I was wondering why, whenever someone asks me where I’m from, I reply, “I’m from Albuquerque. I was born in the same hospital my Mom was born in.” I think it’s because I want to claim more ownership of place than my birthright alone would grant. Ironically, that same attitude frustrates me when other people adopt it: “My family has been here for 22.5 generations.”
I do want to be more than a “one-off” Albuquerquen. My understanding of place is rooted in my life’s stationary existence. I know Albuquerque. If my knowledge of place was musical, it would be the rhythmic beating of a drum, not a sweet floating melody.
BOOM, I, BOOM, know, BOOM, Albuquerque. My opportunity to introduce melody drove away yesterday. I sold the Chinook to get money to make much-needed home repairs, replenish my savings, and to free it from its solitary confinement to my driveway.
My dream, when buying the Chinook, was to become a storyteller, and travel around the country to Storytelling Gatherings in my cozy little RV. The Gathering organizers would pay for my camping spot and I would just be out the gas money. At night, we would all sit around a campfire, sing songs and tell stories. When I dream, I dream big and in color – BOOM. Participants would become lifelong friends and we would travel to each other’s homes (in our cozy little RVs), expanding our life’s melodies and adding lyrics to our songs.
I sold the Chinook, but I haven’t stopped dreaming (or storytelling). I have wonderful lifelong friends: Shari in Utah, Linda in Florida, and a bunch right here in Albuquerque – Jeri, Terry, Andrea, Ronnie, Eileen and Carolyn. I should get one of those fire pits for my backyard. Once we’re free from social distancing restrictions, I bet we could tell some great stories around it.
I’m from Albuquerque. I was born in the same hospital my Mom was born in. Albuquerque is full of story material. Life is good.