Joyce and I went to Taos to visit a former friend I’ll call V (for Voldemort – she who must not be named). Neither Joyce nor I had ever been there. Ostensibly we were going to get a lot of writing done but I’m not sure either of us believed that would happen (it didn’t). In truth, it was a chance to escape our routine days – which revolved around our husbands and children – and reclaim our “independence”.
We shopped in Taos, took silly pictures, and beaded necklaces. V talked us into taking an African Dance class. Later she wound us up and down twisting mountain roads to a secret hot spring that supposedly few people knew about. After we parked, we hiked down a narrow slippery path to the spring.
It was every bit as spectacular and secluded as advertised – a genuine hot spring with a breath-taking view of the Rio Grande rushing past hundreds of feet below. Joyce and I, Midwestern Lutherans at our core, are not the type of girls to skinny-dip, but V ridiculed our narrow-minded inhibitions so we shed our clothes and slipped into the steaming water.
I’m glad she did. It was magical, a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I would’ve regretted it if I’d declined. Remembering special times shared with V creates all manner of cognitive dissonance. It’s easier to demonize, to refuse the existence of any mitigating factors.
I suspect I am not alone here. Experiences contradicting my mind set are inconvenient and acceptance is hard work.
My diary drags me kicking and screaming back to reality.