13. A Fire Inside


Blog 13: November 5-12, 1996—The fire inside my new home in Santa Fe, an hour north of Albuquerque, is bright and warm, unlike the night sky. It’s colder in this town, nestled inside the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountains, about 2,000 feet higher in elevation than Albuquerque. But I’m here for two months, in a home I’m housesitting so I can be with my spirit and its magic buried under years of dust.

These days, I spend little time with Richard, my short-lasting boyfriend. I also rejected an offer to work at a Hispanic Radio Program—an unusual opportunity in this high desert town—because I’m more focused on taking dance classes during the day. It’s odd to have declined this offer, since I really need to rest my legs from the growing pain of walking that began with my groin-pull injury less than a month ago. But my determination to stay the course—to dance and be free—make it hard to receive the gifts I have been given.

I am glad to be here, nonetheless. The fireplace warms me, and the house cat keeps me company when I’m not working at the local restaurant, where I’m on my feet all the time. As I sit in front of the fire, I read spiritual books. I also recall the East Coast—all the innocence, all the romanticism of a mysterious world seemed unattainable to me there. Instead, I felt enclosed by suffocating walls. That little spirit of mine that had always believed in something magical, the unknown, had died. And nothing mattered. I had gone through years wondering why I lived. I wondered if my life was worth anything, why I should even try. I questioned whether there was a God, whether my existence had any reason. I used to sit in my room for hours asking why—why I was here on this earth inside the emptiness I felt with my family.

Here in Santa Fe, I don’t feel home, but I experience a sense of home inside of me. I am here to connect to myself and the unseen world that has always called me. I am here to wrestle to the ground that part of me that incessantly tries to prove herself; to let go of my heart’s lingering attachment to an East Coast dance partner with whom I had shared great joy and pain; and to move beyond the soulless material world I had been raised to value after leaving Spain as a child.


13 thoughts on “13. A Fire Inside

    • I thank You, Michelle. Your feeling my spirit fills me with so much gratitude and courage, and you know how I myself would love to share more with you. My visible activity has been diminishing due to our external circumstances getting more and more precarious here. Nothing less than wise soul lessons, Dearest. Please know that we work together beyond words, that you are included in my heart prayers since our paths karmically crossed this January, and that you will be lightening up more souls through me. Until we speak again, and Always, showers of sparkling blessings your way, Beloved Sister. ❤ Leon

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      • Leon, Thank you for your heartfelt words. I have read about your journey and am sorry to hear it has been getting more precarious. I hold a space for you and so many trying to find a way of heart and love in this world.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I left radio news and the false persona I had created…and the only persona I knew myself to be…and picked up my long abandoned guitar. That led me on the path to finding my true self…which continues today. Thanks for your heart-felt blog posts.

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      • Hi Michelle. I left the news biz in July of 2007. I had started writing songs in 1997 after a mystical experience…then back to college in 2000 to get a Masters in Religious and Pastoral Studies…then finally became a Youth Minister in 2007. I entered Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplain training) at a local hospital in 2012 while still working as a youth minister and completed the 4th and final unit in 2014. So now I still work for the same church but in pastoral care and social justice…as well as doing some music. I have a separate music ministry in which I play and speak of God’s unconditional love…and my newest interest is in the world of NDEs (Near Death Experiences).

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  2. Bill, it sounds like a lot has happened in the past eight years. It’s a rich time to be alive and to explore realms often dismissed. Near death experiences must be offer such a rich journey to learn about and explore.


  3. It is difficult even now for me to express with mere words the journey I began many years ago to rediscover myself. Perhaps it is better expressed as a journey to uncover the me that had been hiding for so many years.

    That hiding began with my father’s prolonged illness and death when I was a teen/young adult, which effectively dismantled my family long before I was ready to be on my own.And it deepened throughout a troubled marriage that I had used and abused to keep myself hidden from the pain and anger I carried. It was when I received that news that every parent dreads–that my second son had a terminal illness–that the armor in which I had been hiding was ripped away and I stood naked with my pain for the first time. What followed–separation, divorce, a flirtation with alcoholism, the death of my mother–turned out to be the baptismal fire in which I took my first steps to find myself. That path led me to the rediscovery of beauty, of joy, and of letting go of so much that I thought was necessary in this life.

    In time, it led me to you, Michelle, and the path we walked together for a time before we each, in our own way, discovered once again the truth of the Buddha’s dukkha, and went our separate ways. Now I find myself in a beautiful new life, growing and becoming with a loving and mindful partner. And perhaps most importantly, I discover anew every day the importance of letting go of that which is not needed. Because it was in clinging to things–in resisting the truth of impermanence–that I lost myself beneath a mountain of bones.

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    • Thank you for your words, Paul. I know the journey well, or at least having experienced it through you. A lot of break down can happen before we break open, that’s for sure. The truth of impermanence and letting go…it sure opens up a door to appreciating the gifts of what is here.


  4. I tried commenting once before, but it never made it. Essentially, in a way, I did return to myself – it was sort of like coming full circle, but it was more of a spiral. I made choices early in childhood which basically was like numbing myself, and it was this past December that I came around and those choices presented themselves again, where I chose differently this time. If you want to read more about this, here is the blog entry of concern: http://www.thepilgrimingtrinh.com/blog/status-december-2015-2-years-3-months-into-pilgrimage

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    • What a journey you wrote out! A lot in a little amount of time. I find during times of rich change there is so much that happens for us and a lot of learning. So many of us, I feel, have found ways to numb pain, until we wake up, sometimes violently (intensely), to ourselves. Thanks for sharing, and blessings to you.


  5. Healing is a winding path. I am learning that when I get to the big ruts, that is when I step off into the wilderness and enjoy the distractions of beauty. It revevies and rejuvenates me. Sending you lots of healing thoughts. Living each moment is the best that we can do.


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