16. Winter into Spring: Move On!

WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR RESTLESSNESS? (especially during younger years)

BLOG 16: January- June, 1997—The surrounding Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountains, roads, and buildings that make up Santa Fe, this “City of Faith” in the high desert of New Mexico, are now covered in more than a foot of snow. This small city slows down, while inside homes, fires burn, warming old adobe walls, and filling the crisp, clean air with the scent of piñon smoke.

Days pass like this as I housesit, sitting by my fire, reading spiritual books and discovering a bit more of who I am—or more specifically, who I’m not. During the daytime, I take dance classes, turning, jumping across the dance floor with as much grace as I can muster. Mariko, a visiting dancer from Canada who used to perform with a modern dance group in New York City, watches me move, and at one point shares with my teacher that I am using too much muscle when I dance—not enough grace as I’d like. Her comments seem to sum up my life.

After dancing, I work in the evenings at a restaurant, but my groin and hips are getting tired. They are done with all my pushing, all my determination to dance despite having severely pulled my groin muscle months ago when I spontaneously stopped and decided to stay in New Mexico on my way to California. Working as a waitress seems to just make matters worse. I feel a dull ache as if I have an eternal bruise, and it’s tightening my muscles and making it more painful to sit and walk with each day that passes.

In order to stay in Santa Fe through the winter and into spring, I find another housesitting situation, and then rent a room during my final stay in this city. I move a carful of boxes from one place another, which puts more pressure on my back and hips.

I miss Albuquerque and the Sandia mountains, but I enjoy the solitude and time for myself inside this winter wonderland. I learn to be more still than I have ever been, and embark on spiritual journeys. When I hear songs or talks on the radio about Native American experiences in this country, I cry. I feel lifetimes—or past lives, perhaps—where I have lived as people here have lived. I feel deeply connected to roots of this land. There’s a familiar feeling here that opens my heart.

As spring approaches, though, so does my restlessness. I take a trip to Utah, but I’m disenchanted by the tourist playground there. I also spend time in Albuquerque and the Sandia Mountains, camping, and completing my time in New Mexico as I promised the land I would do six months ago.

By late spring I’m ready to go to California as I had originally planned.  My hip hurts more than ever (even after going to a chiropractor and doctor that provided little assistance), but I have a job lined up in Berkeley and a house to share in the mountains of Oakland. I am excited for a new adventure, although I’m not prepared for the reality that lies ahead.

WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR RESTLESSNESS? (especially during younger years)

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11 thoughts on “16. Winter into Spring: Move On!

  1. Music — being on the road and touring New England with my band — was my outlet for youthful restlessness. It was an escape from, or at least a means of dealing with, the pain and confusion of a crumbling family. My father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was just 15 years old. My brother, who couldn’t cope either, had essentially moved in with his girlfriend’s family. And my mother had suffered two congestive heart failures. I had left school to take care of my father; after he was hospitalized, I took to the road with my band. But I regularly returned home (and eventually stayed) to take care of my mother, who had suffered two congestive heart failures. I wanted to to be free and unfettered by worry; the universe, and ultimately my own innermost heart, had other plans for me.

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    • Paul, I don’t recall that your mother had two congestive heart failures. You had a lot to deal with at a young age when many of us feel restless to get out an express ourselves in the world. Life often isn’t as simple and fluid as we’d like it to be. Thanks for sharing.

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      • My mother had her first CHF during my first year of college. After that, I moved out of my dorm and back home to take care of my father while she was in recovery and living with a friend. Because of my father’s increasingly poor memory, eventually I had to quit school outright and take care of him while my family went through the process of getting him hospitalized. Mom had her second CHF one night shortly after returning home. I was supposed to be out gigging with my band that night, but had a bad feeling and insisted on staying with her to make sure she was OK. If I hadn’t done that, she would have died that night instead of living for another 20 years.

        I know you remember well her passing, though. I think I probably didn’t talk in much detail about that part of my life back then. It has taken long, long time to get a higher perspective on it.

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  2. I have always been restless, off and on. I have always wanted to travel. Growing up, my mother was the same way, we would live in a city for at most two years at a time, so we moved from city to city in Southern California. At one point as a very young kid, I spent two years as a transient looking for my mother. As a teenager, I ran away from home and traveled throughout China and Russia for two years. Then came 14 years of being in one place while I attended university and worked in Corporate America. You know the rest by now from previous comments. As I type this, the restlessness is beginning to come back and the dream-building is well on its way. Books about backpack trekking, the hobo life, pilgrimages, etc have landed on my lap without me asking – helping me to fill in blanks in my dream as I build it anew…

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    • That’s amazing that you went to China and Russia as a teenager. That can take a lot of courage to travel that far as a young one. Why China and Russia? Do you have family there? I am curious as well what you did in Corporate America. There seem to be so many people I know who are now on spiritual paths who began working for Corporate America, and maybe in working this way, it afforded them to take time afterwards to explore the world and themselves.

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      • It is a another long and… funny story on how I reached that point; that led up to a desire to be as far away as possible from my mother – so I thought, well, China and Russia – also easy to not be found in those places. Plus, I LOVE trains, and always dreamed of riding the Trans-Siberian Railroad.. and I did that, and had a blast! I worked three different jobs for a total of 12 years – 4 years as a “computer grunt” for a large corporation that made breast implants, and experienced mergers and buyouts; another 4 years working a myriad of positions (shipping manager, backroom computer tech, “network consultant”) for a small computer consultancy; and finally, the last 4 years I went independent as my own computer consultant. I never saved up any amount of money in the end – I did have a very high income at its peak, and had a nice nest egg going, but there was one decision where I lost it all in order to be right, and send a strong message along with that. I got disenfranchised with working my tail off for conventional and mainstream beliefs, and needed to find more wholesome and holistic ways to live life – while not knowing I desired that, nor being aware of any of those concepts!

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    • China…. beautiful, daring, and eye-opening. I was treated really bad at the time, because it was obvious I was a “banana” (use your imagination – racial slurs and such), and was treated worse than a last class citizen. The mentality was that I had done the ultimate act of “selling out” to the “gwailoh” (white devil). There was one story where this manifested as doggie doo mixed in with the food I ordered at a restaurant. Otherwise, huge, beautiful, diverse – I walked quite a bit on the Great Wall of China, much of it on forbidden areas, hence the daring aspect. I traveled a lot through Russia, but only on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, so that was 15 days of watching eye-popping landscapes roll by, with a single 45 minute stop per day to stretch our legs and buy food provisions from the local babushkas – nearly no nutrition, but very filling fare. I learned a lot during that two year period – definitely more fun than being in public school systems!

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