My Disenchanted Muse

Santafe.com - July 26, 2011

"When the temps started climbing last month and the earth cracked, dried up and swirled away in the neverending wind, my muse decided to split..."

When the temps started climbing last month and the earth cracked, dried up and swirled away in the neverending wind, my muse decided to split. It was around the time that the forests started burning down, and the air was clogged with smoke that turned bright pink, orange, and deep red against the setting sun.

In the hot afternoons I watched smoke plumes unfurl on the horizon in wonder and horror, feeling the hair rise on the back of my neck. My little piece of this world was surrounded on all sides by fire and doom, and life became anything but enchanting. And so I’ve neglected this space, this blog.

A couple of years ago, in my New Mexico Free Press column, I found much of my inspiration in the outdoors. Wild places, you see—be they sheltering beneath the pines or curving around primordial hoodoos—are invigorating and necessary for everyone in my family. Now that our options are limited (i.e. mostly non existent) we’ve all been suffering.

The heat and drought have exacerbated our wilderness withdrawal, making us all testy and depleted. We’ve been slogging through our days, drooping about as fast as the garden plants that are stuck in some withering limbo of arrested development. My tomato plants have never looked this pathetic in July.

But now, the smoke has faded and the fires are going out. Monsoons boil over the mountains, thrilling us all. Even the chickens are excited by the changing weather. And though our wild places are still under lock and key, for now, I’m yanking my muse back from the nether regions of nowhere. Demanding she sit down next to me, and help me morph thoughts into words. Because it’s high time I did. 

Coming up: stories about two canyons that recently went up in flames, plus A Thing Of Beauty Thursday.

Stick around. La Muse is back.