The might of the wind while moving on the ground

When the muse struck to subtitle this post as ‘the might of the wind while moving on the ground’, it didn’t occur to me that ‘might’ offered the delight of dual meaning. And, in fact, ‘might’ in the sense of possibility is probably even more the spirit of these musings than the originally intended ‘might’ in the sense of power, force, strength.

I find on this second extended self-crafted creative, contemplative and connective residency in New Mexico that the Land of Enchantment expresses a spirit and energy of possibility.

There are all different types of people here from as many diverse walks of life as there are humans. It’s scrappy; it’s kind; it’s expansive; it’s wild; it’s aloof; it’s an embrace. The sense of ‘ancestors’ is baked into the soil, and flows in the waters, and blows in the winds.

And, oh, what winds! They started all the way in Chicago and tossed and twirled us from start to finish.

In Oklahoma, they felt dangerous.

In New Mexico, they wrapped us in arms of dense power, and said, “Welcome home. Come along for the ride. I’ve got you”.

Sunset view from tent at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

For me, there’s nothing quite like ending the day and waking up to the morning looking out from a tent. The skies were exceptionally dark here at our first overnight stop, and Ursa Major poured forth his shining, golden magic directly overhead.

Visits with Venus

On our second overnight stop, WAAAAYYYY off the beaten path in far western Oklahoma, the sunset tent view featured Venus looking as big and bright as the moon. She whispered out her wisdom on 35-mph hours wind that blew all night as we sheltered in quiet calm beneath a generous cedar tree.

With the winds still dancing, the first sight that greeted me upon waking with the sun was a bluebird.

People come to New Mexico for something different. Georgia O’Keeffe - lover of the big skies of the Texas Panhandle when she taught at a girls’ school as a young woman - slipped the bonds and oppressions of stifling eastern landscapes and male artist constraints, and found her freedom among the mesas and bones. So many snippets of transplanted Bronx accents toss around in the air here, their edges not softened by the tumble of the Rio Grande. Retirees who cannot make ends meet anywhere else in the crazy moment of inequity that we’re experiencing in the US can come here to plant a stake in dry ground that nonetheless nourishes them with the waters of an independent life. I come here because, as an artist, I have never seen the colors of yellow that the oceanic plains of dancing grass make here. Driving along, if you look towards 1 o’clock, the grass has a golden hue. Turn your eyes to 3 o'clock, and that same grass is an electric lemon yellow. I still can’t figure out what optical magic is happening to create that result, but it’s like driving on the surface of the Sun.

New Mexico is unpredictable. She will burn you with fire. She will provide you with universal free college. She stewards her waters with care in community through the water trust acequias system. She does not forget where she came from, nor is she imprisoned in the past. She bears myriads of unhomed lives on her central way and cradles possibility in her beautiful chain of jewelled Bosque open and wild spaces.

She is possibility. She is inscrutable. She is woman as leader. She is the wisdom of the ways that have come before with wings flying on the winds of future. She is pure magic, beckoning with the beauty whose recognition must be earned.