“And the seasons they go ’round and ’round. We are captive on the carousel of time.” — Joni Mitchell

This is my last article, and though each one has been stressful, I will miss writing about my feelings during this pandemic.

The recent images of the evacuation of our embassy in Kabul seem hauntingly the same as our exit from Saigon. Just like putting on masks again after the “all-clear signal.”

All the progress made on the COVID-19 war seems to be sadly and strangely cyclical. Are we arriving back where we started in March 2020? Did we arrive back in the Middle East where we left in Southeast Asia?

The circle game of our existence on Earth has been written and sung about for millennia, and if there is any continuity, it is that change is constant.

But when history repeats itself like with these two wars and the backsliding on our COVID-19 fight, what are we to think? Are we able to find answers on social media? In the Bible or Torah?

Yes, the answers and explanations are all there. But now at 73, I realize that only with age can most of us “see” with our failing eyesight and with the insights age brings, that all of life is a continual circle, that history repeats itself over and over.



Last week, Santa Fe New Mexican business editor Teya Vitu took his group of “Making It Through” COVID-19 column writers to lunch: two Brits, a motorcycle tour guide and myself.

It was one of my most enjoyable lunches, and not because The New Mexican picked up the check. Vitu had assembled a diverse group, and we talked about many things: whether Santa Fe should change or stay the same; what had we become; who is right or wrong; and even if the uniformity of stringent historical styling limited our creativity and imagination.

Was the Guadalupe Street mural a good or bad thing? I found that I really saw both sides of every discussion we had. Were monuments a reminder of the worst things about the past or did they neutrally commemorate what at the time was perceived as the truth?

If I knew any of the answers, I would be getting paid for my columns! But I don’t. I just have my opinion, and now I finally realize there can be no absolute truths about anything that is not science-based and empirically provable.

We are all entitled to our opinion, except when it comes to public health and safety. Everything else is a shade of gray. Most of us dig in our heels and are ready to rumble when we hear something we instinctually disagree with.

It seems we have lost the ability to listen to others’ ideas and are divided down the middle as a people. Are we still the City Different, still tricultural or a warring set of tribes? I hope our better angels help us find the answers.

Thanks for reading, and see you at Joe’s Tequila Bar.

Joe Schepps is the president and co-owner of the Inn on the Alameda and has lived in New Mexico for 50 years.

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