Sunday, November 8, 2015


Through my windshield driving down into the Continental Divide Basin desert

Dearest Readers,

My journey West is done. I’m here in Portland two weeks now, but I must relate a turning point before I plunge into stories of my new life and new city.

There was a moment on my trip when I felt I had reached a crossing over.  It seemed sacred and momentous, as though I had driven through a doorway into a wide new reality. Something inside my Self stirred when I crossed the Continental Divide seven miles outside Rawlins Wyoming, and dove down into the Great Continental Divide Basin. I wrote about it in my travel blog on Day 7.

The desert is not a welcoming landscape, but it offers deliverance.  Ask any of the early Christian “Desert Fathers”, or our own Henry David Thoreau who used isolation in nature to find the essence of the self. (Thoreau’s Walden, an experiment in living deliberately alone in the woods, exerted a big influence on me.) 

The desert surrounds – flat, exposed, dusty. The Rockies shimmered that day, faintly blue and tantalizing on the far horizon. I was my own Moses on the mountaintop glimpsing the future.
Rawlins WY roughnecks' pickups wait to start the day in the oil fields

Before dawn that morning I walked out of my hotel in Rawlins, Wyoming surrounded by a dense cold fog. Pickups in the parking lot created fuzzy pools of headlights, waiting for the “roughnecks” inside to finish their big breakfasts and head out to the oil fields for their day of dirty and dangerous work. It was another world. Me and my little dog were the outsiders. Yet we were a part of it all.

I began to remember my dreams for the first time in over ten years. In dream number 1, I am athletic, pioneering, and the originator of a big idea to organize and find financing for the colossal task of building a bike route for women across the USA from Miami to Seattle.  The second night I discover a new planet in the sky. I see the entire round shape, and can discern the intricate detail of patches of sagebrush growing all over its surface. These dreams are vivid, memorable and more continue each night.
Me in the creative spirit in my new bedroom (wonderful window shade behind).
The imaginative self is bursting inside my unremarkable body-self. I sense a wellspring bubbling within that will be the source of different ideas for creative artworks. Right now all I can do is open my eyes, and that is not hard. Whatever this new direction will be, I feel very attuned to this place and time.
Strange seed spinners on a vine (or droopy bush)

So much has changed around me. The flowers, trees and bushes delight me in the odd shapes of unfamiliar species. 
Dark-eyed Junco-"Oregon Junco"

Western Scrub Jay-Jreeeet! (rising)

Western variants of juncos, chickadees and jays fly with familiar crows and sparrows. 

I bought Stokes Field Guide to Birds Western Region in New Seasons Natural Market yesterday. Can’t wait to use it. 

Coffee shops brew outstanding coffee, but none so far offer a regular cup of decaf. I know now to order a decaf Americano that they create on the spot. (more expensive however). I’m meeting neighbors and learning all about my grandson Henry, and the wonderful lives of my daughter Ayla and her partner Joel.
Henry next to his artwork in my new studio
Ayla on the right with her friend and business partner Lola on left
Joel on the right with Henry and Etta James in my kitchen

More to come beyond this threshold!-

My little house in Portland_kitchen on left, studio right_bedroom and bath beyond.