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Sunday, August 31, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
What a great day. My younger daughter woke me this morning with a cup of coffee and I wandered out to the living room to cries of "Happy Birthday" and just enough time to open a couple of the gifts my girls had wrapped (I got my very own Ugli doll) before they had to run to catch the bus. Tickets to Coldplay from Wayne. Greetings from friends, new, old and long lost, streamed in through the day.
After work, I spoke to my grandad who shares my birthday, or should I say, whose 103 birthdays I've enjoyed a large share of, as he stood on a beach in Florida in view of the Gulf which has been a fair companion to him in his later years but comes nowhere close to displacing the great love and loss of his life: the Atlantic. I think it must be from him that I've inherited my incessant wanderlust, the same tides that course his veins run through mine, tugging us toward distant and empty horizons, wet and dry. Happy Birthday, Grandad. You're a wonder.
And after that, more gifts, dinner at a Japanese restaurant, birthday cake with a dear friend, a movie with my favorite guy. He bought me a clown. How wonderful is that.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Average people, studies have shown, believe that they will enjoy longer lives, healthier lives, and longer marriages than the "average" person....According to a recent poll, 3 out of 4 baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) think they look younger than their peers, and 4 out of 5 say they have fewer wrinkles than other people their age..."
from "The Universe and the Teacup" by K. C. Holmes
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Tonight's sunset in Columbia. I got home the night before last and as expected, met a mountain of backlogged work. I'm still wallowing in the afterglow of my time in New Mexico, followed by a week in Texas with my parents which included a side trip to the Hill Country where we stayed in a cabin at Canyon of the Eagles Lodge on Lake Buchanan and though the eagles are not due back until November we did get to see four moons of Jupiter at their observatory.
Along the way there and back we stopped in several little towns, where SUVs are pulled up in front of storefronts where horses once were tethered. Towns like Hico, Llano, Burnet and Marble Falls where we ate Mexican food, browsed antique shops and ordered iced lattes to combat the intense, dry heat. It's true: Texas is a whole nother country.
But here, tomorrow night, Eva Ellingsworth, a woman I met at the Glen, is performing in town before her return to Holland. And though airport security seized the one dangerous jar of Branston Pickle I had been able to locate in a year and was chuffed about bringing back to my husband, I do have a stack of great books I brought back with me, including Christine Casson's new book of poetry, "After the First World," another volume of B.H. Fairchild's poetry, "The Art of the Lathe," two of the three K. C. Cole books I discovered at the Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, and "The Forgotten Desert Mothers" by Laura Swan which I picked up at Christ of the Desert Monastery among others that I can't wait to dig into. So I'll stretch the glow out a bit as summer in Missouri takes a bow, the skies around here giving Santa Fe a wee bit of competition.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
So the Glen has ended and I've reluctantly said goodbye to friends of the last couple of years and this one, sad to pull my plug from the charge that a gathering of 200 artists, writers, musicians, thinkers and sojourners engenders. But I think my batteries are loaded as, tired as I am, I can't find sleep, my mind still whirring and buzzing with the stimulation of the stark and ravishing desert, with soulful conversations and explorations, and with the overabundance of beauty, created and uncreated, that fusion of art and religion and landscape that truly marks New Mexico as enchanted. As much as I'm done in by the wash of lush desert hues which shift by the hour, I'm struck wordless again and again at the eloquence of the humble, rough hewn art I stumble upon around every corner and bend in the road.
Look at the face of this figure I saw in a large, dusty, art yard, carved into a tree trunk by Max, an 85 yr. old local artist. See how he's incorporated the tree's natural lines and eddies to bring forth a face so human, so broken, so honest, I get weak in the knees.
New Mexico is where superlatives fail me, where I spend the week blithering like an idiot, trying and failing to articulate the reasons for all that so moves me here. I should know by now just to shut up.
Scenes from a week well lived:
This is the church that Georgia O'Keefe would have seen from her home across the street in the village of Abiquiu. She moved to this village from Ghost Ranch.
On the way to Christ of the Desert Monastery, after leaving the village of Abiquiu and then the highway, snaking slowly down a 13 mile rutted dirt road. The day was brutally hot and after we parked and hiked down the dusty road and around a bend, we looked up to see this humbly majestic monastery seemingly jutting from rockface, just as the bells began to toll. We entered the chapel and took our seats moments before the monks filed in and began chanting. We'd inadvertantly arrived just in time for their midday worship which was gorgeous beyond words. Huge windows above us exposed the rock formations behind the church and lit the sanctuary. It would be hard to find another 15 mins. more lovely than those.
These from the Santuario de Chimayo. We were not permitted to photograph inside the church this time. This is the gate to the courtyard and a sculpture hanging between restrooms.
The Tee House where I occasionally escaped to absorb the input and calm down.
The Hacienda Antigua, my after Glen oasis in Albuquerque. I'd planned a two day solitary stay to rest and regroup after the intensity of the week. After settling in and checking in with my family spread from England to Dallas, I headed to my car to find some dinner and was startled by a handsome man in the parking lot. Fortunately, that man was my husband. Which was the icing on the cake of a very sweet week.