Friday, July 8, 2011
...rage on. Smoke pours over the ridges of the Jemez, the sky taking on the colors of the apocalypse. We sit in the house, windows closed. We have no A/C, so the rooms are stuffy. As the days go 0n, my body begin to feel like a dried out twig. It's difficult to sleep, with the heat of the room, the stale air, the fears about radiation coming from The Labs, the potential respiratory problems for my child, due to be born any day.
Almost worse is that fact that all the mountains are closed. I had intended to do at least one hike per week, making up for last year when anxieties around money kept me working and working. This is to be our last summer in NM, so I had wanted to spend much of it in the hills. This connection to place is important to me. It has slowly become my spiritual practice. And as ever, it remains my muse. But now the door to the wild has been shut. Miki and I find consolation in sunset walks around the arroyos, after the heat has gone. There's a wonderful trail system just below our house. Rabbit scurry, beetles lumber on their way. There is some wild left after all.
My fire anxieties peaked on the 4th, being all too familiar with the capacity for stupidity in my fellow humans. This stupidity shows up in some surprising, yet surprisingly obvious, places. Around the 1st of the month, the governor finally got around to declare a state of emergency around fireworks. Despite this soft ban, the city of Albuquerque went ahead with their annual fireworks display anyway. Fire teams stayed on the monitor the situation, and wound up putting out over thirty spot fires during the night.
The other day, a woman came into the store, wearing a face mask, like those seen during Japanese winters. She told me that it wasn't so much the smoke that was getting to her but the ash. Apparently, many people have been coming down with digestive issues, after swallowing this fine gray dust day after day. "The good side," she said, "is that we're all getting smudged." "Smudged?" I asked. "Yeah, think of all that burning sage." A true Santa Fe perspective...
The mood in the city is dark, made worse by a population swollen with refugees from Los Alamos. Tempers too flare up easily. So we all collectively pray for rain.
There has been a taste. Last week, as I taught my yoga class up at St. John's, the clouds began to gather. At the end of class, with the students in savasana, the drops began to fall, turning quickly into a squall. The cathartic release was almost sexual. The Chinese have it right, clouds and rain.
Clouds and rain.
On the turntable: Roger Waters, "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking"
On the nighttable: Bill Morgan, "I Celebrate Myself"