Back to Earth

I spent the weekend in Taos, New Mexico to be a part of the Hot Air Balloon Rally with my youngest sister, Filbert. It was a wonderful trip: plenty of excellent food, good conversation with family friends and fun adventures, and I returned home to wild fires and a two-and-a-half hour morning commute thanks to some Yahoo who decided to snarl traffic by threatening to jump off the Hollywood Avenue overpass onto the 101 freeway. Huzzah.

Nothing like Los Angeles to bring a person back down to earth.

The trip was a much needed break from the routine. I love a good routine, but lately I’ve been struggling to break myself out of some less-than-constructive patterns. It’s not easy to do: if your days all follow the same template then it is easy to find yourself going over the same ground again and again until you wear it into a rut. For me, this happens a lot with my thoughts: if I get into a pattern of negative thinking then it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. Everything becomes tagged with negative memories and associations so that the more I try to put it out of my mind the more it digs its claws in.

The trip helped me break a bit of that.

For four days, I traveled around New Mexico. I kept off Twitter and Facebook. I left my laptop and novel at home. I gave myself permission to eat anything I wanted. I gave myself to spend money. I gave myself permission to just go with the flow.

Taos is both home and away for me: I lived the earliest years of my life there, but have only been back a handful of times since. We have a life-long family friend who lives there: the kind of sardonic, artistic, Vodka Aunt that every girl should have in her life and who has been a part of mine since literally the moment I was born.

She was kind enough to put us up at her house and make introductions for us around town among her wide network of friends. She knew someone who knew someone who sponsored a hot air balloon. She knew someone who knew someone who was a successful author who was willing to talk to me about publishing. She knew all the good places to eat and all the interesting nooks and crannies to visit. She knew all the scandalous drama lurking below the surface of a town like Taos: a small town at the crossroads of Odd and Inspired.

Exhibit A:

Me: We got really good spicy hot chocolate at this cafe downtown!

Her: Oh yes, that place: the owner was MURDERED, horribly, in a field.

Exhibit B:

Me: What was the compound your friend was talking about?

Her: Oh, yes, it was a compound full of extremists who were practicing black magic. The FBI raided it a year or two ago. It made national news…

Never a dull moment in Taos, New Mexico.

At any rate, it was great fun to get out of town. I feel like I had a chance to step outside myself and now I’m glad to be back, even though Los Angeles is doing its best to be on its worst behavior. Le sigh. If I’m lucky, I can now get a toe hold on a fresh start.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 29, 2019.

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