Santa Fe or bust! Gering/Scottsbluff, Nebraska Home of Miss America and Spam(NE)   Leave a comment


This is my last column to  be published in the local newspaper called “The Gering Citizen” in Gering, Nebraska.

You never leave others behind; you take a part of them
with you and leave a part of yourself behind.                                                                           
                                              Anonymous

 Fortunately, advice given for one situation works for many. 
From the Whole Earth Catalog:

“To reconcile the sometimes divergent needs of the various aspects of bookmaking, decide first on what should be done creatively, then modify these decisions as necessary to accommodate the practical considerations. In other words, plan the ideal first and retain as much of it as you can. This works better than any other procedure because the creative process functions best when it is free of practical considerations. The moment you accept mechanical or economic limitations, your imagination tends to freeze. Not that it merely restricts itself to the practical—it tends to act as though the limiting walls were made of glass, and it swings in a cramped arc far short of those walls. This is a safe enough procedure, but it precludes any chance of extending the possible.”

Now substitute the word “life” for “bookkeeping,” and that is my plan for my new adventure.

I vote for tossing the old résumés and typing up new ones that tell much more about the creator of the document.  Put in all your talents from the weirdest, maybe you can make your feet turn almost backwards, or you juggle knives, add your sweetest talents, are you the best listener or make the finest peanut butter cookies, do you have a mean tennis serve or make people laugh everyday. What do you do best? How would you choose to spend the afternoon of your dreams. If résumés told more than years of formal education and regular jobs then maybe opportunities would surface and people would be better matched to their strengths on job sites and entrepreneurial adventures would abound.  I am an idealist, but change begins with a dream.

My first important job and the one that I loved best was caring for my three amazing children, Joshua, Nicholas, and Kathryn (Katie) and I am pleased to say, they are curious, open-minded, loving adults. My second occupation was in social work, but throughout this period and also while my children grew, I wrote. Writing became my avocation. Re-invent yourself someone said to me a few years ago.  Really? Can that be done? I am not sure how to stir me into a new potion, but I have discovered that whenever I take a risk, I’ve had no regrets even when it is difficult. In the movie Open Range, Annette Benning’s character said to Kevin Costner’s character. “I don’t have the answers, Charley. But I know that people get confused in this life about what they want and what they’ve done and what they think they should have because of it. Everything they think they are or did takes hold so hard that it won’t let them see what they can be.”

Almost two years ago I sat next to Lisa Betz at the Western Nebraska Community College Emerging Voices reading for those published in the yearly literary journal, and we talked about the new newspaper, The Gering Citizen. I told Lisa that I would love to write a column if they needed something. Lisa was enthused about this idea. My selfish thought was having a place to give my poetry more exposure. Much to my surprise that is not what I did. Instead I found that all kinds of topics emerged for my weekly columns. I love surprises, even when I surprise myself.  I will be forever grateful to the Gering Citizen for allowing me to find a voice that I had not used before. My ideas were not always met with agreement, but if I caused one reader to pause, wonder, consider the topic, that satisfies my effort. I appreciate a variety of viewpoints and the passion that other columnists have about their opinions, and their dedication to their work, community and their lives. This is my last column for the Citizen and I thank all readers for taking the time to read my words.  I will soon be spending time in Santa Fe and considering a possible move, but I’ll always be a Nebraska girl wherever my journey takes me, and know that this landscape shaped me in ways I am still discovering.

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Posted April 5, 2011 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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