Thursday, June 2, 2011

Heading Back West on Monday

Collage created by blog reader Bandit when I finally got out of San Francisco
after the prolonged engine fiasco

Serenbe, Palmetto, Georgia

This will be a blog post that has only random pictures of flowers and such, because I can't really show you pictures of the places I haven't been yet.

In one of my recent posts, I shared that I would be moving to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. At that time, I figured on going to New Mexico in the fall or winter, when I'd want to seek warmer weather. I also planned on spending the summer up in the Midwest with family and friends.

However, on consideration, I've decided to go to New Mexico as soon as I'm done housesitting here in Georgia this weekend The reasons are varied, but mostly it comes down to two things that I can discuss publicly. First, my travels having cost me more money than I expected, due largely to needing an engine replacement in San Francisco. To continue to wander about, spending money on gas and places to stay, simply doesn't feel right until I get my slate clean again.

Second, I'm ready to settle down in a community again. This surprised the heck out of me. All my adult life, I've dreamed of getting into a little motorhome and meandering indefinitely. To some extent, that's what I've done on this trip. I've driven all the way across the southern part of the United States, and I've taken months to do it.

However, I also had some commitments and desires that required me to be in certain places by certain times, and that meant driving right past a lot of things I might have stopped to look at, had I given myself completely over to the idea and practice of meandering. I will definitely give traveling another stab in the future and do it more randomly.

At any rate, my travels and my experiences along the way have brought my needs into better focus for me, and what I need to do now is to stop traveling and build my life in one place for a while.

I've been lonely on the road, and for a while I filled that loneliness in the wrong way, by being highly susceptible to sweet nothings and cowboy poetry from a guy who turned out to be wrong for me. I recently cut him out of my life, and things are calmer now. While it's tempting to blame him for my loneliness and the unhappiness that resulted from getting involved with a womanizing snake, another way of looking at this is that he was an angel who dropped into my life and left it at just the right times. His presence and then his absence brought my needs into focus. For whatever reason, his higher self allowed him to take that role in my life.

Contrary to my lifelong beliefs about myself, I am not happiest being a loner. I do need large amounts of time to myself, but I need significant contacts with other people as well. I also need some routines, commitments and practices that bring some stability to my life. The incessant dailiness of things like work, household chores, and committed relationships used to drive me pretty crazy, but lack of these things can drive me pretty crazy, too.

This brings me to the conclusion that it isn't the traveling or the staying put, the work or the leisure, the chores or the sloth, or the choice of being committed or going solo that require my attention right now. What I need to focus on are things inside me that need to be discovered and brought into the light. When I find these jewels that make up who I really am, I'll know exactly what to do.

I just got back from having coffee with a new friend that I met here in Georgia, a very evolved individual. I was telling him that I saw myself as having a mountain of personal work ahead of me. He said that having a mountain is an okay image, if you're a mountaineer who will enjoy the climb and the vistas. But I'm not. I'm a person who has driven a little 4-cylinder motorhome up some mountains very slowly, sometimes scared witless in blinding snow. Mountains aren't my favorite thing.

So my image today of the work ahead of me is the mosaic artwork that I look forward to taking up again once I settle in Truth or Consequences.

Mosaic involves many small, decisive steps. I break china and tiles. I pick out the best bits and dispose of the things that won't work. I carefully nip the pieces I keep into desired sizes and shapes.

Sometimes I go outside and find bits of nature that I can use, or I'll get shiny things from other artists to include in my own work. Occasionally I even make my own tiles from scratch, carefully forming them, firing them several times--a lot of effort for little tiles, but the result is something unique that will stand up to all kinds of stresses for a long time.

I look for a solid base to mosaic. A piece of furniture with "good bones," as they say in the antique biz. That means high quality wood and clean lines, a design that can be enhanced by the addition of the precious materials I've so carefully gathered and prepared.

Then it comes together. I stand up and survey the entire collection of items, and begin solidly gluing the tesserae into place. When the glue dries, I go back over everything with grout, and then clean away the excess. The result is a piece of artwork that is both beautiful and functional.

Usually the result is not what I had planned. I have an image in my head of what the final piece should look like, but while assembling it, I'm in a happy, meditative state, and then it turns out some other way. I often think that God is the one who actually decides what goes where in this process.

This is exactly what I need to do with my life. Break it apart, select the good, remove the bad, and bring it all solidly together, with God's help and direction, in a new way that will be beautiful, lasting and rewarding.

I've spent the last year-and-a-half leaving my old life--a long time marriage that should probably have lasted only a handful of years. For a year after separating, I tread water in Oregon. When the cold, wet grayness became more than I could take anymore, I went on the road. Now it's time to start building the life I'm meant to have, in the sunshine.

So I leave Monday. I haven't figured out my itinerary. I don't know if I'm going to take time to visit folks along the way or just hightail it to New Mexico. I don't know much of anything right now, but I know...I really do know...exactly what to do.


  1. Good morning - loved the post today. It brings me back to something that I wrote in "my book" in March of 2010 - after talking with you about what joy you received from doing the Mosaic art work. It so impacted me at that time, with the changes that I was going through.

    Mosaic--- great metaphor for Life
    Smash, break, review and create!

    Love you, YBF

  2. When we make it out there, I hope you'll be up for a visit.

    We should have tied ourselves to the mast. The song of the South is making us slow, sluggish and sleepy.


  3. Of course I want you and Annie to visit me, Roxanne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Whenever you get there.



  4. Great post Sue... you write very well