Saturday, July 17, 2004

the great escape

I'm dreaming about the desert again. It's no surprise to those around me now. They probably tire of hearing about my beloved ex-home, Jerome, Arizona.( Still, I keep coming back to my former home in dreams, poems, old friends, new friends, chance encounters.
It's eerie how the town has manifested itself as the "common denominator" among those I meet and befriend. You would think a town of 470 (give or take a few strays) would have a spit's chance in hell of coming up in conversation, but, time and time again, the town re-enters my life. Just last night I met a woman who knows the ex-husband of a friend who used to live in Jerome, both of them now in Toronto (a city of 4 million). Nearly everyone I meet (and their mama or shrink) have been to Jerome, or have an interesting tale to tell about the very small, magical burg.
But the "6th degrees..." topic is not my reason for bringing Jerome up.
What I want to discuss is addictions. What brought me into Jerome was an addiction – A love of experience, new experiences. I am an experience junky.
Experiences call out to me, even when I know it is time to buckle down under the weight of responsibility. It is a wicked addiction, as I am sure most of you know (being experience junkies, too). 
My time in Jerome was a twister, a crazy cacophony of loud music, bikes, male bravado, my own fire turned loose and out of control. My desire to create as much chaos as possible nearly did me in there. Fortunately, I had a lot of wise souls to bump me off my high horse before I caused problems even my stubborn-ness could not fix.
I would say that during my time in Jerome, my need for chaos reached its boiling point. That's when I left.
It occurs to me that I am still unable to process my decade old mistakes. I know I made people worry about me and inconvenienced many friends along the way. I try to piece together at what point I finally matured enough to realize the price of my addiction to new experiences, the dangerous drug of perpetual chaos.
If I had everyone I caused to worry in a room, I would say, "Sorry for being the one you worried about, and the one who relied too much on the kindness you never stopped showing..."
I think it is incredibly important to process the times in our life that we romanticize. Jerome, for me,  is both divine and wicked. The place speaks to me because it is where I learned several hard lessons about behavior I hope never again to repeat. It also speaks to me because, like any lesson learned, it has made me recognize and feel humbled by the wholly real, unabashed Source. Whether you want to call that Source God or Goddess or Self or Compassion or simply, Love.
When I think about the love I feel for my those in my life, I am grateful for the ugly lessons I learned and those lessons I will hopefully learn as I move through life. You certainly don't need to seek out chaos. Perhaps maturity is a state you reach when you acknowledge that experiences happen, that life happens without your will forcing it along. Maturity is being well aware and humbled by that knowledge.
Jerome for me, like a mantra or a prayer, is just a reminder to slow down and pay close attention. It reminds me to thank old friends  for being with me through so much, and new friends for entering my life.
To all of you, many bright blessings,
jane_crow, feeling introspective as all of that


Blogger Terry said...

You know, it is really funny. I have been to Jerome once (if it's in the Black Hills, is it?) while on vacation in Arizona (we did a huge car trip through alot of towns, it was one of my first real vacations, about 6 years ago). I don't remember a whole lot about it though, sorry.

I can certainly relate to your experiences, having had my own wild time (years, decade, whatever). You just express it much better than I do. I'll have to thank those who help me out also, there were many.

7:35 PM  
Blogger aleah said...

I thank you for your comment. I was afraid the seriousness of the topic scared everyone away. :-)

8:26 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

No worries on that, I'll write to any topic that appeals to me (for whatever reason). Someday we can trade some "did this happen to you too?" stories, if you like.

8:42 AM  

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