert Bly liked to say, we have to go deep into our ashes-the misery, the hurt and the anger-before we can rise up and see the world in a different way, and that, hopefully, we are at or near the bottom of those ashes. But I think that’s Pollyanna of me. I think we have further down to go, much further, before we can start back up.