The Journey

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It took me a whole day to pack for my trip to Taos. The dogs started to become curious when the suitcase appeared on the living room floor, opened, and piles of underthings and jammies began to fill its emptiness.

Roscoe decided it was a nice spot to sleep and disrupted the packing process; further piles were neatly stacked on the table so as not to disturb his slumber. He nested before he settled down, messing the neatly folded garments into a comfortable nest.

Daisy was not as amused and sulked on her bed keeping a watchful eye on my every movement. She was the one I worried most about. I had dreamt she had died while I was gone a few nights before, and a border collie came to me to tell me.

Departure day came early, leaving at 6 am, I had been awake sine 3, tossing and turning with anxiety of the travel. I was tired, and needed coffee to stimulate my brain into getting through the motions.

LAX was crowded, and we pulled into terminal 5, cars honked in frustration, traffic cops gesticulated wildly moving cars in and out like a ballet rehersal. We finally pulled over to the curb embracing a farewell, the smell of exhaust and those weary travelers who were getting their first smoke on as they exited the terminal filled my nostrils; I hurried inside to avoid this smell, I already missed my dogs.

Finding the TSA line was a bit complicated, I inquired to the couple in front of me if I was in the correct line, “Are you checking bags?” they asked.

“No” I replied.

“Then you are in the right line”, they said as they stared judgmentally at my rolling bag and other fairly large carry on.

The line moved quickly. There was a scent dog working the line, in and around he moved with his police handler. He was brown, looked like a cross between a lab and a whippet, with his handsome working dog vest. I was wondering what he was sniffing for. At that point I was more worried about the salve I had thoroughly rubbed my shoulder with a that morning than the size of my bags, relived I left the jar at home and did not pack it for pain. He passed me by, maybe he was looking for explosives.

It had snowed the day before and as I drove from the Alburqurque airport into Santa Fe there was still snow, along the side of the road and in the wells of the trees that were shaded from the bright sun. Clouds roamed the sky as if looking for the right spot.

As I began my ascent into Taos which is at over 7000 feet, the mountains came into view, majestic and welcoming. I teared up as they appeared, like a lost lover that had once caressed me and held me in the night, gone from my life yet I can still feel their touch.

Coming back to the mountains was always an emotional experience, after living in them, they were a part of me, they sustained my being. I once told a man that I was married to my mountains and I would never leave them. Life changes, and sometimes those decisions are not ours to make, so perhaps not regret, but sadness and yearning for that lover who embraced my total being.

And here I was back in the mountains, feeling coddled and loved once again by their presence. Watching over me as I sleep soundly.

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Wood

I stained these boards for the contractor who built the fence around the front yard.  It was hot in the middle of summer when this project happened, but it felt good to participate in the process of building this for my little home which I love.  My little cottage in the canyon.

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View

This was taken standing on the bridge above the Rio Grande Gorge. It was the first time I had seen this spectacular view, looking down was a bit unsettling. It felt as if you would fall right into that abyss. There is a suicide hotline on the bridge. A phone you can pick up. There were also mountain goats climbing down those steep sides.

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Blue

I am participating in a 30 day photo challenge, called #Aprillove2017.  It’s the first time I have done this, day one is Blue.

Indigo blue sky and the turquoise blue of the boarded window at the old Taos Morada de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. This is a holy and spiritual place in New Mexico. It was used by the Hermanos Penitentes for religious ritual. The building is private, but the grounds are open to the public. You can walk the stations of the cross from this point, a hike I took on my last visit.  Actually, hike is the wrong word. It feels like a little pilgrimage.

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Nice Lady

I wandered the streets eating garbage in the gutter, looking for anything to fill the hollowness in my belly. I frequented a big hospital in the neighborhood that often had overflowing garbage cans, finding wrapped tossed rolls that I tore apart and pats of butter that were meant to be spread on them. I slept in the stairwell there at night once everyone was gone, afraid of the bigger dogs that might hurt or even kill me, since they were hungry too.

I often trotted down the middle of the street; not understanding these big fast moving machines could cause me great harm. One stopped right in front of me! I froze as a human stepped out, word on the street, they are not to be trusted at all. I tried to run, but was afraid, so I stood very still and got very small, maybe she wont notice me, I could almost disappear. But she came to me and scooped me up, “where are you from”, nice lady asked. I whined and cowered, inside; where am I from, the street, and the gutter, nowhere?

I hope you are where I am going to be.

Suddenly I was inside the big machine sitting on the lap of a skinny girl with stringy hair, looking out a window and the hospital was just a blur as we drove past.

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That was 13 years ago, the skinny girl died 10 years ago, I went to her funeral with a purple ribbon around my neck. My manners were still a little rough, so I only stayed for the mass that was outside; then another nice lady took me home. After a few days I thought that my nice lady would die too and then what would I do, I had not seen any dumpsters in quite some time. Food now showed up regularly in a dish with bits of meats and cheese. I worried, and cuddled with her. She stayed in bed for days, only getting up to fill the bowls with food and meat and cheese. After a while I realized that the reason she didn’t die was because of me and the other dog that lived with us. We needed her.

Now I am old, and I need her even more. I have a disease that requires me to go to the vets office and get lots of treats every month when they give me a shot, my eyes don’t work too well and she puts medicine in them 3 times a day to help me see better. I fell a few times this week, but I don’t want nice lady to know, because she needs me and if I am not here who will take care of her?

The Circle of Women

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When I sit in this circle of remarkable women, I am surrounded by mothers, and sisters, grandmothers and aunts; wise women with amazing stories, of journeys, and challenges, they have such wisdom, there are those who hold sadness behind expressive eyes, but also stories of hope and happiness, so many different stories all so unique and intriguing, they share where they came from and where they are going to, women who I have had deep conversations with, and given tight hugs to. Women with such an intense sense of themselves, it makes me look in the mirror and wonder who am I?

Oh, and the jewelry, wow such eclectic and creative pieces, everyone must think I am staring at their boobs, but its really that necklace. Beautiful faces framed by exquisite earrings, pearls pressed tight into the soft lobe of their ear, or silver dangling so long it almost touches their shoulders. Did I mention the rings?

In the evening, they all wrap themselves tightly in shawls of bright colors, or plaid, or designs that reflect their personalities. The shawls are like arms wrapped around them for warmth, comfort, safety or perhaps even style.

Tomorrow these women, will all leave, scattering themselves all over the world.

I came here for peace, and I found quietness, I found beautiful friends, I perhaps found myself. I will hold those women close in my heart.

 

Roommates

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I walked up the steep and narrow staircase to my room, ducking so as not to hit my head wondering if when the house was built if people were much shorter. I was in Tony’s room, second door to the left. I tried the key of course it didn’t work, because I turned it the wrong way. I tried again and the door opened with a push. It was dark in the room, no windows but a door that led to a large covered patio which was bigger than the room it self. The bed was covered with a brown cotton quilt and a woven blanket was draped at the foot of the bed. I opened the door to the patio to let in the cold mountain air.

“Hello” said a tiny voice.

I looked around startled, because I was not sharing a room. I was alone.

“Hello, over here!” I looked more closely towards the sound of the tiny voice. It was a little red beetle bug on the fireplace hearth.

“Welcome, I hope you don’t mind if me and my tribe share this room with you, there is plenty of space and we will try not to get into bed with you.”

I looked closer and grabbed a tissue, intent on squishing the bug. The voice must be from exhaustion.

“Noooooooo, I wont HURT YOU!”

I stepped back, and realized this little red bug, a masculine version of a lady bug was speaking to me and begging for its life.

I felt like Alice in Wonderland. First the narrow steps through a small door and now a talking bug.

“Do you bite”, was I talking to a bug?

“No, we just hang out, promise. Ignore us and we will ignore you.”

“Deal” I said, yes I was talking to a bug.

As I unpacked, I happened upon several of this “tribe” some were tiny, but none were bigger than a small ladybug. I was silently hoping the Tribal leader wasn’t hiding somewhere in the room, waiting to surprise me with some beetle bug initiation.

We coexisted, I politely brushed off any of the tribe that were invading my space, on the nightstand or desk. I didn’t concern myself with the floor, and tried not to worry if I would accidentally step on one of the members.

All was well until I decided to take a shower. Several of the tribe were hanging our in the big clawfoot tub, and on the shower curtain itself. I started the water, I heard a muffled noise, little bugs were scrambling out of the way.

“We can’t swim!”

Oh shit, I thought, I carefully brushed the tribe members onto the floor from the curtain and scooped out the remaining few from the tub.

“Stay out of the tub!”, I exclaimed!

This is how my week began.