Embracing the Winter Skies

Embracing the Winter Skies

Thoughts on our current political climate

No place I have ever been has skies quite like New Mexico. They reflect moods that can turn on a dime. This was the winter sky at the beginning of our walk last week, indicating by all signs that a storm was coming.

We were the only car in the parking lot and the only people in the park. A light snow blew around us. Our blue heeler Django led the way, searching for life, dogs, other humans.

My mind went, as it almost always does these days, to our political climate. The storm has been coming and coming and coming, but it never actually seems to get here. The daily information builds to bursting, but the explosion never comes to pass. Just more dark clouds, wind and dust on the horizon. If this were summer, it would be like one of those storms where the lightning flashes across the sky, the thunder cracks beneath it, but the rains never reach the ground.

Waiting for the Mueller Report

The whole world is waiting for the Mueller Report. I cancelled a lunch last week just to stay home and watch Michael Cohen testify. And what will come of it? I have no idea.

When we are in this space at the Willow Creek open space near the Rio Grande, all can seem perfect with the universe once again. And before I turn on my computer to read the headlines in The New York Times, all can feel right with the world in my cozy home in Placitas. But it isn’t so right in many places. Often the news reminds me of the news being repeated over and over again in Orwell’s 1984—the war over here, the war over there and then the expected wars almost everywhere. The temptation to block it all out, to bury myself in fiction and film is compelling. But this is my world, too.

Not deaf, not blind, not mute

Friends tell me they no longer watch the news, listen to the news or read newspapers. These are highly intelligent folks who have ceased to absorb the chaos in pursuit of self-preservation. I have tried this approach, but being deaf, blind and mute goes against everything in my nature. I do not like this feeling of helplessness, but all I can do is march, sign petitions and vote.

And how does one embrace these winter skies during these less than acceptable times? We do what we can. I have a friend who just bakes. I have another friend who gardens. I write about Fatma, the character in my novel What Survives and the prequel I’m writing now. I lose myself in her world of sights, smells, tastes, loves, disappointments, and so on, all the glories and disasters of her world. And time after time, I realize that Fatma’s world is no better or worse than my own. The world is what we can make of it, some clearly given many more opportunities than others. And not wanting to deliver a cliché, but doing so anyway, this was the same sky just minutes later. Forging ahead is half the battle.

Willow Creek open space, just a few minutes later (PHOTO BY AUTHOR)

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