Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Old Town

Last night my husband and I went out to dinner with two of our closest friends. They suggested a restaurant called Chef de Jour in Old Town. We live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Old Town is the historical part of the city (it is over 300 years old). Rambling, one-story adobe structures which used to be haciendas but now house clothing shops, souvenir shops, art galleries, retaurants and more, surround a plaza with a gazebo at its center. All year round, tourists and residents walk Old Town or hang out in the Plaza park listening to street musicians or stroll under the portico where Native American artisans sell their wares.

My home is not more than five minutes from Old Town, yet I hardly ever think to go there. After dinner, we wandered about on the uneven brick sidewalks, exploring the courtyards that are sort of cul de sacs of shops and restaurants. One contains a small chapel honoring Guadalupe. There is such a sense of peace and tranquility in this tiny space. Two altars are filled with glowing candles that visitors have left. Our attorney friend whispered, "you can just feel the thousands of prayers that have been said in here, can't you?"

Yes. Outside the chapel, there is a water fountain, surrounded by benches. I could write here.

Why don't I visit Old Town more often? I think because we get trapped in our routines and frequently miss what's right in front of us. I grew up in NYC and didn't visit the Statue of Liberty or go to the top of the Empire State building until I was an adult and out-of-towners came to visit.

Old Town is a treasure only minutes away. I intend to mine it on a more regular basis.
What treasures are hiding near you? Will you seek them out? Happy hunting.



Jina Bacarr said...

A change of venue is definitely good for the soul and the writing. I live near the beach and wander down there often to sit on the sand and write, but mostly just to think...the never-ceasing ebb and flow of the ocean is not only relaxing but inspiring.



Galen Kindley said...

Well, Karen, my hidden treasure is…tad da…Old Town. We live a bit further away, out by the Petroglyphs. At the end of the month, the daughter is visiting from Seattle, so, we’re becoming tour guides. Which, is a good thing because it will force us to actually get out and learn about out new home town, the Duke City. Wasn’t today gorgeous by the way! I’m on the patio as I write this, overlooking the city, Sandia’s in the background, cool breeze. We live in heaven.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,

Enjoyed this post. You're so right -- We all get into our routines and forget about treasures around us because we're stuck doing what we're used to.

I love the topic. Since you asked in the forum for hints about making your posts better, I'll be a little picky and offer one suggestion. I think you could have started in a more interesting way. Your first sentence has got to be catchy for readers to keep reading. As we say in journalism, don't bury the lead. Get to the action quickly so we know what we're getting -- and want to keep going.

I am really enjoying your blog though. Keep it up! And I promise to be back to comment. :)


N A Sharpe said...

Old Town sounds absolutely charming. I can well imagine the feelings of inspiration that would come from such a quaint haven. It's true, we often get trapped in routines. Every once in a while it's good to change venue to stir the creativity within.

Good post!

NA Sharpe

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've lived in my town for over ten years now, and that's less than an hour from the Celestial Seasonings plant. I've never been there yet. I need to start a bucket list.


Enid Wilson said...

Have you taken any photo, Karne? It will be lovely to see it.

In Quest of Theta Magic

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What a beautiful thought, Karen. Too often I'm in such a hurry that I don't look around me for treasures. Thanks for the reminder to do so.

K. A. Laity said...

It's amazing the effect changing location can have on writing. Even moving around the house to a different location can spur your creativity, I've found.