Sunday, December 28, 2014
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014
Sammy posed at the Capitol building. Of course, the architecture matches the land.
Natalie Goldberg writes a lot about the vast sky of New Mexico. I understood what she meant when we were there – it was so expansive and blue.
Even in the city, the sky and the mountains loomed.
Georgia O’Keeffe had this to say about New Mexico,
“There’s something so perfect about the mountains and the lake and the trees…sometimes I want to tear it all to pieces.”
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum was inspiring.
Being there made me think deeply about the relationship between human and place. O’Keeffe’s memory is soaked through that part of the country. She embodied the enormous skies, the brilliant colors of the landscapes, the dry earth and bones. She found sanctuary in her dream home near Santa Fe and had this to say:
“It was all so far away – there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased.”
I love the idea of home as sanctuary. I have been thinking about the idea of a peaceful, clear space to work – to write, to create, to breathe. I hope to have a space like that in the not-too-distant future.
Here’s an O’Keeffe quote that gets my heart beating:
“The bones seem to cut sharply to the center of something that is keenly alive on the desert even though it is vast and empty and untouchable... and knows no kindness with all its beauty.”
Besides the O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe we spent some time strolling outside of galleries. However, we were more excited about the public art outside.
We found an outdoor cafe for coffee and pause. Inspired and tired, we re-fueled.
I then went to visit an old, dear friend in Española and met her tiny baby and sweet husband. It was such a peaceful, beautiful visit. It gave me motivation to continue, though my body was exhausted, my mind was full, and my heart craved some peace and quiet.
“Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.” -Georgia O’Keeffe
Thursday, December 25, 2014
On to Santa Fe!
We breezed through the Turquoise Trail from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. This is a scenic and historic route full of pretty views and artist shops and stops. We drove to the top of one of the Sandia Mountains (above) and hung out in the clouds for a little bit.
When we got to Santa Fe, we stopped at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. I insisted we take the photograph above – I love the sentiment, “Love one another constantly.” If I open my heart, I find reminders as to how to live my life everywhere I go.
This parish has existed since 1610, when Santa Fe was established as a city.
Though I do not practice any religion, I love visiting places like these for the history, art, and stillness.
We also visited the Loretto Chapel. This chapel is the home of the miraculous staircase (read about it here). It is a gorgeous, small chapel and the spiral staircase inside is interesting to gaze upon. The staircase was created for free by a carpenter who randomly showed up after Sisters had been praying to find a solution to getting to their choir space without a ladder or space-consuming stairwell. This stairway was formed without any nails or visible means of support.
However, this was my least favorite part of Santa Fe. It felt way too much like a tourist trap to me. There was a charge to get in, it was crowded, and a loud audio recording that filled the whole space. To me, spirituality doesn’t feel anything like that.
I was eager to get back outside immediately.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
We went out to see James’ band, Merican Slang, at an old bar just east of Albuquerque in the small mountain town of Tijeras.
Molly’s Bar is the kind of place that has regulars every night. Couples dance, cheap beer flows, and friends laugh. The night we were there, a woman clad in all sheer black wandered in, swaying in front of the band, with a distant look in her eyes. No one paid her much attention, as her date watched on across the room. Lots of characters like her to observe that night.
Everyone loved the band.
It was really fun. James sure sang his heart out. There is great joy in these guys playing together – they were going strong with the Ghostbusters song when we arrived and went on to play a variety of passionate originals and covers.
What a great night.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Albuquerque’s Old Town was founded in 1706 and is full of historic adobe buildings. It’s very touristy, but in a good way. San Felipe de Neri Church is the oldest building in the city.
We wandered around old New Mexican shops, galleries, and cafes. So many great artists in New Mexico! We ate good food smothered in green chile, loved the interesting plants we encountered, and admired the Sandia Mountains. Sandia means “watermelon” in Spanish, perhaps in reference to the hue the mountains take on at sunrise and sunset.