|My New Neighbors|
On New Year's Day I traveled to the Taos Pueblo for the Turtle Dance. The images of this dance from the 1800's depict little difference between then and now. Bare chested men at ten degrees, their bodies adorned in pine boughs. Rattles shake in their hands, bells strapped on their legs ring with their steps to one large drum beat. Lacy leggings, white painted chins and head dresses with bright feathers that point to the heavens. Ermine and fox pelts swung from their waists, as solemn women, wrapped in bright blankets stood watch. I watched in a timeless reality, transfixed under the azure sky, framed in the expiration and inspiration of frosty breath.
Yesterday I re-visited one of my favorite hikes. The trail travels down a cliff side to the Rio Grande. Many years ago it was a narrow old highway. Besides stunningly beautiful and offering up the sound of river water, there are the spirits of DH Lawrence and Georgia O'Keefe... myriad old timers who traveled to Taos from pueblos and countrysides. Since I lived here last, Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep have been re-introduced to the sage-laden mesas and canyon cleavages. I see them most everyday, a thrill, since there are no deer and the only sign of elk so far is a calf leg bone.
On January 19th I will do a reading of my book, Drive Me Wild: A Western Odyssey at the SOMOS office at 1:30. I'll follow that up the next day with my self-publishing class, "Going Indie, (also at 1:30 and at SOMOS). I plan to stick close to Taos in January. I'd love to travel up Salida-way in February, across the beloved San Luis Valley and site of my cabin and Dancing Raven days, and do some more readings. Travel south, perhaps, in March.