Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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


WORD PAINTINGS #138  (How I Came to New Mexico and Learned about Art and Life)- METAMORPHOSIS …..
“Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life,the idea came to him of what he called ‘the love of your fate.’ Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, ‘This is what I need.’ It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment–not discouragement–you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.
Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.” ~Joseph Campbell 
17 September 2023 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) – FIRST SNOW IN TRUCHAS

WORD PAINTINGS #138 (How I Came to New Mexico and learned about Art and Life) – Metamorphosis
29 September (Llano Quemado, N.M.) Full moon tonight – stirrings – almost time to begin my winter work…. hibernation….sanctuary.  Weatherman forecasts rain for several days – we need it. Some early snow on the mountains – Taos, Truchas, Red River.  A string of quiet days. 
Taos Pueblo will be open for San Geronimo Feast Day tomorrow – Runners to sacred Blue Lake – dances – the shift in energy is palpable.  Remembering the days when I first experienced the dances. What a thrill to feel the ground pulse with the drums and to see Corn Mother emerge leading her group of dancers!  Enchantment.
One September an unforgettable Feast Day at Acoma.  I climbed the ancient stone stairs up to the top of the mesa.  Met a wonderful pueblo Grandmother who taught me about the clans and the tablitas worn by the women dancers.  It was the day a new Governor of the Pueblo took office – and the some of the men dressed as emissaries from countries all over the world paid homage to the honoree.  They were funny – great joy and much laughter! A wonderful bowl of chile at one of the private homes.
Awe – amazement – life changing… heart opened.
Remembering my 44th birthday at the little cottage on the horse ranch in Truchas with friends and family.  That was the true beginning of my life in the mountains.  When I blew out the candles on my cake, my wish (hope) was to live another 44 years.  It seemed so ridiculous to plan so far ahead, but I had people to meet and things to do.  Well, I am four short years from that time now – and the best of my story is that I still have people to meet and paintings to paint.
Time to begin my winter work – still have several large canvases I want to complete.  They will be a challenge – am much slower now than I was at 44!  So much mystery to a blank canvas sitting on an easel in front of me.  Another empty-handed leap – so curious to see what happens….
 “Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!”  My heart is so full of everything all the disasters and the miracles large and small!  Loving my Fate that brought me to this moment 84 Septembers ago! What a wonderful time to be alive in this place! Grateful!

Footnote: “Some things are better left to chance – I might have missed the pain, but I’d have missed the dance” – Garth Brooks