Living Medium

I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of the whole accident thing. I’ve come up with “don’t have deer run in front of you while you’re driving at freeway speeds,” which seems pretty strong, and by reading a lot of fortune cookies, I’ve come up with some other whoppers like, “Life is short,” and “Live every day to the fullest.” Inspiring, no? I’ve seen that under circumstances of extreme, real stress, I respond effortlessly and quickly, and with no regrets – about as pure Zen in-the-moment as there is to be found. And I’ve noticed when I have the chance to use my brain to react to small, unimportant daily stresses, like emails from work with the dreaded RED EXCLAMATION POINT, I lose my mind. So I’ve recognized that my priorities are scrambled; great. How does one simply change their priorities again? Hopefully through practice, but only time will tell.

Anyway, I took the week off from non-work activities outside home. I’m a little hermetic these days to begin with, introspection mode, but it’s been good. At the end of the week I’ll cook for a bunch of people, next week I’ll have some rehearsals and get out and take some pictures or something, but this week is off. And I find that just going through the hoops of daily life are really pleasant here. I really like Santa Fe.

I’ve been here 2 1/2 years; long enough to have some idea what to expect, but new enough that I still enjoy all of it. 3 weeks ago, the last of the blossoms fell off our locust trees, they were amazing, and 2 days ago, the chollas all bloomed again, they’re amazing in this thin, bright light. We’re on the cusp of monsoon season, so we’re starting to get the crazy thunderheads and really dramatic thunderheads and violent, sudden winds that blow tumbleweed across the roads. I’m still kind of geeked about tumbleweed. Right now a lot of the rain misses us, so we see it all around with the weird high-altitude clouds and thunderheads, and if it does hit us, the pinon trees and sage smell great. I didn’t know the term “virga” before I moved here, but it’s pretty common – it’s rain that doesn’t make it to the ground, it creates some pretty alien scenes.

Still getting new birds visiting the feeders and baths (not many hummingbirds for now, though, that might be weird, but what do I know?), weird moths and Junebugs at night, ground squirrels and prairie dogs out front, coyotes at night, red tailed hawks riding thermals over the roads. Occasional deer. (Actually just one, but it was pretty hard to miss. Literally.) Every once in a while we’ll see a roadrunner, and on one hand, it’s just a weird looking bird, but it’s actually exciting in a real and probably dumb way. We had a couple families of bluebirds in houses I built with my daughter, they’re no longer nesting but they hang out, and the quail have started to visit again. The canyon towhees think they own our place and we can’t even leave our car windows open because they’ll just sit inside. I live halfway between the “I need to know the name of everything” camp and the “it’s just beautiful and I don’t care what it’s called camp,” and both suit me.

It’s also a great when tourist season starts; I live outside of town so my daily life isn’t affected by it, but when I go into the downtown area, there’s always some kind of party or festival or free music. So there’s stuff going on, and if I don’t feel like taking advantage, I don’t have to even know about it, and if I feel like it, there’s something constantly available. Perfect. Locals grouse about “the parking situation” and all that, but if you’ve ever lived in a real city, a bad day here would be almost laughably easy somewhere else. I don’t mind walking a block or two.

The sky changes every hour of every day, so it’s always new; new peaks you haven’t noticed on the horizon, new streaks of red rock in familiar foothills close by, and constant shifts in distance depending on what kind of clouds are out – are the Sangre de Cristo mountains so close I can touch them, or are they a hazy mirage that can never be reached? I haven’t taken as much advantage of the hiking around here as I’d like recently, but it’s a perfect time to get back into it, especially with out of town guests.

So life’s not perfect, it’s just life, and I’m not exactly living large, I’m living medium. And it suits me. And while I figure out what I want to do when I grow up, there’s no place else I’d like to be.