“Every one of us should risk living in the full flow of our own originality. And never to compare yourself with anyone outside you but to trust that inner voice that is speaking to you and whispering to you from the well of great possibility that lives inside you.” ~John O’Donohue
Day two of the Official Workshop began even before the morning meal was served. Remember Lenny Foster from the library lecture I told you about? Well, Taos being a small town, and his gallery being right down the lane from Mabel’s, we wound up catching up with Lenny and sharing with him how moving we found his artist talk and his work. He invited any interested students to meet him at a picturesque little church located back in the rabbit warren of lanes and dirt roads behind Mabel’s to take pictures on that Tuesday morning. In spite of some serious looking skies, or perhaps because of these skies, a few of us gathered early coffee and drove over to meet him with cameras in hand.
Behind Mabel’s is all Pueblo land…. except for a little road owned by the Catholic Church where worshippers can walk the stations of the cross. Here is the view from that sacred path, across sacred lands to Mabel’s house.
The church, “La Morada de Don Fernando de Taos”
Classic blue door, of course.
The view back down the path to the church. Check out those ever changing, dangerous skies!
Much about this morning reminded me of an area of the Smoky Mountains called Cades Cove. Rich in both natural and human history with the mountains holding all the ancient secrets.
People come to pray here for their loved ones, often weaving together many different cultural and religious traditions. Lenny told us these little bundles are more than likely filled with tobacco and many, many hours of prayers. I found them enchanting.
And all of this before breakfast!! My plan was to take students out for a field trip that morning to the Earthships, but with the unexpected rain we postponed until the afternoon. The stormy skies stuck around but we managed to dodge raindrops and were treated to wild skies all day. The wind was enough to wear us out, but the lighting and clouds in the distance were worth it.
On route to the Earthships we stopped at the big steel bridge over the Rio Grande. Amazing vistas and crazy heights.
This little coffee vendor (below) is so very Taos.
As is this memorial to someone young who passed recently. Grief made colorful and beautiful. I suppose that is all you can do with grief in the long run, isn’t it?
And here are the Earthships!
They operate with systems that allow for heating and cooling, water filtration and food growth. To me it seems like a perfect way to live. It would be lovely to have one of these handmade homes here in Ohio I think.
The skies, so wild and lovely, beckoned to be considered for a little while.
This day, only day 2 of the workshop really, seemed to roll on and on forever. We gathered as a group back at Lenny’s gallery for a condensed version of his talk from Saturday and a break from being out in the wind. Pamela, the pastry chef from up at Mabel’s, sent cookies to give to him as she knows how much he loves her baking. Again, the group was enchanted by this artist who spirits his art and arts his spirit with no apologies. So inspirational.
That evening a few of us tracked down a sweet little restaurant called the Love Apple. A local barista had said that ‘it’s up hwy 68 somewhere’ and that if we were meant to find it, we would. Finding it was part of the mystery. God I love Taos! Love Apple was just that; juicy and full of love. They built a fire for those waiting for dinner and allowed bottles of wine to be served outside. Although the place was tiny, they seated about 9 of us together and dinner was magic.
We were heading into day 3…. a few of us finished up this amazing day with more wine on the little back porch of our Gatehouse, talking about life and art and the richness of it all, as many visitors have done over the decades. Something about this place begs it of you, the questioning and searching that goes with it all. Here are two articles that agree with me (and who’s authors write so much more eloquently than I to boot…)