the legacy

February 28, 2008 at 1:51 pm (beauty, history, longing, wealth)

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when i was a young girl, my grandparents owned a lovely old, adobe home in the hondo valley. over the years, they expanded on the house and it became very, very lush. it was beautiful beyond belief, not just the house and furnishings, the incredible hondo valley.

visiting this magical place was a treat for my brothers and i. there were lavish parties and gifts galore. it was the height my grandparent’s wealth and success. still it was lonely. there was nothing to do there but play outside which was more rewarding for my brothers who liked to fish and hunt.

at some point, my grandfather who fancied himself some kind of modern, american king, imported peacocks to roam the property. in my memory, i still hear their aching calls and see them in languid pose. i used to roam around looking for discarded feathers, the beautiful blue and green eyes were treasured. as an adult, i learned that the peacocks were picked off by coyotes one by one. their lives were difficult in the valley. the importing of peacocks had been vain and unrealistic.

my grandfather passed away about 6 weeks ago. though he lived a long and by all accounts a good life, i find myself feeling a mixture of feelings about him.

he was the kind of person that could sit with you calmly, seemingly relaxed but a million miles away. his mind was racing, racing, racing. i often felt invisible around him. he half-payed attention.

he was selfish, creating an empire and letting it crumble to nothing. if only he had told us all not to expect anything. instead, my mother and her siblings are riddled with depression and a seeming lack of direction. their expectations of inherited wealth clipped their wings and kept them in competition for the great patriarch’s approval.

the hondo valley house was sold long ago to pay off the mountain of debt that had accumulated. i dream of it often. the lovely, crystal blue swimming pool that i can never get to. that pool seems to be symbolic of the abundance and magic my grandfather created and destroyed all in the course of one life.

i loved him and i see my tendency to be like him when my mind is racing, racing, racing…always working out ways to make my business stronger.

i have no hope (or desire) of recapturing the level of his creation, but i do want the beauty he was so fortunate to experience. the beautiful lines of an old adobe, the green lushness of a fertile valley in the desert, peacocks drifting across the lawn.

hopefully in the version i create, the coyotes will be kept safely at bay.

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friend, so far

January 21, 2008 at 8:03 pm (friendship, history, mothering, wealth)

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my best friend lives far away. we talk on the phone once in a blue moon. the thread of our conversations pick up right where they were dropped as if no time has passed.

i miss her.

i wish we could raise our children together…create a modern commune of parenting and life. it’s tough to be out here on my own, no family worth mentioning.

she and i have a lot in common. both raised in affluent homes, both chose to strike out and live a life of adventure, both married to men of heart with little to no resources.

my mother used to say that the last, unspoken american prejudice was against the rich. i thought it was silly to complain of being so fortunate. now i see how this prejudice has shaped my choices. i felt self-conscious about our wealth, our home, the excess of it all. i felt a keen sense of injustice for those who had less. i never wanted to be identified with fur coats and fancy cars. i never felt comfortable fraternizing with the upper crust.

my friend feels the same though now, both of us with children, we lament the lack of security.

still we live rich lives. in my case, there is a richness to my struggle. if i had chosen to marry for money, to stay true to my upper class upbringing, i fear i would be floundering around trying to find meaning. i would be drinking heavily for sure and fighting the rage of another lunch date to discuss my most recent european holiday.

instead, i’m fighting the rage of seeing a culture out of balance, the inequities horrifying and dangerous. fighting to build the security my family needs with my own two hands and a mind that was idle too long. i feel grateful for the opportunity to discover my own creativity and strength now that the promise of inherited wealth is gone.

i continue to count my blessings for i am so very, very fortunate.

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crystal ball

January 1, 2008 at 5:30 pm (beginnings, grace, reflection, simplicity, wealth)

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i wish i had a crystal ball and could see what lies ahead. some things i know…the children will grow, the seasons will shift, i will work and continue to push ahead.

i hope i can start to pull away from the financial stress that keeps me up at night. i hope my husband and i can grow closer and live more harmoniously. i hope that i continue to grow spiritually.

i want to fall in love with the life i’m living. i’ve made progress. i want to be creative and dynamic and find new ways of approaching old problems. i want to be of good health and want the same for my family and friends. i want to experience more DIVINITY in my day to day dealings.

sometimes i feel like i was born at the wrong time. the world we’re in is stimulating and intense and overwhelming. i long for simplicity. after pondering for a long time, i realize that simplicity is an inner state. no amount of organizing and cleaning and downsizing can get me to that place of peace. i think too, that simplicity for me may require a degree of surrender to what is.

surrender is tough. i’m a fighter!

so…if i had a crystal ball, this is what i hope my forecast would be:

KEEP ON GOING…face life squarely, no more drifting off to sleep in a fantasy, you’re on the right track and whatever challenges come up, you have the resources to overcome. life is wondrous and magical and fantastic. SHOW UP WITH LOVE. you are doing a great job…

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