Stepping into Magic: an actor's journey…

"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them" ~William Shakespeare

The Journey Home…

Below is a link to a short podcast I did recently for The Magic Theatre in San Francisco, and below that is the story of my journey home during this global pandemic.

(Please check out the other podcasts from The Magic Theatre, they include such artists as Paula Vogel, Luis Alfaro, Nilo Cruz, Sean San Jose and Yetta Gottesman!)

As I typed these words the wind outside created music with the wind chimes and birds while the cows and prairie dogs run free in the fields outside my windows in Northern New Mexico, my home.

This gypsy girl has settled her feet in the earth and a journey inward begins…

Enjoy!

I had planned a birthday trip home to New Mexico on the 17th of March, but as the news started coming in about Covid-19 and the shuttering began I quickly knew that traveling to see my parents was not an option, it was too risky. So I settled in to sequestering and monitored the numbers around the globe each day, startled to watch the exponentiality of it all, the devastation, the loss… The Loss.

So many people have passed away this year, a great harvest as my mother says when there are just too many beautiful people leaving this realm…

Naomi Licht, Terrence McNalley, Diane Rodriguez, John Prine, Tom McCracken, Michael Keenan… just to name a few. Not all passed from the virus, but all were life forces, legends, change makers, creators, lovers, parents, children, friends, family. So many friends of mine have lost parent’s and loved ones over the past couple of months and the weight of this collective grief is staggering.

Very soon I realized that I was being called home, I needed to be with my family, I had to leave LA. There is plenty of evidence that this is going to last a lot longer than we think and there is no “going back to normal.” New Mexico is going to be my shelter in this storm, (cue Bob Dylan) she always has been my safe place, my sanctuary and she is calling me HOME.

The universe sent me three special friends to create a circle of four to pack up all my belongings in a U-Haul cargo van, we were done in less than an hour. We gathered in my empty room and gave thanks and blessings for a safe trip and with happy tears I hit the road. Saying goodbye to my Boyle Heights apartment broke my heart, it had been a refuge, a home base for a crazy lifestyle, I will forever miss my green walls and my sweet roommates…

 

Somehow I had selected the “avoid highways” option on my GPS and found myself driving north out of LA, passing the Rose Bowl and then right through the Angeles mountains and Joshua trees near Victorville. I stayed a night in Arizona and landed in Albuquerque NM on Tuesday the 5th of May. After unloading everything into a storage unit, I had a backyard distant dinner with my folks (elk red chile, beans, homemade tortillas and a Tequila Marias my mom’s creation)  and then stayed in a hotel down the street. The next day I packed up my mom’s Subaru and hit the road again. Heading north to Rio Arriba county I found myself in wonder and excitement to be back in my home state.

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View of Pedernal Mesa behind Abiquiu Lake

The land here is phenomenal, it used to be only 200 miles north of the equator and was wet and swampy and tropical with little lizard/bird looking dinosaurs running in packs/flocks, but the earth shifted and became a high arid desert. I imagine that all the sage bushes and chamiza were once seaweed and coral, the highway runs along the bottom of what used to be a great lake or ocean…

I arrived at the house my father built, unlocked the door, walked inside and took a deep breath. This is home. I am home. After a few weeks of quarantine I will head back down to the city to hunker down with the folks, but in all honesty this house in Northern New Mexico has enchanted me deeply and I want to stay. I am starting to realize that this is my inheritance, this home, this land and it’s good to be here (Cue Digable Planets)

Los Angeles has a piece of my heart, por vida, and all of my tribe there have imprinted on me so strongly that I take their love and light everywhere I go. It’s not a goodbye, just a change in geography, a link that will become even stronger as I listen to what my land and home and blood and spirit are telling me during this solitude and silence.

It’s time to listen.

My plan was to make a video of my trip with footage along the 968 mile trip to share with you all, however there is no WiFi up here and my phone’s hot spot only supports simple online tasks.

So instead I wrote a poem:

 

The City of Angels, far away through a veil of nostalgia and love.

I wind along the serpentine road and find myself smiling.

The Joshua trees form stories with the metal electrical men.

It felt like I flew along that highway, climbing elevations and finding myself closer to the Rio Grande Valley.

A peacock fanned out his tail and called out to me on Matthew’s St, but this street is spelled with two “Ts”, my Boyle Heights calle only had one…

The journey continues North, the land changes and changes.

I am changing.

I am one with the road, tracking the mileage of my ups and downs, the vast terrains of my heart map.

I land in my land, I am in the house my father built, in the North where my mother cultivated and created.

I am home.

I am land.

Homeland.

The full flower moon rises and all that has been germinating and hibernating is growing with awakening.

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Self Portrait in the La Puente House

 

Thank you for reading.

I hope that you and your loved ones are happy and healthy.

I will be taking a break from Facebook and Instagram but you can reach me via email, text or phone.

Lot’s of love and light to you during this challenging time.

xo,

SZV

Here’s one of my favorite songs to celebrate returning to Mi Tierra Encantada

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