Year’s End

2019 is coming to an end. For me the year has passed in an intentional and slow way as my commitment to kairos living deepens. I continue to simplify and savor.

Pearl now resides in a full care setting south of Alamogordo that is working well for both of us. The energy required by daily chores is now released for more riding time and new connections in town – master gardeners and an expanding Centennial Village community.

The new demon cat, Izzy, continues to dominate and destroy the tiny home much to the dismay of Kiwi. She pretends to rule the roost but clearly looks forward to our riding adventures which buy her some blessed cat-free time.

I Face Time a lot with Kalia in the game of kitty where she gets to boss me around. Jessie and Alex now both have phones so connection is far easier than before. New grandbaby is due in March so I will be traveling to the northwest.

I have become my father in my avid “puttering” in the yard – growing succulents , flowers and pomegranates, constantly rearranging pots, and weeding. The herbs and cacti are thriving. The gardening classes revealed much that I do not know about growing things successfully in the desert but introduced me to some fine people, reliable resources and volunteer opportunities. Gardening at the zoo seems appealing.

This has been a political year for me – probably because living amongst Trump supporters has been fairly frightening for me. I find that a shadow side of me is triggered by values that feel like a moral and physical threat. My knee-jerk reaction is to lash out in like manner which then makes me question myself. Living with PTSD doesn’t help because everything including the fear is exaggerated. I remember when I had thicker skin – a fundamental protection I sacrificed in years of hospice work. I will work to see that my Congresswoman, Xochitl Torres-Small is reelected as I am impressed with her choice to be positive and to successfully accomplish bi-partisan legislation. And I hope to see the defeat of this morally bankrupt president.

I am beginning to meet new friends at the Unitarian Fellowship. Nice to find folks of like mind in the faith community in which I grew up. Sweet souls…eccentric, progressive and so open to adventure.

This year I will travel New Mexico a bit more with the casita and with Pearl. I have determined that Alamogordo in July is not wise…I get fairly cranky and easily dehydrated. Perhaps Taos – cooler and some great riding.

It has been a steadying year and for that I am grateful.

Politics

How could I possibly write about politics when this site is dedicated to play, kairos and celebrating wonder?

Go figure.

In the last while I have felt a new kind of restlessness and search for meaningful dialogue about citizenship, governing and hope. I am searching for a community that wants to talk deeply and to heart about the dilemmas we face, politics and progress for our country. I have been looking for a circle of friends who can speak beyond slogans and partisan positions – who might seek platforms that better respect differences of opinion.

While these dark times of extreme gridlocked partisanship can feel overwhelming to me, somehow I need and want to transform my energies into something positive. I want to participate in the effort to speak compassionately for healing – not only with a goal of being heard but also with a commitment to listen.

I hold strong and passionate opinions about certain issues and politicians – but I am finding that slugging these opinions at others who disagree or hold opposite beliefs does not accomplish very much nor does it feel very congruent for who I see myself to be.

So I have decided to try to center myself and my conversations with others in a place of identifying common ground and values. I am already learning a lot more about what happens when folks feel disenfranchised. A purposeful choice to approach description of how we might educate ourselves about governing processes, candidates, issues is freeing up a lot of negativity for me.

This is a fairly new direction for me and I deal constantly with my own knee jerk reactions – habits of “hit back”. This in itself is a guide to me on how to take responsibility for how and what I say. I am finding myself explaining much more why I hold a certain political opinion – my reasons, where my judgements come from, what I am learning. By being vulnerable in this honesty I am finding others more willing to engage in this tone and I have an increasing interest in listening to their truths.

Sometimes the disconnect in world view seems way too big to bridge but I feel better about myself in trying. I also worry that I am sometimes diluting my convictions. But after deeper consideration, I see that I am arriving at more effectiveness.

This is one of the harder choices I have made and it is curious to me how folks want to quickly pull me off this centered approach. I expect it would be easier to categorize me that way. Rather than say some politician or behavior is unethical I am trying to explore out loud what ethics mean to me, how it would be demonstrated. I try to identify some resources to learn more. I am searching out other views about the topic.

A dear friend of mine died this week. She was a powerful personal force, a compassionate voice for fairness, a strong advocate for the disenfranchised. She taught me to show up, to speak my truth and to celebrate love and acceptance. I will dedicate this post to Linda Michal. I know she would be pleased with my new direction and thoughts on building community as a political expression.

KAIROS: A Rededication

I have decided to become crafty again.

Having felt like a bit of a nomad for the last 3 years I have now successfully landed in Alamogordo, New Mexico. This involved relocating my horse, Pearl, and buying a tiny home. I have furnished it and landscaped as best as you can in the desert! I am hoping the master gardener class I am taking will help me understand this climate and growing environment better.

KAIROS ARTS, the blog, will now get more attention from me as will my Etsy store. The latter is still under reconstruction but will be populated by my creations. I will continue to explore different avenues. The main criteria for my efforts will be my curiosity and interest in experiencing kairos… or opportune moments. I will write more about this in future posts as it has become the unifying theme of my life and spiritual growth.

Craft means “an art requiring skill … often manual.” I believe it demands attention to detail and personal touch. I want to set an intention with whatever I create that it honors kairos and that I fully celebrate the process, mindfully focused, in awe, and grateful for the surprises and connections that emerge!

I have struggled for many years with the notion that I should choose ONE medium – whether it be collage, writing, photography, or any of the forms to which I have been drawn. This has been a barrier. The learning once again is “Beware of the Shoulds” and “Let Them Go!” Very liberating.

So my art will be the kairos experience of whatever attracts me!

My first offering will be this rock I painted honoring Dia de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead.

This is a festival and Latin American holiday honoring All Souls’ Day in the Catholic calendar. This is big in New Mexico, my new home. “Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos, celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties and activities the dead enjoyed in life.” This tradition recognizes death as a part of our experience – a continuum of birth and life. Calaveras, or skulls, are a symbol of the festivities.

My hospice work and life-calling continues to emerge and surprise!

January 2019

I love a new year… the fresh start, clean slate feel. I am resolved to savor New Mexico and strengthen my confidence in independent southwest living in this year of 2019.

I am finding that living small is quite satisfying and creates a nice balance for the Cancer sign in me that likes to nest and for the sense of adventure I am always seeking. My horse, Pearl, and the ever-present Border Terrier, Kiwi, seem to be thriving as well. I am sad the cat, Lily, never survived the casita chapter for I think she would have been a contented queen of the tiny house community.

Yesterday’s 65 degree weather and delightful desert trail ride is replaced today by high gusts of blowing sand with a bone chilling effect. New Mexico has proven to have just as dramatic weather changes as Colorado….only it seems more stark here. It is the rawness of this country that holds such an attraction for me.