I love Magdalena -- the shadow play on barren mountains, the rich longing that rises in my soul as I top out onto the high plains. The village itself is a few stores along the highway. But the Post Office walls contain (which she can't be) the essence of Libby, a force to be reckoned with and amazing woman bar none. Her husband, author Steve Bodio works away in their home a block off the highway on a super wide dusty road. Falcons, dogs and pigeons grace their abode. Steve's book, Querencia, is one of my all time favorites. Querencia: "that little, unspecified area in life's arena where one feels safe, serene." It was good to pull up to their home and park. My lungs and soul needed a healthy dose of Querencia.
Steve says some of the old timers of Magdalena still refer to their adobe-looking house as the old stone house. They will always be remembered as the ones who stuccoed over stone. The lively Silver Spur Bar amounts to the community center, its wall adorned with a historical collage of photos and trophies of big game taken from the, "Big and empty, high and bright and dry," as Steve describes the Plains of St. Augustin.
It was deeply special to spend time together. To share latest author friend travails and spark the minds of two of the best thinkers I know. Copies of Steve's latest book had arrived that day: Sportsman's Library: 100 Essential, Engaging, Offbeat and Occasionally Odd Fishing and Hunting Books for the Adventurous Reader. It's a fascinating collection of essays. Years ago I wandered into a gallery in Soho and discovered Peter Beard's photographic work and his book, The End of the Game, a stunning documentation of the elephant die-off in Tsavo. So it was I opened Steve's book to find an insightful essay on Beard and his work. Steve has his finger succinctly on the pulse of human and wild interaction. His book is brilliant, authentic and brims with surprise.
Libby whipped up a delicious spinach and chicken dinner as Steve shared photos of the past and present on the computer screen. Life is not easy these days. Steve, my age at 62, has Parkinson's... a heart rendering transition for a man who was physically vital, who has hunted with eagles on the plains of Mongolia, and shares tales of coyotes on the near grasslands that have learned to attack the falcons he sends to hunt. But we agreed, we live on as best we can. Our writing is our revolution. We live in one another's hearts, as Magdalene looks down from her rock face above.
Finalist for the 2013 Colorado Book Award!
Drive Me Wild: A Western Odyssey, paper and ebook.
is now available in paper and ebook!
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