Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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


Las Nubes de Truchas (The Clouds of Truchas)

As soon as there is stopping, there is happiness. There is peace.
When we stop like that, it looks as if nothing is happening, but in fact
everything is happening. You are deeply
established in the present moment, and you touch your cosmic body. You
touch eternity. There is no more restlessness, no more seeking.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Sitting on the old railroad bench under the front portal this morning there was a huge cloud in the shape of a dinosaur! It morphed into a huge standing bear – a few minutes later over the Pecos foothills, another dinosaur!  Have been a cloud watcher since I was a child – some don’t understand what is missing when you can’t look up and see the sky.  (Looking at an iphone)  One of my most favorite cloud watching spots was the old teepee platform on the horse ranch in Truchas….instead of painting, I would just spread my arms out to the sky and watch the clouds for hours (painting with my mind!) 

While fixing my morning coffee last week a beautiful coyote jogged right in front of the kitchen window – probably on his way to join his relatives.  Most nights you can hear them singing to the moon – I have dubbed them the Supremes!  Down the road a feisty rooster crows loudly every morning about 4AM – no longer any need for an alarm clock!

So much has happened in the past five months – I don’t know where to start.  Just beginning to process that emergency plane ride to the hospital in Colorado Springs and the profound changes in my life since that event.  Asked the nurse for an extra blanket – the stretcher was narrow and uncomfortable and I was freezing.  “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the power to change the things I can” At that moment I knew I was completely powerless.  Suddenly my body relaxed.  In the span of a few short breaths, I let go – complete and total surrender.  Would I live?  Would I die? Strangely I new I would be at peace either way.   

As we arrived at the hospital I could see the lights inside – doors opened, nurses and orderlies hurried me out of the plane; from the serious speed with which they hustled me inside, I knew it was entirely possible that I might not make it.  Just a few minutes before I released the outcome – if this was the night I would go to that Big Easel in the Sky, it was okay with me.  There was no fear, but some new strength came through me.  This was not a time to ask questions or make demands – just be quiet – let these doctors and nurses do what they do best.  Any fear left me. My life was in their hands.

Sparing the grisly details – except for the still reddish foot long scar down my middle (with a very polite detour around my belly button!), I am healing nicely.  They removed much more than a blockage – still looking for my snarkiness (my inner bitch), my urge to find all that is wrong with the world, my need for perfection – and the deep dark grief that hung over all my waking days since my son John died.  Gone – all gone.  After seven  days a wheelchair was brought to my room and in one short elevator ride I was sitting in a parking lot under the warm Colorado sun!  Now what? 

Soon to celebrate my eightieth year on earth as a recovering drama queen – was it time for me to die?  Every morning I wake up and ask myself one question – what if I live for another twenty years?  One step at a time – one day at a time… always surprises me!!!