Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

How I Came to New Mexico and learned about Art and Life



“And the Moon said to me – My darling, you do not have to be whole in order to shine!”

Taos – 29 June 2019 – Yesterday I called my genius computer friend, Dan Kuehn, and asked him if we could revive my Word Paintings blog – I was ready to tell my stories again.

Deleted this blog in March of this year.  Was saddened by all my old memories – disheartened.  Didn’t feel well.  Just thought it was the onset of my dotage….the inevitable decline.  Had no clue what was on that rocky road of Life – WOW!  With all my heart I try to live a peaceful little life  – I wasn’t looking for anymore drama – my Art Gods seemed to have other ideas!  Little did I know then that I was headed into another tornado season – a Dorothy and Toto time where the winds just pick me up and toss me about until I once again return to earth and am given another New Beginning.

do I start?  Last Christmas.  I wanted to be alone.  My son, John, had
died on Christmas Eve four years earlier.  Faked cheerfulness until I
could no longer fool myself – I wasn’t being honest.  Needed to really
feel my feelings – the loss – take my life back from that deep grief.
The clouds began to part.  Read about the Swedish ritual of “death
cleansing”.  Began another purge of the odd bits and pieces I once
thought were necessary to make me happy.  Made my Will, Power of
Attorney – put it all into a binder.  Feeling ill – made it through
those days with great difficulty.  Yes, this is how it happens – you get
old, you get sick and then you die.

Planned to have my hair cut the afternoon of April 11th.  Wrote out
the check – my friend came over with her scissors – gave her the check
and told her not to come in because I had the flu.  In the course of the
afternoon sickness overwhelmed me and I called my friend and helper,
Doug Yeager, to take me to the ER.  We waited and waited.  Finally  I
suggested he get some Gatorade and take me home.  He shook his head
“NO”! His refusal to leave began a series of events that would save my
life.  Was put in the care of Dr. Sara Bush. After taking my vitals and
Xrays, she told me I needed to be airlifted to UCHealth in Colorado
Springs.  Unable to find anyone locally, she put me in an ambulance to
the Taos airport at two that morning. Her quick decisions and actions
are the reason I’m still here!

the plane was in the air, it was time to surrender it all – serious thoughts of
dying had been with me often since John died.  Here was my chance – I
could let go at any time – I felt very peaceful.   I truly wasn’t afraid.  Had just read a book called This is How I Save My Life,
“as long as there is breath in your body, just keep moving”.  Listening
to the sound of the plane engine that night, with absolutely no control of this outcome, I let go!  I
would take this experience one little step at a time.  There was a big
painting of a tree on my easel back at home – I began thinking of that
canvas, painting it in my head…

Room, bright lights, doctors, nurses, gurney – wheeling me around from
one place to another. Admission – great nurse, calmed me down –
floating into the Big Unknown.  Surgeon Dr. Fair explained that the
surgery I needed was rare and complicated.  A large stone had migrated
from my gallbladder and was causing a full blockage – life-saving
operation at the hands of this young man who looked like he could be my
infant son!  Another angel in green scrubs!  They removed my little gold
hoop earrings, gave them to a stern security guard for safe-keeping.
The anesthesiologist put a big patch on my back for the Fentanyl and I
was sent to sleep with my guardian angels for a while – just so they
could work their life-saving magic!  Let the healing continue….!