In two days I am returning to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I lived for 24 years before coming to the Denver area late in 2011. When I first came to the Denver area, my health was poor. I was in shock from the sudden death of my beloved husky, Blessing, and the sudden loss of my home, job, and mobility. Had an Aurora friend not invited me to come and stay in her house, I would have been homeless.
Now, nearly a year and a half later, I am moving back to Santa Fe. The new friends I have made in Colorado are not happy about this; they fear for my economic stability, returning as I am to a state with widespread unemployment and a vast gap between rich and poor. It is also a fact that New Mexico has one of the highest rates of spousal abuse, child abuse, drug abuse, animal abuse, and drunk driving fatalities in the nation. Public support is available to assist the underemployed and the ill, but that support has dwindled under New Mexico’s present governor, a well-to-do Republican with little sympathy for those who seek “entitlements.”
Moving is never easy. It is particularly difficult right now because I have had a falling out with the friend in whose house I have been staying, and I am ashamed and saddened by this. No one is at fault particularly; we have simply discovered that our private wounds make us incompatible housemates. But it is hard having to acknowledge that another’s life has been improved by my leaving it. I will also miss my friend’s dog, a black Labrador who has been a hugbuddy and companion to me during my mourning over Blessing.
Sudden, painful change is built in to physical reality. It is represented by the Tarot cards Death, the Lightning-Struck Tower, and the Devil (which I have renamed Pan). These three Tarots are not necessarily cards of moral evil or physical destruction, although they can be. At root they signify the powers and influences over which the human will has no conscious control, powers and influences that trigger physical, emotional, and comprehension changes that one must acknowledge, accept, and adapt to or die. It is human nature to resist such transformation even when part of us longs for it. But in some circumstances, as the Daleks might put it, resistance is futile.
My story is by no means a tragedy. I am moving into a house with good neighbors in a safe neighborhood, and I have been overwhelmed by the loving support of friends all over the country, who with their contributions of time, money, and encouragement are making this move possible. My cat, Urdwill, will like it there, too. And I am looking forward to reuniting with old Santa Fe friends.
But I can no longer deceive myself. No change is permanent. Reality is both a particle and a waveform, and life is a balancing act. And when you are old, as I am, you must give up the fantasy of total self-reliance and total independence and embrace interdependence, community, and mutuality. As my friend Jerry told me the other day, “It’s time for you to accept the love people want to show you.” How strange that this is so difficult.