Saturday, July 14, 2012

renewed: abiquiu, new mexico

Just returned from another rejuvenating, inspiring time in New Mexico-partly on our property on the lake in Abiquiu as well as a wonderful week at Ghost Ranch where I took a fascinating week long course on southwest history. There is so much history to be absorbed in this region and each time I am there I try and pick up a new book to read and learn more. This time I picked up the history of Rio Arriba County and The Witches of Abiquiu- chronicling the strange and pervasive connections to witches in the area.

Every time I go, I learn more about the people and the storied history and remain in awe of the stunning landscape, shifting light and treasures that abound. We are slowly building out our small homestead there- this summer completing the deck that will hopefully evolve into a full fledged shelter where we can go warm our bones in the summer, instead of cranking the heat and layering the sweaters on here in the "coldest winter of summers" in San Francisco.

I had a chance to explore some wonderful communities-- Los Ojos and the sublime weaving and vegetable dyed wools from the Churro sheep that graze nearby, as well as visiting the home of Gabriel Abeyta an 86 year old fixture in town who spent most of his professional life assisting the Jicarilla Apache manage their resources.  Roadside grottos still in use today.

We were also treated to an intriguing walking tour of the small village of Abiquiu by Isabel Trujillo -a local historian from the library who shared many stories about the decline and resurrection and current efforts to restore some of the economic development in town. So many people new to the area believe that Georgia O'Keeffe "discovered" this area- so far from the truth- she was a more contemporary influence for sure, but serves more as an icon to those who are not familiar with the incredible history of this area and the confluence of Spanish, Native American and white interests and conquests.
So much going in Northern New Mexico and so much unchanged for hundreds of years.
We continue to find remnants of the past- and I mean thousands of years past- on our property. Perfect arrow heads carved from the that abounds as well as tools and scrapers touched and used by ancient hands.

Walking the cliffs at Puye we come across multitudes of pottery shards still holding on to their textures and colors and further reinforcing my belief in the power and longevity of clay.

So much to take in and use in my work- and being there truly allows me to breathe in deep and also breathe out..something that isn't always so easy in the throes of urban life work and family.
we're thinking we'll be back again in september to finish the shelter and breathe some more...

even swallows like grafitti

collected from the property


the long road