Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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



 23 August 2020 (Llano Quemado -Taos, New Mexico) – Life is uncertain.  Taos Mountain is obscured by smoke from the raging fires in California and Arizona.  The Medio fire that began in Tesuque near Santa Fe contributes to the soft blurry haziness.  My neighbor’s forty or fifty doves landed in the field across from my kitchen window to have their morning meal.  An ordinary and uneventful beginning to a peaceful Sunday morning.  Tragedies all around our country feel distant and unreal. For a moment it is easy to forget the suffering in every part of our world.  Fires, double hurricanes, a fierce and terrifying pandemic have forever changed the way we live our lives.  How do we begin again?

Had given up on our blood and guts politics. The growing dystopian darkness has left me limp and I had decided not to watch the Convention.  Turned on the TV looking for a good movie. The Dems were the only game in town and got caught up in the new virtual reality.  It was a definite change from the meaningless hullabaloo politics of years past. No silly hats – very little confetti and only a few balloons. This time in our country is too critical for senseless frivolity.  Contributions and stories from ordinary people were honest and meaningful.  A refreshing dose of reality! I was hooked and watched through to the end. A ray of hope shone through the darkness.

Words are only words until they hit you in the heart.  When Joe Biden spoke of losing his son Beau, I broke into pieces.  It has been almost six years after losing my beautiful son John.  How does one survive after such a loss?  How do you heal that wound?  His answer was simple – Purpose.  Through your grief you go to the core of your being and find your purpose.  Time – it takes time….one small step, one day, one year….out of the ashes….

There will be a time when the fires are extinguished, the hurricanes are only breezes and the election is over – each one of us will be challenged to find our purpose and begin again.  Because of the pandemic and our self-isolation we will be challenged to look inside for what remains of us.  What do we value? What is worth keeping?  What is our purpose?  

Whatever is happening now, the future for all of us is Unknowable….a blank canvas.  Dreams will change and new doors will open – we can’t give up now.  In the meantime – I wish you Peace…

“The images of peace are ephemeral. The language of peace is
subtle. The reasons for peace, the definitions of peace, the very idea
of peace have to be invented, and invented again.

Children, everybody, here’s what to do during war: In a time of
destruction, create something. A poem. A parade. A community. A school. A
vow. A moral principle. One peaceful moment.” From the Fifth Book of Peace – Maxine Hong Kingston