Tuesday, November 08, 2011

An island without water

It's official: I hate living here. I was trying for so long to appreciate the good things – the startling beauty, my apartment, what were the other good things? The startling beauty, my apartment. Beauty isn't enough. I can find another apartment – maybe not one as spacious and comfortable as this, but actually I'm good at finding apartments that I love. I'll just have to put some stuff in storage, probably.

I walk around, and even when I'm staring at those clouds so bouncy you can imagine personalities, even when I'm looking up at that bright blue sky or the mountains changing colors so often it's like every time you look another realm – even in these moments, I think: what the fuck am I doing here? There's nothing here for me – I hate this town.

Sitting outside in the morning, and a gay couple walks by – hello, I say. Good morning, they respond, and I wonder if I'll ever be able to say good morning, after so many years of waking up way into the afternoon. And, that's an exciting moment. An exciting moment here in Santa Fe.

Which is not why I hate it. I hate this town because everyone is so separate, living in individual worlds only accessible by car. I hate this town because everything is so depoliticized and self-congratulatory – a terrible conversation, if there ever was one. Combination, I meant to say – a terrible combination.

And, a terrible conversation. I hate this town because of all of its hideous contradictions – the way outside (and inside) money controls everything, and people pretended it’s creativity. They actually believe that! The way multiple histories of colonialism wind through everything – the art, the pageantry, the official celebrations, the tourism, the environmental degradation, the way people treat one another – multiple histories of colonialism wind through the everyday, and people call this harmony.

Oh, and queer Santa Fe: an island, interacting with other islands from time to time. But why? Couples that disappear, reappear from time to time. At an event – oh, there you are. No fags in this world – there are fags in other worlds, and they are so far from me that there is no way I could ever have a sex life that means anything.

Everything is an island here – an island without water, oh my. I've known for a while that my book tour will start at the end of January, wondering if that's when I will leave. And, for a while, I worried that was too soon. I'm not worried anymore. I mean I am worried, but I'm definitely not worried about leaving too soon.

10 comments:

Mano said...

Mattilda what you speak of worries me. I have lived here so long and am just part of this reality, can't really see it, yet know what you say feels true and not true and when i tried to live somewhere on the east coast i felt like such an alien. But maybe i do need to move so i can get the distance to be able to see, and to see in new ways? How does one do that and stay, how does one continue to question and challenge ones own reality when it feels safe and familiar yet not necessarily even happy or fulfilling. Living here is like being in a dead marriage, but not knowing it's dead. Wow, ok i said it, it's true. So now what? I seem to be someone who asks a lot of questions, and when will the actions come?
I am grateful for your existence here in Santa Fe Mattilda and the challenging ways you look at this place.
love to you darling,
Sipowicz

Jane Lancaster said...

I live here too..it's weird isn't it? What brought you here? I like your blog Mattilda..

Debbie Ann said...

it is a huge deal to admit it. I hope you can find a better place. the car part would really bother me, I have to live a place where I don't need a car. I think you can find a better place for you.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Sipowicz, I love your engagement – with me, with these questions, with yourself! I hate the East Coast actually, but of course there are many other places… I do think distance from a (dead) marriage always helps – that's how I feel about San Francisco, for now at least…

And, thank you for this:

"I am grateful for your existence here in Santa Fe Mattilda and the challenging ways you look at this place."

Jane, thanks so much for saying hi – and, I'm so glad you like the blog! I came here because I needed to get away from San Francisco, and for that I am grateful! But the impetus was to see if it helped my health to be away from the mold and city air -- alas, after a year, my health is definitely worse, so I know I have to leave, again…

Debbie Ann, thank you! I actually live here without a car as well – I'm in the most convenient part of town, but still to do practically anything – or practically anything practical – I need a ride of some sort. There is one bus that kind of runs, oh my…

I appreciate all the comments!

Love love love –
mattilda

Jane Lancaster said...

I agree with you Mano..it is so refreshing to have your brave and honest views about Santa Fe expressed here and I agree with every one of them. And yet .. where else would I go? I like the land here. But it is so hard to make friends with such 'boundaried' people. I think most of us came here to escape intolerable situations and we like the peace and quiet but maybe we are too nervous to connect now at all... The pendulum swing. But not many people seem to talk about it..

Thanks again.. I hope I see you walking about telling people about your idea to Occupy Canyon Road.. to blank faces :-)

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Jane, well certainly if you see me walking about you must say hi – then at least there will be one fewer blank face :)

And, thank you for this:

"I think most of us came here to escape intolerable situations and we like the peace and quiet but maybe we are too nervous to connect now at all... The pendulum swing. But not many people seem to talk about it..."

So true! From one intolerable situation to another – for me, at least. Hopefully the next one won't be intolerable, though…

Thanks for the understanding!

Love –
mattilda

Jane Lancaster said...

BTW I'm English and 50 which seems a funny thing to say..

I shared your blog with a friend who loves you..he wanted to share his article about Santa Fe but couldn't understand the whole blogging thing so here it is...

http://www.starpathvisions.com/Venus_In_Santa_Fe.html

best

Jane :)

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Jane, thanks so much for sharing the blog – and, I'll check out this link now…

Love –
mattilda

davka said...

i just wrote a long comment and it disappeared! let me just say THANK YOU.

<3

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Davka, I hate it when comments disappear – blogger can be so annoying!!! But thank you thank you thank you for this one...

Love –
mattilda