Friday, March 4, 2011

All My Longings Know Where To Go

I love the relationship I've developed with our northern New Mexico spring.  When I lived in Louisiana, spring started in February, and by Mardi Gras, all the azaleas were blooming and I could comfortably open every window in the house.  Not so in northern New Mexico.  It took me several years to get used to the fact that February is still winter here.  Since February is also my birthday month, this felt like a personal insult.

But now, I've stopped looking for spring where it's not to be found, and embraced winter in its fullness instead.  I tend to forget that spring is even a possibility; I don't hope for it anymore.  So when it does arrive, it's always an unexpected delight.  It's a little like when you know what you're getting for your birthday, but the giver wraps it anyway so you get the pleasure of tearing the paper away.

Spring has begun to make her descent, and once again I find myself unexpectedly enlivened and delighted.  But this spring, there is the added factor of my housebuilding plans.  Spring means it's time to build, and I couldn't be more excited to begin.

A month or two ago, I copied the following horoscope from Rob Brezsny into this post draft, because it rang so true for me.
"All your longings know where to go," writes poet Nick Piombino, "but you have to tell them to open their eyes." That's one of your big assignments in 2011, Pisces: to make sure your longings keep their eyes open. It's not as easy as it might sound. Sometimes your longings get so entranced by obsessive fantasies -- so distracted by the stories that are swirling around in your imagination -- that they're blind to what's right in front of them. You must speak to your longings tenderly and patiently, as you would a beloved animal, coaxing them to trust that life will bring more interesting and useful blessings than anything fantasy could provide.   ~ Rob Brezsny, Freewill Astrology
Well, folks, my longing's eyes are open, and life has indeed been providing "more interesting and useful blessings than anything fantasy could provide."  In fact, I've been continually astounded by how beautifully different aspects of my housebuilding project have been falling into place.  I won't go into detail about that here, but if you're interested, you can read all about it at my new blog, Home Sweet Hive.

What I will say, though, is that my direction has definitely changed.  It occurred to me recently that I haven't even thought about the San Francisco church in a while, and in conversation with my dear blogging friend, Jennifer, I realized that it's time to close the door on that chapter of my life.

However, part of my plan for building a house has involved getting a 4WD vehicle for the rough terrain where my land will be, and when I contacted the man I ended up buying my new Chevy Blazer from, he suggested we meet in the church parking lot.  Walking over there that morning, I felt a satisfying sense of closure, that a beginning was happening in the exact place where something else was ending.

Another thing I copied into this post a while back (I do that sometimes, just gather snippets to build a post around later) was this quote from Thomas Merton, via Abbey of the Arts:
Forest and field, sun and wind and sky, earth and water, all speak the same silent language, reminding the monk that he is here to develop like the things that grow all around him.
The last snippet I had copied into this post was about clouds, as I noticed after I made my 2011 collage that there were an awful lot of them, which I didn't consciously intend.

I began to think about clouds as living things, and taking my cue from Merton, I pondered how I could develop like a cloud.  This goes back to longings, because I think of the expression "head in the clouds."  With this building project, I feel a profound balance of head in the clouds and feet firmly planted on the ground.

Developing "like the things that grow" is what building an off-grid house is about for me, and I've realized that it's not just flowers and trees, hummingbirds and bats that serve as models, but that gorgeous, handmade, majestic church building that I've sat gazing at for so long.  She herself is a growing, living thing, and that's how I want my house to be.


  1. This is so great, I love the connections you keep making, the poetry to be found out of the regularness of life.

  2. "all your longings know where....etc." I love this quote. It's a definite keeper for me. Now I'm off to Home Sweet Hive to take a look!


  3. i feel as though i've been drifting on a sweet cloud as i read your words. there is so much loveliness here. i, too, love "all your longings know where to go...." i'm experiencing much of the same feeling in my own life. it's a delight each day to see what present awaits being unwrapped :)

  4. neighbor - Yes, the poetry in the regularness of life. That is exactly what I treasure. Thank you.

    SS - That phrasing definitely captured my imagination!

    lucy - Thank you! It's nice to know we're having similar experiences.

  5. Is it just me, or does your life seem to be a juxtaposition of the most miserable personal crises and the most joyfully serendipitous circumstances there ever were or could be?

    Again I'm astounded by your ability to pull seemingly unrelated happenings and events and assertions out of thin air and weave them together in one grand mandala.

    And good luck on building that house. I'm following along. Is it someplace that I could fly over it?

  6. Well, Postie, I haven't had any miserable personal crises in a while, thankfully. My life definitely has its stresses, but there is very little drama these days.

    You probably could fly over the area where my house would be, although the neighbors might not like that.

  7. You bought the truck in the parking ending into a beginning, how absolutely delightful this felt to read!

  8. Thank you, Jennifer. I'm loving my new Blazer!



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