Things Are Better Now

We had a breakthrough, a turning point, an energy shift of great importance. Our renters finished clearing their stuff out of the house, agreed to pay extra for damages, and we all parted as friends, with hugs and thank-yous. We couldn't ask for a better outcome to what started as a Very Unpleasant Situation this week. Two things were important to us in all this - that we did everything we could to make things better, and that we didn't screw ourselves in the process. The reason I'm not showing you the "mess pictures" and doing any major renter bashing is because we want to remain friends with these people. After all, they made it possible for us to wander off for the last 15 months. We're so grateful for that. There's no use in creating angry vibes that will never dissipate, leaving all concerned feeling uncomfortable. Better to just ask for what we need and stay as calm and kind as possible. Public displays of distress are so... unseemly.

So leaving all that behind, and moving forward, we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping in Taos for prayer flags for the house, and visiting a visiting friend who's staying near us, and who just happened to bring a fabulous tattoo artist along with her. I see some new ink in my near future. More on that later. On our way home we stopped at a little cemetery that's right down the street from us, and visited Dennis Hopper's grave. We only just found out that he is our neighbor. What a surprise. And so, we had a nice visit with Dennis too.

New Mexican cemeteries are a riot of color, kitsch, and even humor, filled with bright fake flowers and tokens of love. I think they're at their best in October, the month when the veil between worlds is the thinnest, and a great time for hanging out with those who are on the other side. New Mexico does a bang up job of celebrating Dia de los Muertos, and I'm glad we'll be here for that wonderful holiday again this year. It's a festive reminder that when we're dead, we're not gone, we're just not here. While I'm on this side, I can live with that. I don't need any more details.

And here we are, back in our old neighborhood, with old friends, new neighbors, and a clear, fresh perspective. As we make our way through town, we keep commenting on how Taos seems different, but I'm beginning to suspect that we are the ones who have changed.


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