I’m in Taos on a writer’s residency. I’m called a “fellow.” Somehow that impressed me. But what really impresses me is what surrounds me….such physical beauty. Toas is very different from Paris, but when I was in Paris, in its old heart, I was enchanted with the architecture, with a sense of history everywhere, with the verve every shop exhibited. How can someone not be creative here? I thought during a visit to the corner townhouse of Victor Hugo in an old square in the Marais district. Well, Taos is in the mountains of New Mexico. It has one major street. Population is about 5,000 without tourists and skiers. But its natural beauty is astounding. It sits at the bottom of a mountain owned by the Taos Pueblo. They own a lot of land, and it’s likely a good thing. Because the Anglo way would be to develop it right out of beauty. So there are meadow vistas that lead to the great mountain and its chain of sisters. My little house is set in a meadow a rich woman bought a long time ago. So I see dandelions and hummingbirds and mountain lilac and fairy primrose.…the names are poetry. Yesterday at sunset, I swear I saw some kind of hawk or falcon, not one, but about 20, skimming the wind currents. How can one not be creative here? When I sit and gaze at my meadow, a silence fills me that is so rare and so restful. Taosenos say the mountain picks who’ll stay. They say the veil between the two worlds is thinner here………………
Note: I have a whining blog about being a writer at www.karleenkoen.net. Sort of the daily grind of it when even Taos’s beauty can’t help. Just in case you wanted to know…….
Beautiful, Karleen. Again, you took me there.
In 2002, I was chosen to be a “fellow” for an NEH Fellowship program held at UNC in Chapel Hill. I was beside myself with joy; a great place with a group of my peers, we’d sit around for six weeks and talk about Literature and Ethics.
I wanted to design a new course for my lit students at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas.
Besides, the world had just opened up for me. I had found the means to leave a long, tiring, difficult marriage. I’d moved to an apartment, ordered new furniture, found a publisher for my dissertation (a biography).
I drove to North Carolina singing to the radio and CDs, met my housemate–still a good friend–and found we had scored the prettiest housing of the group: the newly built home of an English Professor at UNC (in Maine for the summer)–in a new development that had once been a farm. Because we had the best digs, we hosted the various parties for the group. Wonderful times.
During the first week, we all met for dinner and got to know each other. When I said I’d just left a long marriage and moved out on my own, one of the two professors leading the seminar grabbed my hand: “Do we need to be doing therapy?” he asked.
“I’m way beyond that,” I told him. I’d been wanting out for over 20 years. This was my therapy, my new beginning. I was a most happy fellow! All that and more. . .
You word choices are exquisite. You inspire me beyond words. Fill yourself with the beauty of new space, BUT return to us at the end of the summer, dear heart.
How fortunate to be in the Taos area. I always “get crazy” if I don’t get to the mountains at least once a year..preferably in New Mexico. I really connect to your mention of a “thinner veil” When I am there, the quality of light and raw energy of the mountains literally shakes me and awakens all sort of creativity, but it is so powerful that I find I have to come back “down” to flat land to be able to apply any of it to my sculpture. Thanks for reminding me!
Pat, how nice to be reminded why Houston is useful. I never thought of having to move out of the power to create. Wonderful thought….regards to you….K