It has been too long since my last update.
In that time, I have planned and executed a second field season, moved houses twice, and lost and found my mind too many times to count. Graduate school is stressful. Family life is stressful. My brain is, increasingly, a steaming pile of macaroni and cheese threatening to fall apart at any moment and ooze out of my ears.
In place of continued explorations into agriculture and ecology, I have decided to try a more personal route, and share some reflections written during a time when I was very lost, very sad, but also incredibly creatively productive. While I definitely do not miss the lack of direction and motivation I had in those days, I do regret losing the expressive power that accompanied this last bout of major depression. Life is much better now, but I just don't have the same creativity as I did a year or two ago.
And so, without further ado, a short reflection of the time I took a solo road trip to Taos, NM and hiked the mountains with a local man nearly twice my age.
“Come here, sit with me,” he implored, snaggle-tooth apparent in his wide smile.
“I saw you see me when you were going to the washhouse, and I saw the fear in your eyes,” he said, “I don’t want you to ever be afraid of me.”
It was too late, I thought; I am afraid. In my alcohol-addled state, I began to sob quietly as he pulled me onto his lap. I perched there, a timid maiden astride the knees of a much older man, and felt not only fear, but revulsion. Why, I wanted to know, had he attached himself to me so? Why couldn’t he leave well enough alone? Why couldn’t he have left our day as the one perfect event that it was, and let me have that memory to keep? Why did he have to ruin it this way?
I didn’t want to anger him. So I sat, quietly, nodding along as he told me about our deep connection, the unusualness of the bond he felt, and how he wanted me to come to the pueblo, to see the home where he grew up, to be not just a visitor, but a guest. I chattered and tried to smile, my jaw tight and eyes glistening from tears. I was twenty-one. I was ninety-five pounds of pure muscle. I could carry half my body weight in tools for miles up the mountain trails where I worked. And I feared this man.
More on this trip to come. It was very odd, and has impacted my life in unexpected ways ever since. Definitely one of the most exhilarating and depressing 48-hour periods in my life.