Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Celtic Knots in the Circle of LIfe

Straight lines do not appear very often in nature. Even tree trunks which we think of as linear usually have some bends and twists. Life does not have many straight lines, either. I'm a person who looks for patterns and sees pictures in clouds, designs in a variety of things. The past few years I have really come to understand where my Celtic ancestors came by their inspiration for the elaborate knot work patterns of which they were so fond. That was one way to portray the path of our life and of those around us.

It has been said there are no coincidences. I might instead call them serendipity --those very odd happenstance kinds of things. It's in the way our route through life doubles back, crosses over and weaves or twines around to bring people to us and take them away, to make surprising things happen. More and more I see that taking place around me.

I know I have not mentioned Alaska and my big project-to-be for awhile. I will assure you it is still very much on my radar and although it is going to take longer and probably be more complicated than I first visualized, I am still determined to see it through. Right now I am reading Libby Riddles' account  --the first female winner back in 1985--of that race. Although there was more snow than the last few years, she encountered an incredible range of difficulties and mishaps! In fact, nearly half way through the race she had fallen back to fourteenth place, was dealing with sick dogs and wondering if she'd even make the finish line, never mind what place. Most of us end up dealing with just that kind of situation--oh, we aren't driving dogs a thousand miles across the wilderness but we have goals and projects to complete and each one is a struggle. At that point we can lie down and play dead or we can pull up our socks and keep giving it our best.But sometimes unexpected help comes from totally amazing sources....

Weekend before last I went over to Silver City to see my friend Constance who is getting ready to leave, seeking a climate and environment that will not confine her to the house with choking asthma. I did want to spend some time with her before she leaves. And it is her friend and former sister-in-law who lives in Wasilla and will probably be renting me a room when I get up there later this summer. Now serendipity kicks in!  There's a little newspaper/magazine put out over there called Desert Exposure. From a rcent issue, Constance pulled out an article about the colony of former Alaskans who now reside, at least part of the time, in Grant Country, New Mexico. The very first name there was Joe Runyan.

I began to read avidly. Joe was an Iditarod winner some years back and has covered the race for Cabellos sporting goods and posted several-a-day blog entries on the Iditarod Trail Committee website during the race as he follows along on a snow machine. He now has a farm/ranch out at Cliff, about .thirty miles north and west of Silver City. He still has dogs but they are now hunting dogs instead of huskies. I found his phone number but was shy about calling cold; we found his mail address and I have written him. But there is more!

As you may know I have had two articles this spring in a monthly magazine called Mules and More based.on my experiences and recollections of the time when I was training and selling mules with my dad. A chap named Max Harsha has a regular column in the same magazine and he too lives in Cliff, NM. I got his address off his website and wrote him, also. The other day my phone rang and it was him. He'd just received my letter and wanted to talk and said I'd be welcome to come over and chat almost any time. He had gotten into mules back in Missouri about the same time I began to work with them and then moved to New Mexico and began to hunt and use mules more. Now the serendipity part. I mentioned trying to get in touch with a former Alaskan about my book project. He knew who I meant at once and said he knew Joe Runyan well. They are almost neighbors and he took Joe on a quail hunt some years back and that was instrumental in Runyan locating there! Now isn't that a most amazing pattern of knots, twists and links!??

That is just one example. I run into them or they find me almost constantly. I hardly even get surprised anymore even when I am taken totally off guard by unexpected events and such. So the old Celts knew what they were portraying. It's the great pattern, the circle of life, as we are born, live, die and go back for rest, regroup and return. Along the way we find and lose friends, fall into mishaps and are rescued by help and events we had no idea were on the horizon. Hopefully we learn and grow until we come at last to the end --or maybe yet another beginning, for like the Highway Men sang--I'll be back again....

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