wonder • wander
a collection of thoughts, musings, and milestones
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.
Some mornings, when I wake up, it takes me a minute or two to enter the day; to choose to enter the day. My dreams are so exciting and baffling. I want to engage the players, characters, and situations some more. No such luck! My dog wants to go outside; my cats want to be fed…I throw back the covers as the intriguing dream recedes. Fades. Disappears. I turn my mind to the reality of another day, another gift from the Universe. One dream world diminishes as another takes shape:
What dreams, I wonder are still mine as I begin my octogenarian years? What dreams are yours??
A. Lucid Dreams
C. Bigger and Better Dreams
D. Postponed Dreams
F. All of the Above
Do our dreams depend on where we focus our attention?
Here’s the thing: Yogi Berra was right: “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
The entire future is still available.
So, what if some mornings my leg cramps for a minute! So, what if the face I face in the bathroom mirror looks momentarily unfamiliar? So what!
I splash water on that face and tell her to smile from her heart. I find some shoes. I feed the insistent cats and my patient dog…
I go outside. There it is: the air, the ground, the sky. My chickens. And the birds!
Stretch. Bend. Move. Breathe. Walk. Skip. Sing. Hum. Look. Listen…and say aloud, “I Love My Life!”
Go ahead. Risk it! Risk being optimistic, determined, grateful…
What do you want; what do you need? Where does your dream live?
Keep speaking your dream out loud. Keep thinking about it, considering it, praying for it, wanting it, going for it, trying it, starting it, finishing it, doing it…
That’s the spirit!
May we give ourselves permission to ask for what we truly want at 100 %.
…The trip – The book – The poem – The project – The phone call…
Are you waiting for APPROVAL? From whom? For what?
Are you weighing risks? What if you do “it”? What if you don’t? Suppose you had done it?
What would you risk doing now that you would not have risked when you were younger?
What would you NOT risk now that you did or would have risked in the past?
What are the basic risks of “Showing Up”?
In Baghdad, I weighed the risk of (possibly/probably) getting quite sick against the risk of insulting the generous, internally displaced Iraqi woman who graciously offered me a glass of Tang-like beverage as I stood in the bombed-out, makeshift living quarters that she shared with her large and struggling family.
Some say I shouldn’t have risked it!
Some say, “Of course, you drank the Tang!”
How do you deal with (so-called) RISKS?
Here is a magical poem that inspires me. Maybe it will inspire you:
Recently, a feature writer from New York Magazine called. He wanted to interview me for an article he was researching about my former employer, Forrest Fenn, art dealer and author of “The Thrill of the Chase”. Forrest’s photo-filled memoir included a poem offering intriguing clues to a treasure chest filled with gold and valuable artifacts that he claimed to have hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Several people lost their lives in pursuit of the loot. Threats and lawsuits were detailed in the news. For years, the treasure eluded the treasure hunters.
Was it a trick or the truth? After all, Forrest was a consummate showman and trickster. I can attest to that.
In the late 1970s, I served as the director of research at Fenn Gallery. One day, Forrest popped in to my office and handed me one of his personal note cards, the size of a business envelope. “From the Cluttered Mind of Forrest Fenn” was printed at the top of the card. In brown ink, Forrest had drawn a Picasso-esque image of a man’s head. Next to the head, in his distinctive hand, he had written, “Do Unto Others, Then Bug The Hell Out.” I remember putting that “work of art” in a file somewhere. I wish I could remember where…
At the fancy book launch for “The Thrill of the Chase”, I stood with Forrest and a crowd of his fans and followers. He put his arm around my shoulder and announced to the fawning and adoring group, in a winkingly boastful voice, “I taught her everything she knows.” (long pause for effect) “but not everything I know.”
Shortly before he died, Forrest announced that the treasure had been found. Very little proof was shared. Theories abound.
Forrest Fenn was a valuable mentor of mine at the beginning of my thirty-three-year career. He and his action-packed, treasure-filled gallery awakened a passion in me that had lain hidden somewhere in the depths of my undiscovered self. He kickstarted me onto my long and winding art dealer’s path; a path filled with all manner of business peaks and valleys. I’m grateful to have experienced that information-filled year as his eager learner.
Wherever you are, Forrest, I hope you’re astonishing the crowds!
Click the image below to read the article...
"Fenn took a roguish approach to life and to facts. “It doesn’t matter who you are; it only matters who they think you are,” he once said. Linda Durham, who interned with Fenn before going on to found her own contemporary-art gallery, recalls seeing an Egyptian sarcophagus displayed at Fenn Gallery with a sign that read DEACCESSIONED FROM THE BRITISH MUSEUM. She knew this to be a fiction. By sheer coincidence, the case had once belonged to her: A customer had given it to her when she was an Egyptology-interested Playboy Bunny. She’d had it X-rayed, and she knew it contained a mummified baby crocodile. After she sold it to a private collector, it eventually found its way to Fenn. When she pointed out that the British Museum story was false, he became angry. “He had no idea where that came from,” Durham says. "
Article written by Linda Durham posted in the Los Alamos Daily Post.
If you arrived at this page after submitting What You Wonder About, your message has been anonymously submitted to Linda.
Below, you can read all about the Wonder Postcard project and browse some of the submissions received.
I am forever wondering about things and some of my best wondering has taken place as I was wandering from one place to another or journeying through an atlas or leaping across road maps. I frequently wondered what other people wondered about. I posed Wondering Questions to my friends and family:
“I wonder what would happen if…
”I wonder why…how…when…who…what…”
And soon this wondering took shape in the form of a solitary road journey. First, I created a simple white postcard. On one side was the address of The Wonder Institute. On the other side was the beginning of a sentence, “I WONDER ABOUT…” I printed five hundred cards, purchased five hundred forever stamps, got in my trusty Outback and hit the road.
I wandered through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and back to New Mexico. I took back roads and by-ways. I stayed in “Motel 3’s & 4’s.” I wandered in and around college student unions, coffee shops, food markets, parks and when it seemed comfortable or not-too-intrusive, I approached individuals and introduced myself: “Hello, my name is Linda and I’m with The Wonder Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We’re conducting a national survey to see what is on people’s minds…and I’m wondering if you would be willing to take one of these postcards.“
- Click through the postcards below -
Wonder & Wander
A collection of thoughts, musings, and milestones from author, wonderer, and wanderer, Linda Durham.
Copyright © Linda Durham | Site Design by Angulo Marketing & Design
Linda Durham is a human rights advocate, adventurer, author of Still Moving, The Trans-Siberian Railway Journey, An Art and Friendship Project, and a Sixties Manhattan Playboy Bunny. She is the founder and director of Santa Fe's Wonder Institute, which sponsors art exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and salons focused on discovering and implementing creative solutions to contemporary social and cultural issues. For more than three decades, Durham promoted New Mexico-based artists as the hands-on owner of contemporary art galleries in Santa Fe and New York.