Santa Fe post #2- Moving to NM, Pablo Neruda and Mandalas   2 comments

“Life transcends all structures, and there are new rules of conduct for the soul. The seed sprouts anywhere, all ideas are exotic, we wait for enormous changes every day, we live through the mutation of human order avidly; spring is rebellious.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pablo Neruda

Just a few minutes before I read the words above, I typed an email to a friend and said that I can’t let a structure (my house) determine how to proceed with my life. Well, of course, I can’t and I won’t. Security is an illusion.

My house is a mandala. I’ve created a mandala in the sand and it’s time to let it go. My thoughts are chaotic as I type this post. Does everyone feel so yin and yang, so up and down, black and white, gray and tan, turquoise and brown? I’m a late bloomer. I matured early. I had the height and body that a fourteen-year-old girl should not be allowed; I bought my first very own house when I was 44 years old. I understood the ways of the world at eight years old, but didn’t have my own private checking account until I left my husband of 27 years. I earned my BSW and MA after that, but often felt like a fraud in the workplace like maybe I would be better suited for mowing the lawn or moving furniture. I supervised people but never wanted to be the boss of anyone. I hate meetings. I like people watching. I’m shy but must express myself with words.

The first day I walked into my house with the realtor, it was jam-packed with the belongings of a single mom and her three children.  Stuff and toys everywhere. Fake flowers stretched from the overhead fan in one bedroom to each corner of the room. But I could see underneath the clutter, it was my house. My first place to live all by myself that would be mine, and it was perfect for me. It had a staircase!  Imagine a floor on top of a ceiling. Since I was a little girl, I wanted wooden stairs, convinced that upstairs led to magical places.  I grew up in rental houses and trailers. We moved so often that my sister and I burst into laughter when we picked up a mattress to carry to a pickup truck. Our floppy mattress was difficult to carry and it made us laugh when we tried to maneuver it here and there, up basement steps, around corners. It became a giggle trigger. If we just put our hands on it for another move, we cracked, and had to stop every few steps to get a grip – on the mattress and ourselves.

The realtor showed me the little house. It had an upstairs for a futon, a library, a computer and with the two bedrooms downstairs, I would have room for my three children and their significant others when they came to visit. Those babies of mine! It’s as if they emerged from my body as extensions of myself. Complete little individuals, but with a visceral connection that I had not experienced before. I licked their slobberiest ice cream cones and gave it back to them, wiped their noses with my hand if needed, and loved their open-mouthed baby kisses all over my face.  Even though they were grown, I still had to have place for them. Ideally, that’s what I still want but know that we can figure that out wherever I land. Finally, I am accepting that they are not extensions of me, but whole adults. Maybe my mother had to die before I could believe this to be true.

This house had a dog door to the back yard for the puppy soon to live with me. Perfect! And now after eight years of hauling wheelbarrows of dirt enough to fill several dump trucks, and pulling the same amount of weeds, and painting every room in the house, and laying a wood floor and carrying flagstone until I ached, putting in a wood stove, hanging my mother’s paintings, and my son’s and his wife’s and placing my partner’s art in just the right places, and knowing the comfort of all that, and knowing that if I keep this house, I will have a place of my own and it will be paid for when I am old. I doubt that owning a home will happen if I sell this one but realize that just as my children are separate entities from me, the security of place is an inside job, not a structure no matter how cozy or secure. It is time to reach out my hand and muss the mandala and let the next life enter this structure to abide in it or love it.


Posted April 23, 2011 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Essays, Have a Chair, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Santa Fe post #2- Moving to NM, Pablo Neruda and Mandalas

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  1. Yaaa Mary.
    Life is a process. You will be fine and shine with or without a house!


    • Thanks, Dave. I know I will, and we found a studio/living space here. It is costly but if we split the rent, it will equal my house payment in Scottsbluff. I put an ad in the paper and it started yesterday. I had three calls, and one has looked at the house and liked according to my friend who is staying with the dogs and showed the house. It will be a blessing if I can sell it quickly. I have a job interview on Monday here in Santa Fe. Please send positive thoughts to my interviewer.

      I should be back on Wednesday evening.



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