Sunday, November 24, 2013


There are six inches of snow outside. Up down and all around is white. It came during the night but it seems as if sky and earth made love and haven’t gone back to their conventional sky up, earth down position yet.  I opened the door to feel the temperature.  Shadow peered outside, sniffed the air in all directions turned back and jumped on her favorite chair. It’s hard to believe she made it entirely through last winter on her own as a feral cat. 

Through the Bedroom Window
Last week we took her on a small trip to Santa Fe, house sitting three days for friends.  She behaved surprisingly well and our relationship with her grew more trusting on all sides. I was surprised how she quietly lay on my lap all the way to our friend’s house. When we first arrived, she was terrified by such a large strange house and immediately looked for a place to hide. I shut her in the guest bedroom where we sleep. I figured a smaller space would give her less to fear and it worked. By the second day, she was ready to explore and would retreat under the bed only when it became overwhelming. By evening, she was on the sofa with us watching TV. Maybe we all need a bed to hide under when life brings sensory overload.  I like to travel but don’t genuinely enjoy staying in impersonal hotels. Maybe it’s my Cancer nature to want a familiar place to retreat to at the end of the day. What I really like is several familiar retreats in different locations that way my Gemini Sun gets along with my Cancer Moon. I apologize to those of you who aren’t into astro-speak.

This morning while reading about the mind/body/environment interplay in health (I’m still reading “The Turning Point” by Fritjof Capra with morning coffee) I suddenly realized that the central theme of my life is a conflict between restriction and expansion, so I started journalizing about restriction. Both restriction and expansion are fundamental aspects of existence; it’s the imbalance that is an issue. I am always struggling to expand to my potential size while living inside a small cement box. I grew up with people who think constriction is safety; small house, small income, small social group, small hopes and desires, small imagination, and small self-image. I could go on and on with the smalls but you get the idea. To think big was hubris and a challenge to the gods.  I wonder who high up there in my family tree learned to think constriction is safety and who are those gods we fear to challenge? Perhaps it is the compensatory reaction of someone in our past being a big red target for poison arrows. One extreme is often an attempt to conceal its opposite. 

PQ’s lung disease is another restriction. He has been struggling this past week with stomach cramps that seem related to lack of oxygen. I certainly wish we could get back to our lower altitude Arizona location so we must put our faith in unknown possibilities. I suspect that the constriction issue came up for a reason. It seems to apply on all levels. Nevertheless, I recently found two good websites devoted to chronic lung diseases and by joining a forum; I’ve learned that there is a wide diversity of policies among different hospitals concerning lung transplants. A hospital in Phoenix has done transplants on people as old as 75 as long as they were otherwise in good health. The upshot of the past two weeks is that a decision is looming and the challenge is to take our future out of the slow cooker.
The winter weather is good for introspection. We plan to have the Pueblo house open for The Christmas Eve bonfires again and we have enjoyed being in Taos since the October art show in Cottonwood but time is pressuring us to be more focused about what must change if there is to be a future. We have been very fortunate in selling enough art to cover utilities and groceries but if we are to go to the next level before time overtakes us, the constricted box must grow.

Now it's time to shovel snow off the sidewalk.