Letters from Lorraine X
Buenos dias, amigas and amigos!
I was walking down by the reservoir with a friend the other day when we came across a farmer, his horse, and young white burro. The burro was for sale, and I would have bought her in a heartbeat had I a place and another burro friend for it.
In the not-so-distant past, San Miguel de Allende was known for their charming little burros that worked the farms alongside their owners. You still see them now and then, and when you do, it is an unexpected treat. I have been told baby burros are the most adorable animals in all of Mexico, so, of course, I am currently on the hunt to find, pet, and cuddle one.
Someday I am going to own a horse—I can feel it—but for the moment, Pearl is my priority in the critter department. She’s thirteen and a half, and my little wing-girl deserves all of mine and Ruby’s love and attention. She has become a major character in my book, and after writing all these pages, for all these months, I now know that, without her, this move would have been much harder and definitely a lot, lot lonelier.
Pearl the Magnificent is the beautiful thread linking my old life to my new one. What a gift.
It’s has been a while since I’ve written a Letter from Lorraine. The reason is that I have been furiously working on my book! Well, maybe furiously is too strong of a word, but lately my writing time has been devoted to Miles to San Miguel, the current working title.
I read somewhere that “Success is going from failure to failure with great enthusiasm!” Not that my endeavors in life have been failures. Success and failure are relative judgments, but these days, I will have you know, I have great enthusiasm for writing, especially for this book of mine.
Cheers for enthusiasm!
In the past year, I have found that writing screenplays (my favorite genre) and essays is like eating M&M’s. Writing a book, though, is like eating an enormous brick of dark chocolate. It is a much denser, richer experience, and, therefore, a more daunting, challenging undertaking. And whether, when finished, printed, and out in the world, my book will be good or bad is a frame of mind I try not to wander into. I am doing this for me, and besides, like success and failure, good and bad is just another relative thing.
It has been a year and a half since I arrived in Mexico, a fact I find hard to believe somedays. And, to be honest, I still have one foot on the Vineyard and maybe, on a good day, three toes in San Miguel. Hell, I lived, loved, and did my work on Martha’s Vineyard for forty-one years, and that kind of thing does not come with an on-and-off switch. I wish it did sometimes.
This phase of my new life is, without a doubt, the hardest. Years ago, I learned a lesson from my first two poodles, Noli and Cleo. It is this: You can find acceptance more easily if you verbally frame a difficult situation as a more positive one. Those two spirited dogs were wild with each other, and from time to time, they drove me crazy. That is, until I decided their “obnoxiousness” was really just their brand of “enthusiasm.”
Cheers for enthusiasm!
A few days ago, while out walking Pearl and Ruby, out of the blue, I remembered a day in my old Volvo. I was driving those two nutcases to the beach and desperately trying to convince myself that their craziness was actually just an extreme form of excitement. It was, and I succeeded in convincing myself, because it was true.
So yesterday I applied that same theory to my circumstances today. I thought, why don’t you just reframe the hard, emotional junk you’ve been hammered with lately as “growing pains” in a new life, and nothing more. And once again I succeeded in convincing myself, because it is also true.
My question, though, and it is one directed at the Universe is: Is this really fucking necessary?
I am still waiting for an answer.
Here is another dubious tidbit of hard-earned wisdom: I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as happiness. And trying to achieve happiness can, sure as shit, make you unhappy. My goal now is to achieve contentment, an existence I have absolutely known many times in life.
Pearl and Ruby are healthy and contented. I was going to say happy, but my no-such-thing-as-happiness theory also applies to my dogs. And these two pals of mine seem oblivious to caring about nitpicky details like the difference between happiness and contentment. God love’um.
My piano lessons are on temporary hold (I still can practice a little each day) while I deal with a relapse of a head injury I sustained in a 2018 car accident on the Vineyard. Only my close friends and a few customers knew of this, and it became a considerable factor in my decision to end my clothing design business and take life easier.
I still long for my Vineyard days, and if I could, be it just for a day, I’d be in my old store with my poodles, greeting friends and customers, then catching up on our off-season news with each other.
I miss you all,
Lorraine, Pearl, and Ruby
P.S. Some of the photos are of the two holiday parties I threw for my neighbors. They helped lift our post-covid spirits, and we all got to know each other a little better. I have a new friend from Canada who just bought a beautiful villa around the corner from me. I think I’ll throw her a welcome to the neighborhood party! And if you’ve known me for a while, the words party and Lorraine do not go together. But WTF, I now have a house that is ideal for get-togethers and the time to enjoy throwing them.