Vortex smoretext

When we arrived in Sedona I looked at a map from the Chamber of Commerce and saw these little whirly things and checked the key. The key said: Vortex. And this is part of the explanation: "The vortexes of Sedona are named because they are believed to be spiritual locations where the energy is right to facilitate prayer, mediation and healing. Vortex sites are believed to be locations having energy flow that exists on multiple dimensions. The energy of the vortexes interacts with a person’s inner self."

I like this explanation because it requires a person to have an "inner self". Not everyone has one of those. I would venture to say my own mother would laugh at the idea of another dimension to herself. She is a person who has always dealt with what was in front of her and that aspect to her personality has been both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. Strength because she is an optimistic person who deals with adversity by denying it. Weakness because she can't exert that will against certain truths like my eldest sister's death, my father's depression and her own aging which creates need.

Sedona's fierce energy emerges from a mixture of Native American spiritual belief, the geography of the stunning rock formations and the undeniable beauty of this part of Arizona. I know I have been moved and changed by landscape; Taos, New Mexico, the west coast of Ireland, and New York City. These are three places I experienced this sort of vortex energy. Ireland came into my life at a time of total despair and changed everything for me including my ability to love people and my habit of self-hatred. In Connemara I could feel my connection to my ancestors, my deep roots as an artist and the amazing power of natural beauty in a landscape that moved from rain into fog into sunshine into rainbows in a single hour.

New Mexico presented a boundless sky & horizon, and helped me accept that while I might be mired in relationships that were troubled I had the freedom to make them better or, if necessary, change them. I think New Mexico is the real reason why my marriage to my son's father broke up. Yes, I met someone who helped me see myself in a positive light but it was the sky and those mountains that reminded me that I lived in a world of beauty and freedom.

New York was where I realized a world of dreams; writing two novels, going to graduate school, recovery and therapy that made it possible to let go of the sadness that had nearly ended my life. Manhattan challenged and supported me. I had a tiny apartment on w69th, dated a number of unsuitable men, ran in Central Park, walked the canyons of Wall Street alone on Sunday mornings with a loneliness that didn't cause pain but rather reminded me of my own humanity. New York is where my son was conceived and where I met the man who I will always love despite the failure of our marriage.

Last night we attended a talk on vortexes given by this nice guy from Wisconsin named Kurt. He was very animated and did a wonderful job of providing a history and context for the concept as well as reminding us that the true vortex has to come from a connection between your own spiritual journey and your surroundings. I decided I would go back to Chicago and become a cat whisperer so our ridiculous cats stop hissing at strangers. At least it's a start.


  1. I've wondered about the vortexes in Sedona. Loved how you weaved the colors of the landscapes with your personal journey.


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