Let me say, first of all, that the pandemic isn’t over.
Many of us are vaccinated and feeling easy-breezy about being out and about, which is fantastic, but things aren’t great for everyone. Not even here in Santa Fe.
For instance, I was scheduled to run a motorcycle tour here in the States in September — income I was counting on — but it was canceled because of the delta variant. My overseas tours are postponed until at least next year. I’ve sacrificed a four-year relationship, due largely to the pandemic logistics.
I’m feeling lost, sad and angry. I think a lot of people are. Something feels off.
It’s like we had the chance to reweave the fabric of our personal and social connections, to redefine what it means to be worthwhile, but we couldn’t do it or couldn’t make it stick.
Menial labor became “essential,” but now those positions remain mysteriously unattractive. Is it any wonder? I need income, but still I am not eager to labor just so I can go through the motions of paying bills and cramming food down my throat so that what, I can watch more apocalyptic Netflix? Or if I labor especially hard, maybe one day join the billionaires in space?
No, I want to do something good. I want to give something of my heart to this world, and to the people in it, because so far, that’s all I’ve found that feels like it matters.
I think of my sister, who not three months ago opened L’Ecole de Beaux Arts on Canyon Road. She’d been in town only a few weeks when she found the space, and without being “ready” in the traditional sense, courageously leased the storefront.
She makes exquisite watercolor paints by hand, which she sells, but she also has curated a collection of retail goods that exude excellence. Nothing in her shop is mediocre.
She offers classes for kids and adults, many taught by her, and many are taught by local experts who are thrilled to have found a collaborative and supportive venue in which to share their knowledge.
At one of L’Ecole’s recent celebrations, a longtime gallery owner confessed, “I haven’t seen a gathering on Canyon Road like this in decades. Such diverse people and ages. It reminds me of the old times. She’s bringing community back.”
I’m not just plugging my sister and her store; I’m citing an example of inspiration. The store is working, I think, because it is a reflection of her heart. You can feel her uncompromising commitment to that reality when you walk into her space.
With what I hope is similar commitment, I have been working for the past several months on a travel adventure series that aims to discover and celebrate similar stories — people who are, in their own way, bringing wonder to this world. Initial interest has been favorable and enthusiastic. Like most collaborations, the initial stages are delicate and move very slowly.
It is easy to despair, but somehow my heart urges me onward. It’s good to feel that again, and I look forward to sharing it soon.