Saturday, August 27, 2005

Donkey's years, I know

Can I honestly say life has been all that busy? Too busy to post? Yes and no. For a while after the previous post I was very busy at work. Then the contract came to an end and there was time to post. Instead I have been busy either reading other people's work, mostly political, and traveling.

A week in Albuquerque for reconnecting, recreation, and discernment. Time with my ex is always well spent. The week was both intense and wonderful. The intensity was belied by time spent chilling, but that does not mean lots of "processing" was not taking place.

The first treat was a night in Santa Fe, dinner at the SantaCafé followed by a stunning performance of Mozart's Lucio Silla at the Santa Fe Opera. This posting would be too long if I allowed myself to ramble about the brilliance of the production. The singing was superb, the music not as dramatic and memorable as later Mozart but still lovely, the costumes outlandish but fun, the staging surreal and effective, and the dancers were not only effective but also quite hot. The palette of the production was thoroughly neutral: black, white, many shades of gray, silver, and highlights of blood red. The threat of violence was everpresent, from the opening rope dance with its obvious bondage representing life under the Roman dictator Sulla, to the effective use of stage blood gushing, not from a body but from the pierced back of a chair upholstered in white. Improbably as it was, the ending was a happy one, inspiring some of us to wish a certain powerful person in our own time would repent and change course.

The second treat was another trip to Santa Fe, with a day of rest in between, for the Spanish Market with its panorama of arts in the traditional of craftwork from the Spanish colonial days of New Mexico. Leather, tin, and iron work; retablos and bultos (portraits and carved statues of the saints); straw inlays and woodcarving; hand woven textiles--all of it quite splendid. Qualities of workmanship and inspiration varied with the artists, of course, but there were some pieces that could move one to contemplation and others to esthetic wonder. Moments of this experience qualified it for Sunday worship and communion with the divine, so no guilt for playing hooky from church this Lord's Day. The adjoining Contemporary Spanish Market had its own variety of works, some of them delightful and some of them stunningly beautiful.

A dinner party featuring many vegetables from the garden allowed me to see delightful persons I had met before and to meet some new ones. Food and company were both excellent. Another dinner gave me the chance to reconnect with our fellow godparent, my sister-in-law's sister. Meals are such wonderful ways to be together, and breakfast and Spanish conversation with the lovely Susana rounded out visiting.

The third major outing was a drive to Ácoma where we took the walking tour of this millenium-old pueblo. I felt especially drawn to the cemetery and all the generations of ancestors whose remains lie there. Another time of non-liturgical prayer and communion. As in the San Francisco Bay Area, I could not help noticing the presence of the ravens and zopilotes (turkey vultures), who have played a major part in my psychic energy in the past year. The day was stunningly beautiful, the sky vast, the sun brilliant. The continuous residence of a people for at least ten centuries in one place, ever re-inventing their limited space and struggling to maintain their unique identity: humbling and fascinating.

There was also househunting and I saw places I can visualize myself inhabiting. The question was finally settled; I am going to move to Albuquerque. Much will need to be done--tons of packing and sorting before my current home can even be staged for sale; moving arrangements; finding employment in New Mexico. The initial goal is simply accomplishing the move and getting stable employment. When I have some financial stability (and the cost of housing is a major driver in this), then I can address other issues: finishing my doctoral program, exploring new avenues of ministry, deepening and broadening my expression in liturgical arts. Creating new social circles and developing new roots, of course, and learning how to stay connected with those I leave behing (something I have historically been terrible at), negotiating that new relatedness by which my ex and I rejoice to be near each other while not being too near.

Ah, newness. So this is why those carrion birds have kept appearing in my life, cleaning my psychic carcass for something new! And the doves that arrived outside my window this spring, harbingers of new life and fertility. What now comes to birth in me? I do not know. But I feel good about taking the steps and making the changes.

Well, how was that for catching up? More later.

The BB