CORNER WINDOW by Jeff Hartzer
#022, October 2008
A Door Closes
When one door closes , another one opens is how the saying goes. Life goes on. Make lemonade if you’re handed lemons. It is easy to say or think these things when we hear of others’ misfortune. But when that door slams in your own face, positive outlooks, just don’t come easy . Optimism is hard to come by.
Relatively speaking, New Mexico is very kind with its natural disasters. Sure, you can get Hantavirus or even the Plague. You “can catch your death” of dust from a whirlwind. Last time, our nearby Seven Sisters volcanoes blew was when Edward Abbey, author of “The Monkey Wrench Gang”, set fire to car tires there. We have a ‘big river’ but having the Rio Grande flood like the Mississippi, would be highly unlikely. Monsoon season comes and yes, Gusty Winds May Exist. We are likely to get one day, a tornado stronger than the one damaging the State Fair grounds in the late1980’s. Forest fires in the mountains or along the Bosque are certainly very real concerns. But in reality, our biggest threat to life as we know it here in the Land of Enchantment is ‘ourselves’.
We are not alone in this predicament.The current manmade ‘financial disaster’ comes to mind. New Mexico has a rich cultural heritage and a tradition of surviving hard times. We are a land of miracles yet, we remain high on those national lists for the DWI; murders; thefts; embezzlements; rapes; spousal, child, and animal abuses. Man-made carnage seems to be worsening in our valleys, mountains, and towns.
So, what’s the good news? Good question. We are called to find it deep inside of ourselves. It is a ‘spark’ we all carry. It is every bit as alive as we are, right now. That spark is our connection to others and to the natural world around us. There is a taste of that spark in these simple lines of a poem I wrote in 1987. Twenty years later, I still seek that spark to ease my fears. Happy Hallows.
At the Jemez Dam
Clouds cross mountains; clouds span rivers.
They seem to touch surfaces; darkening deeps.
Yet, truly they touch nothing.
Is my fear not like the shadows of clouds?
Is my fear not a passing thing?
There is no real threat within itself.
The fish still swim; the deer still run.
Jeff Hartzer © 2008