13. A Fire Inside

HOW HAVE YOU RETURNED TO YOURSELF AFTER LOSING YOUR WAY?

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.

HOW HAVE YOU RETURNED TO YOURSELF AFTER LOSING YOUR WAY?