Tuesday, August 6, 2013

If Anybody Wants To Know....

You know how depressing those Points of Interest can be. Grisly details of another massacre, devastation by over-grazing and clear-cutting...misery and greed couched in the guise of Westward Expansion. And yet...something made me go back. Thank goddesses! There was Lasell waiting just inside the front door of the Anasazi Heritage Center.

She launched into an  informative introduction laced with drollery so nuanced it inspired the group to applause.

Afterward, I beckoned her over and asked for details of her time in Raton, New Mexico. She segued into how she'd fallen in love with a cowboy and (it ain't called tha Land of Entrapment for nuthin') ended up teaching for more than 20 years at Valley High in Albuquerque. There - in Albert's Turkey -- she met husband #3 through an ad in The Singles Scene, a free paper that covered arts and culture.

She described a rough childhood that included a STRICT Victorian grandmother; cruel teasing in elementary for being smart and a traumatic encounter with an older man at the age of 7 that left her with lifelong PTSD. Several mean husbands didn't help, but now, at age 77, she's been happily married for over 30 years and has been able to come to terms with much of it.

Now we back-track a a few days to a short tale of a nun. In the wilds of southern Utah the sign to Our Lady of the Desert Monastary seemed about as good as any excuse to stop driving. Hoping they'd have some crafts to show for their contemplations, I inquired of Sister Mary. She explained that nearly all was in Albuquerque for the church congress. BUT!!! there was enough to incite a conversation on iconography.

We were trundling along fine when suddenly she was describing a painting she'd seen in Italy of Christ's mother breast-feeding him. This was, according to Sister Mary, meant to convey Christ's humanity. Quickly recognizing my excitement at the tho't of a bare-breasted virgin, she asked if I'd taken my meds. I hadn't and did...and, on principle, added a cold shower. She then described how in the 3rd and 4th century breast-feeding was totally natural. Thus, the image was nothing more than a simple "even *god* did it." Yeah, right.

When it came time to discuss polyamory and human-ness well, that was the work of the devil. We parted on friendly terms and altho she claimed an epiphany had brought her there, I felt as if she'd been "chosen" as a means of assuaging her fear.

Now back to Lasell.....

Lasell complained of the unending  anxiety, morning dreads, a constant fear of death, compulsive behaviors and more. But she faced her fears head-on. She said she worked on it daily but it was only in the last three years that she felt she'd gotten the upper hand.
PUMA on the left

Her husband, completely opposite, stays at home while she goes dancing at the senior center, sings (she didn't say where, but I don't think it was at church) and volunteers at nursing homes and the Heritage Center.

She said she embraced the theory of  Christian Science but couldn't handle the practice. A friend said she tho't Lasell was more a Science of Mind/Taoist/Buddhist. She wasn't sure, but maybe.

Her advice: Just put one foot in front of the other.

"In case," she said, "anyone wants to know."

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