Monday, June 26, 2006

I've Got the Post-Trip Blues

Do you ever find, after a really wonderful road trip, one in which you've enjoyed yourself more than you imagined possible, one in which you felt more alive than you've felt in a very long time, one in which you've laughed until your side ached and your eyes burned, that you're just not ready to return to your "real" life? Do you find you're grateful to be reunited with the ones you love, grateful for the comfort of your own home and the familiarity of your own bed, but you wish you had just a few more days? Do you find, when the alarm sounds the next morning, a knot of dread in the pit of your stomach, a reluctance to return to the daily grind? Do you find your beloved morning walks aren't quite the same because you aren't striding down a dirt road surrounded by the greenest, most lush alfalfa fields ever? Do you secretly wish for one more day of laying in the grass doing nothing and one more evening sitting on the porch enjoying a strawberry margarita? Does every cell in your body want to weep because you must return to a job that gives you little more than a paycheck and a couple valuable friendships, a job that you're too scared and uncertain to leave? Do you find you want more, more of the life you just lived? Do you already start planning your next escape, the next time you'll be able to really feel free? Do you realize that you're not here, not all of you, there's a part of you that is still wandering the deserts surrounding Santa Fe, a part of you that is out there photographing every old catholic church, every steeple in the sky, every cactus in bloom, every barbed wire fence, a part of you that is tiptoe-ing lightly through the brush to ensure a rattlesnake isn't curled up on your path? Do you recognize that your heart is somewhere else, standing in front of a painting of a weeping coconut as your pulse quickens, your eyes focusing on the signature in the bottom left hand corner, a name written in the most delicate, deciphirable handwriting: Frida Kahlo 51. Do you know there is a piece of your spirit haunting the hallways housing Georgia O'Keefe's incredible work, a piece that wants to lick her oil paintings because they are so thick and creamy and inviting that they remind you of soft serve ice cream? Do you find that your body may be here but your mind is still roaming the cemeteries of the wild west? Do you find an aching to be back in the sun and the air, on your knees in front of a crumbling tombstone of a long forgotten stranger? Do you know with each breath you take that part of you is still back there, lost somewhere in the streets of Santa Fe? Do you find yourself tacking a photo of Frida Kahlo to your bulletin board at work just to remind you of who you really are and what you really dream of? Do you find yourself longing for a place you love and feel connected to for some reason others can't understand? Do you find that there is a piece of your soul buried somewhere in the mountains of New Mexico, just waiting to be found again? And do you pray at the old tree stump, the one where you kneel each morning before starting the day, to hold on to the fire that was birthed in the cool desert air? Do you? Yea, me too.


Blogger Deb R said...

I hear you, Michelle.
(Hope you get your 'puter woes straightened out soon so we can see some of those photos!)

10:31 PM  
Blogger dani said...

glad you had a great trip.....and glad to hear you sounding so alive.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Ali la Loca said...


Your lovely post has just succeeded in making me achingly homesick. I miss New Mexico, I miss my desert roots, I miss everything beautiful about my state that you described.

I can't wait to see the photos.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Irene said...

yes I do. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

12:42 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

sounds like a
road trip...
i'm so happy that it
went as well for you
as it seems to have...

4:11 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...


4:15 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

I do, I really do. It sounds like an amazing trip/journey and I can't wait to see the photos of the barbed wire and old churches, the cemeteries and cactuses....I adore old cemeteries.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

such sweet yearning...i feel the same way about the arizona desert. connecting with a place so deeply absorbes it into your soul. so wonderful you had such a beautiful and inspiring journey!

4:43 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

Oh it sounds like you had the most wonderful trip! I'm so jealous.

Yep, I feel the same yearnings as you!

I really can't wait to see the wonderufl pictures you took :)

6:22 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

I had those same kinds of feelings about Charleston, which is why I moved to this town when I didn't know a soul here.

It was both the best thing and the worst thing I could've done. For whatever it's worth.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh the imagery you created about your roadtrip was awesome and inspiring! I am so glad your soul was replenished. I envy you seeing those art pieces in real life. I can only imagine the impact. I am awe struck just viewing them from the pages of my oversized art book. Wow!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Star said...

I am so with you. It makes me wish to be 10 years younger and single again, able to screw up the courage to tie a bandana to a stick and find a place where my soul would sing.

But I'm not 10 years younger and I wouldn't trade my husband away for anything, ever (and of course there's that whole financial insecurity thing I've had basically forever).

So here I am, taking soul singing lessons from you and many others in this wonderful blog community...trying to find my inner voice.

Can't wait to see pictures of the place that makes your soul sing.

8:43 AM  
Blogger mayseek life said...

what a stirring piece of writing...your ponderings remind me of the distinct re-entry period i experience when i return home from any place that has touched my soul (and i must say travel in general does it!) such questions usually help direct me to creating more of what i miss in my life.(sometimes at least!) getting out of the familiar is good medicine....

9:01 AM  
Blogger M said...

Definitely YES!! I've never been to any of those places you've described so well, but I want to go now after hearing how they have affected you. And I can totally relate on the job front- even just getting up on a Monday after a regular weekend is hard!
I hope you can get away again soon!!!!

9:21 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

It sounds heavenly. I believe there is a place that calls to your soul and you know that place is home, somehow. Finding that can be life-changing. It sure sounds like something clicked for you.

10:28 AM  
Blogger *aimee* said...

Yeah, me too...
Even so, welcome back!!!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Oh my, this is so beautiful - divine imagery, I tell you!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

And another one falls under the spell of the Land of Enchantment... :) Sounds like you had a GREAT trip!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Visual-Voice said...

oh yeah, I do! I took off for New Mexico about 10 years ago, and have wanted to live there ever since. The place is magical.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

My heart was saying "amen" in answer to every one of your beautifully phrased questions!
May you keep the spirit of that wonderful place alive in your heart.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous fringes said...

I hear you. I was traveling at the same time you were. I'm back and I don't think I'll ever readjust. Welcome back.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, and also, yes.

But selfish-me is glad you are back.

3:08 PM  
Blogger paintergirl said...

This is written in such a loving manner. You have spoken the words of a true gypsy. May we all return to the places in our hearts that we know is home!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

oh yeah.
And at the same time oh no.

My home in two countries adds a double turn to the thoughts you put here.

Though on vacations not connect to the USA...YES to all your questions!!

8:07 PM  
Blogger baylor said...

Girl, I feel like that everyday. Thank goodness for memories and daydreaming!


7:56 AM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

The frame of this post is so terrific-

Do you ever wonder how much you are loved?

A whole lot......a whole, whole lot!

7:27 PM  
Blogger Frankie said...

Oh Michelle. I could have written these exact same words, replacing some of the Sante Fe memories with Indian adventures. This is exactly how I felt, and am still somewhat feeling. It's so very difficult to return to a world where you feel a little less free. Sending hugs and love xoxo

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

Beautiful piece about one of my favorite areas of the country. Keep looking for a job that will fulfill part of your soul as well as your wallet. Fear is a terrible thing, but facing your fears will make you more powerful than you can imagine.

6:27 AM  

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