New Mexico State of Mind...
I have been missing New Mexico lately. Like I feel its absence in my body. The kind of ache one might have for a very good lover. I know that is perhaps weird, to miss a state in that way but the visual, emotional and actual landscape of a place can leave a mark, just as indelible as a lover.
I feel it calling to me, like I need to return there, if only momentarily. See my friends, eat the food, be in the high desert. I don’t want to go shopping, or really do anything except go to the places that call to me. The Jemez mountains, the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the Sandia mountains. I need to eat the food that comes from the desolate landscape.
It is odd to miss this place so acutely right now. I am not sure where it is coming from. I just know that I feel it, deeply. So much of my life happened there. I learned to be alone in New Mexico. Bought that little ranch in the literal middle of nowhere and learned to live, solo. I spent long stretches of time doing things completely without human companionship. I hiked alone. I ate alone. I homeimprovemented alone. I planted things alone. I rescued dogs alone. I wrote alone. I painted alone. I yoga’ed alone.
When I look back on this time in my life, I kind of in awe of myself, to be honest. I left the job, the practice, the indicia of success and took a job making $30k a year and moved to the middle of the high desert, no idea really why or what I was going to do with myself, just that I had to make the change.
And it changed me. Not enough, looking back, but I guess that enough is always relative. I changed enough to move forward in my life.
I miss the crispness of the fall air there. I can sort of feel it here, in these mountains, but it is not the same. I long to smell the earth, the pungent nature of the high desert landscape. That appears far more barren than it actually is.
I feel like I need the stripped down landscape, it simplifies me in some way. Or at least assists me in stripping away all that is not needed. Or perhaps just in selecting what needs to be subtracted in the never ending math equation of my life.
I got married there and had my first child. Landmark moments in anyone’s life. And it was also there that I became a liar to myself and so to others. I guess I didn’t just “become” a liar, I just reintegrated it new and alarming ways. I was attempting to write the book back then. And having not really healed the trauma I was writing about, I can see now that while I was on the right path, I diverted because diversion was the only option available to me then.
I had no real examples of marriage and family other than my own, so I recreated it. Married someone in the military, set about being a good Navy wife. Becoming a mother. Putting my career aside for his. I just repeated my childhood. And at the time, I had no idea this wasn’t what I wanted at all. That only came later...
I slept with the windows open last night and awoke to a very cold home this morning with New Mexico on my mind. Weirdly, I received an early morning text from a good friend who is there now, seeking out all the places I told her to go. She is loving it, and that only increases my feeling of absence more. I am happy for her, just longing for me.
Since I son moved out, I have reclaimed (again - he has done a lot of moving out and I have done a lot of reclaiming) his room. Finally hanging all my Navajo rugs up, displaying their artistry and their simplicity. And that deepens the call of the wilds of New Mexico. I sit in that room in my home and I am taken back to the Navajo rug auctions attended in Crownpoint. A reservation town that I worked in for almost two years. And I long for it, to be there. To be present beneath the massive sky. To be able to see the weather before it arrives across the sweeping expanse of miles of sand and grit. The painted sky as it welcomes in the day and with a similar display as it goes.
I miss New Mexico. All of it. The poverty, the dryness, the sand and mountains. The people. The food. I am longing for this place, to return to this place to perhaps reclaim myself in some way. Some splintered fraction of myself that I need now to create this more unified whole.
The land of enchantment...yes, yes it really is. And I need some enchantment...soon.