Sunday, May 22, 2022
CANTO HONDO (DEEP SONG) - LLANO SAN JUAN - Over 18,000 of our Northern New Mexico neighbors have been displaced due to the Calf Canyon/Hermit's Peak Fire. Donations of clothing and food are being collected at the large Agricultural Building in back of the Sagebrush Inn. Pet food is being collected for the strays displaced by the fires at the Rodeo Grounds. Please share....
Thursday, May 19, 2022
19 May 2022 - Llano Quemado, New Mexico
weeks ago I read the remarks by Clarence Thomas in regard to the
public's response to Justice Alito's leaked decision to overturn Roe vs
Wade. Shocked and surprised by memories of another life, it was time
for me to put the pieces together and admit to myself the unromantic
truth of how I came to New Mexico 55 years ago. Broken and confused I
had no idea of the long and amazing journey just ahead for my little
What is so disturbing to me is that pregnancy seems to
be some form of immaculate conception used as a cudgel against the
woman and her rights. Some states are proposing laws that will charge a
woman, her doctor, or any helper with homicide with a sentence of ten
years in prison. The Texas law that offers a $10,000 bounty if there
are any attempts to obtain an abortion. This same law has recently been
adopted by Oklahoma. This is the wild west of political power and a
woman's worst nightmare - losing control of her body and her very
future. This is the complete opposite of freedom. What is missing
here? We suddenly find a government that refuses to acknowledge a man's contribution to abortion.
Men and their fertile sperm are never mentioned! The failure to hold a
man accountable in any way for his part in the pregnancy and support of
the woman and the child is mind-boggling. Crusty old men are making
decisions that will forever impact a woman's power to make choices.
Some salvation in the form of birth control is next item on their list
of things to repeal and catapult us back to the Dark Ages of women's
health care. Question: Does birth control contribute to fewer
abortions? Why ban birth control?
Men are one-half of the baby-making process! Many men do it right and take responsibility for the babies they help bring into the world. Others seem to have no idea what makes a baby and prefer to blame the woman for getting pregnant in the first place - especially the Supreme Court Justices and the men they choose to ignore. Struggled with myself whether or not to tell my truth at this time....it is now or never!
My labor pains began at four in the morning of December 9th 1966. Only five minutes apart we had no time to waste getting to the hospital. My parents came to watch our 18 month old son until our regular babysitter could step in. My husband taught English Literature at a small Catholic college in East Chicago, Indiana and our babysitter of some months was one of his students. Leaving the house that morning I had no idea that this was one of the most significant days of my life. Revelations and changes would crush all my cozy dreams of a happy marriage to a highly regarded English professor, raising our babies together, and creating a good home for us to share - all vanished in one devastating phone call.
That call came one evening after dinner. Our babysitter's mother told me that her daughter was pregnant and my husband was the father of her child! Apparently she had gotten pregnant in my bed while I was in the hospital giving birth to the twins. My son was in his crib across the hall. And, she asked, what was I going to do about it? Exhausted from giving birth, I broke down and went to some dark never-land where I wanted to stay forever. Called our physician who kindly made a house call and talked with me for a long time. He counseled me to leave. Gratefully trauma has always led me to a level of numbness which allows me to go through the motions until I can gain my equilibrium. Leaving was not an option. The girls were only weeks old and on a every three hour feeding schedule. Their baby brother was in shock at not one but two new midnight howlers. And there were a few more surprises to come!!
The babysitter and her family were strict Catholics. Abortion was out of the question. She was given an airplane ticket to Florida where she gave birth to a baby boy. Her father was a made man and there was a contract put on my husband's life if he ever set foot in East Chicago again. He lost his job. We had no money. A good friend lived in Santa Fe. He rented a little adobe house for us. I had one week to pack up the house before we could make our "getaway"! We arrived in Santa Fe in August of 1967, about one month before the birth of his fourth child (in two years)! That is the truth of how I came to New Mexico and Learned About Art and Life!!! But wait, there's more.
The father of my children secured a teaching job at a local college. Days after our divorce was final, he married one of his students, adopted her daughter and fathered two more children in a short span of time. They eventually divorced. In a few short years he found himself the father of seven children none of whom he supported in any way!!! Yes, Justice Thomas, life does begin at ejaculation! Many years and three more marriages, I'm certain he gives no thought to the wreckage he has left behind.
What was lost in all this drama was my being able to live the fullness of life with my babies. Most of the time I was terrified that we wouldn't have enough food, or that we would be evicted because I couldn't pay the rent. If there were sicknesses (and there were many) I was the responsible party and had to pay the hospital bills instead of the utility bills. Too early in their little lives they were latchkey children. Anytime I had to take him to court for child support I was made to feel guilty for the divorce and expecting their father to be financially responsible for his children. On the days he said he would visit he would "forget" and they would stand at the front window and sob. These things will never be forgotten - it isn't even my job to forgive....I leave that to a higher authority.
Being raised Catholic, abortion was never an option for
me. Having friends who have had abortions, I know it is the most
difficult decision anyone ever has to make. During my high school years
back alley abortions were common. The wealthier families sent their
daughters to some secret place to give birth and the baby was put up in
"closed" adoptions - never to know their biological mother or father.
The boy was sent away and his name was never to be mentioned again.
Dark secrets forever.
Even though I am old, if I put myself in
the position of young women today I am beyond rage at the patriarchy
that continues to hold women hostage. I am pro CHOICE! If most of our
politicians were seriously questioned regarding their Christian
principles, I am sure you would come away knowing in your heart it is
only about the next election cycle. How dare they?
Thursday, May 05, 2022
WORD PAINTINGS #120 (How I Came to New Mexico and Learned About Life and Art) - A CRUEL SEASON
4 May 2022 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) - View from my kitchen window: What began as a few plumes of white over towards Las Vegas on or about the 20th of April became 75,000 acres forest fire on Friday; as of this morning it has grown to 160,000 acres and it is only 20% contained. Evacuation centers are open in Penasco and Taos - the towns of Mora and Las Vegas are under severe threat and total evacuation. The cause seems to be a "controlled burn" by the Forest Service. Homes, vacation cabins, livestock, wildlife - gone. Have been roaming the roads in these villages for 55 years - so many beautiful days! Heavy smoke from this fire and the one burning in Jemez. Fear, sadness - deep grief. Prayers for the firefighters, all those evacuees - we need prayers - and a lot of rain!
Our clear and present danger sure takes the attention off the war in Ukraine. Ali Velshi is back home covering all the abortion news. President Zelensky's fear that the world will look away from the horror and destruction is becoming a reality. Less news from there this past week. They say no news is good news. That doesn't feel right. The gung ho enthusiasm for the Ukranian fighting spirit isn't quite as loud and bullish as it was. Imagine Ukraine a year from now - will these brave people will still be fighting this fake-made up war? Will the devastation be so complete that the rest of the world will be forced to look away? Considering that all of Europe is under threat now it is hard to imagine that will happen. Heard Chef Jose Andres say this country will need a Marshall Plan in order to rebuild. Prayers for the Ukranian people.
Ah, and then there is our "Supreme Court" and their leaked decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Crusty old men and one evangelical white woman with a really annoying voice are deciding the fate of American women - and men. Think the dog has caught the car this time and they have taken too big a bite out of women's rights. No doubt they will come for LGBT rights, birth control, gay marriage - power and control. Their fear of the changing demographics in this country is palpable. If I was a defeatist, I would say that we are screwed! Scary men are doing scary things under the guise of protecting our freedom and liberty - all in the name of Christianity. Sadly Christ is nowhere to be found in this New World Order. Considering their ex-President is acknowledged to be a serial sex offender and two of the Justices are alleged sex offenders...how dare they? Prayers for the Justices of the Supreme Court.
Graduated from high school in 1957 - and Roe v. Wade became law in 1973. Yes I remember the "good old days". Wealthy families in Chicago Heights and Flossmoor sent their girls to Florida to have an abortion or give birth and put their babies up for adoption. My best friend returned from her Florida trip to find a surprise from her daddy - a white Cadillac convertible - she felt no joy when we all piled in with her for our evening "joy rides". She was always sad and broken and I know that every day of her life she thought about her baby. In our town there was a three story brick house with a long flight of stairs going to the top floor. Everyone knew that was the place where girls from not so wealthy families took care of their problem. This is what I know is true....I believe in the right to choose. I believe this, in most cases, is a the most painful choice a woman will ever have to make, but it is her CHOICE. We are at the mercy of a sweeping authoritarian movement. Prayers for all women everywhere today.
PS: The smoky skies have cleared this afternoon - praying for rain. DC