One of the things that was most remarkable about my experience in Santa Fe was how relaxed I was. I mean I worked really hard on writing the book, misc. essays, tenure papers, letters of recommendations, conducting research while there, but I just did not feel as stressed as I do now back in Chicago.
The difference I think has to do with the groundedness of Santa Fe because of its earthiness and human scale of things. Jerry and I walk to the Chicago River, mirroring our walks to the Santa Fe River. During this walk, we pass by large industrial buildings, sidewalks and parking lots overgrown with weeds (the Queen Anne's lace is in bloom) and broken glass bottles, freeway overpasses, the train tracks, and there is not a patch of earth on the river walk.
When we did the Emergency and Evacuation Design project at UIC, we talked about natural and man-made elements. For earth/dirt, the man-made equivalents were glass, concrete, and steel. I am realizing that glass, concrete, and steel do not have the same grounding forces as earth/dirt.
So I will have to practice doubly hard my Tai Chi to ground myself. Now all the Taoist meditations about needing to get out of the city seems more true.