Santa Fe is full of rainbows and fried pickles. I'm in love with it.
I just wanted to check in and put some words down. I'm sitting in the Albuquerque airport drinking some strong Seattle's Best coffee and enjoying the free wireless connection. I already feel like I'm re-entering the hustle and bustle of modern civilization. I have spent the last couple days enjoying the outskirts of Santa Fe, NM and my mind slowed down, exponentially. It was divine. As I prepare to board the plane for busy, sunny, smoggy Los Angeles, I'm tempted to record some of my impressions so they won't run away from me the second I hit the ground. It only takes a few minutes to lose that intense connection to the earth and sky that I feel in New Mexico. So let me tell you what it is like and show you a few pictures.
I love the south west. The colors and light that characterize the landscape have been inspiring artists for centuries and it is no different with me. I am struck by the natural beauty every time. But looks aside, there is a spiritual drumbeat in New Mexico - it's like you can hear the sun beating down on the desert ground - or in our case the rain. It rained a lot this weekend, very rare for the area. I've never seen so much rain in the desert, but I've also never seen so many rainbows. The clouds were creative and ever changing color and character - pissing down one minute- and parting the next to reveal the most gorgeous blue patch of sky or a 'sun dog.'
It's hard for me to stay annoyed in Santa Fe. Mainly because my attention is focused up and out - over the horizon and to the heavens. You can't help it here! It DEMANDS your attention. As we drove through the countryside, we could not see a building for miles and miles and the expansive beauty gave me hope and serenity. Everything feels simpler in this environment. It's a harsh climate - harsh and beautiful. I feel as if we are all at the mercy of God out here - and it feels good. It is impossible to forget the existence of that Great Spirit when you are surrounded by miraculous scenery.
As always when I am with my mother and her husband, Tim, we stumble across joyful circumstances and God shot moments. This trip was no different. From the rainbows, to a herd of smart-ass cows, to a white buffalo, and an impromptu ceremony by the fire in their backyard - I picked up a lot of feathers this weekend. Thier Native American friend and famous artist, Peter So Happy, told me about 'picking up feathers.' They are like messages from the Great Spirit. You find them randomly on your path, and you pick them up and take them with you. I took home many feathers this weekend.
One of them was the discovery of swing songs - Native American love songs. Peter sang a traditional crow song to us by the fire as the sun set. It told the story of a man and woman walking together with the blessing of the great spirit, hand in hand. I will never forget hearing it. Unfortunately, I cannot find anything about these songs online. Peter said the song had been passed down from over 2 centuries ago. It's a pretty well kept secret and in a way, I'm grateful that the masses have not yet completely discovered these traditional gems. I'll get him to teach it to me someday so I can pass it on in other circles I encounter down the road. Till then, I'll just have to cherish it in my heart.
I was also given a Native American name that night with a smudge ceremony and everything. I'm going to keep it private because it's very dear to me, but you can imagine how spiritually powerful a naming ceremony can be. In a way I feel like I have new purpose and can walk with my head held a little higher, because now I have a name in the ancient Crow lineage. I feel more connected than ever to the ancestors and spirits that have lived on this land for hundreds of years.
(Peter recounts some Crow legends and invokes the spirit as he gives me my name.)
Without giving all of the magic away, I can tell you that I feel as if I have been healed. I feel 10 pounds lighter - despite all the beans and cheese and BEST fried pickles I've ever had in my entire life from "The Hollar" in Madrid, NM. The sky and rain and dirt and sage cleansed me a bit. The quiet gave me some peace back. But I think what I receive most in the southwest is a sense of oneness with the big everything. It all becomes so big and I become so small. How can you worry when you're a tiny part of this?