Sky

One of the stories I’m writing these days is set outside Taos, New Mexico, in the Greater Earth Community where one can find Earthships, structures made of repurposed materials like tires, soda cans, and bottles. But this post isn’t about Earthships (but I did write a poem about it here) although they are pretty cool. It’s about New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment and its beautiful skies.

It’s one of the things I miss about the state; that, and the wonderful people. It’s where a Taos elder, after asking me if I was of this tribe or that tribe, and by the fourth guess when I still said no, told me that it didn’t matter what tribe I belonged, that from that moment on, I was one of them and he gave me a smudge stick to keep.  It’s where friends I never knew stepped in to give a heartbroken girl support and made me laugh and remember how it felt to be happy.  And I remember telling myself then, that one day, when I’d start writing stories again, I’d write one that was set in New Mexico. And now I am.

It’s like being somewhere you’ve never physically been, but the moment your plane lands and you step out, your heart just knows…you’re home.

via Sky — The Daily Post

After the Fall

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Not my favorite picture at all, but one of the first I spotted (the first had my brother standing next to me, and  he does not like having his pictures anywhere online so that was out of the running).  This was taken in New Mexico by my friend Sara, who takes the most amazing pictures.

She asked me to pose for her one afternoon – without make-up – which is very rare for me to do.  The first time I ever went out without make-up was with this guy I was so crazy about and for this wedding that he was taking me to, he persuaded me NOT to wear make-up which would have gone with my amazing dress.  Lesson to self: never listen to guys tell you that you look beautiful without make-up (and I don’t even care how cray-cray you are for the guy – just don’t), not when your couture dress and shoes require you to have a face to match the ensemble and everyone present at a Malibu wedding, no less.

But, I digress – for Sara, I was willing to pose without make-up.  I’d just split up from said boyfriend, or whatever he wanted to call himself, and I was down in the dumps.  We walked around the neighborhood, through the tall weeds that bordered the South Valley of Albuquerque and she told me where to look, what to do, and I just followed directions, not knowing what would come out.  Out of all the pictures she took, I picked only one, and it wasn’t this picture.

Daily Prompt

Hollyhocks

You just inherited $1,000,000 from an aunt you didn’t even know existed. What’s the first thing you buy (or otherwise use the money for)?

"Old Town Window" by Dee Sanchez
“Old Town Window”
by Dee Sanchez

My mom won the lottery when I was about 11 or 12 – and it was a terrible time for me.  You see, all I wanted was that we move away from where we were currently living then, which was right next door to my grandparents and aunts and uncles in a busy street that belonged to my mother’s grandfather.   You couldn’t sneeze without anyone knowing about it – and neither could my mother.

I remember how we looked at houses in the nicer parts of town, where all my other school friends lived.  They were sprawling houses, with big rooms and airy spaces, so unlike the busy street we lived in, where houses were so close together and medical students were everywhere for there was a university just a stone’s throw away.

All I wanted when my mother won the lottery was her independence.  And with each house she looked at, freedom for me – the air, the space – was within reach.

But then my mother did what her parents and all her brothers and sisters told her to do.  Instead of moving into a beautiful house in a subdivision away from all the crowded and always-flooded streets, she stayed where she was.  She renovated her little duplex, with illusions that made it larger than it was, and then gambled the rest of the money away, including the duplex itself.

So if I inherited a million dollars, this is what I would do.  I will know who my friends are, first of all – and that includes relatives and those who will claim to be so (because they will come out from the woodwork the way they did when my mother won) – and I will hire a financial adviser to take care of all my money.  I will pay off my debts and with the money left over, set aside a decent amount for my son that will earn interest as he grows up.  Then from whatever left over, buy a little house somewhere where there is a lot of sun and trees, not too far from neighbors, and with a yard where I can put up a hammock and read a book, and maybe grow hollyhocks that will grow as high as the rooftops.

For even hollyhocks know how much they need the sun and the space in order to survive and most of all, to bloom.

Daily Prompt

Weekly Writing Challenge: Get Out The Map

Music is powerful: it conjures memories, emotions, and people and things of the past. It’s not only a trigger, but an outlet to express who we are. For this challenge, pick one song and write about it — or use it as inspiration for a post. The track may be personally meaningful, or remind you of something, someone, or some event you can look back on. Or maybe you’re drawn to a song’s lyrics and want to use them as a springboard for a short piece of fiction. Or a poem. Or a free-write.

Before the age of iPhones, my friends always knew better than to write down my address in pen.  I moved around a lot and loved it.  They called me the wanderer because I simply just wanted to go places, even though I couldn’t afford it most of the time.  I’d get in my car and drive 500 miles if the mood struck me because it was a Friday and I had enough gas in my car, and someone would be waiting for me when I got there with a cup of coffee, a warm bed and a few days spent laughing.

When I first heard this song, I was in New Mexico and asking myself if I was willing to move and make my home in Alburquerque for the doctor I had fallen head over heels over had asked me to.  For some reason, many of the Indigo Girls’ music returned me to me at that time and many of them, through the course of our relationship, symbolized where we stood, as we transitioned from one point of the relationship to the next.  From elation and joy to pain and despair, the Indigo Girls captured them all, though this, Get Out the Map, was the start of it.  For it was to be the beginning of an adventure that I’d never forget.

And though in the end, our love didn’t last – and I never ended up in New Mexico permanently (something my clients admitted later on they were secretly hoping would never happen) – the songs and their meaning remain strong.  Just as this one is as strong as the first time I heard it, when I rolled the windows down and sang at the top of my lungs, knowing that with this man to whom I had fallen in love with, who never ceased to tell me how much he loved me, the lines “I’m going to love you good and strong while our love is good and young” rang so true it hurt.

Get Out the Map – Indigo Girls

The saddest sight my eyes can see is that big ball of orange sinking slyly down the trees
Sitting in a broken circle while you rest upon my knee this perfect moment will soon be leaving me
Suzanne calls from Boston the coffee’s hot the corn is high
And that same sun that warms your heart will suck the good earth dry
With everything it’s opposite enough to keep you crying or keep this old world spinning with a twinkle in its eye
Get out the map get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down
We’ll leave the figuring to those we pass on our way out of town
Don’t drink the water there seems to be something ailing everyone I’m gonna clear my head
I’m gonna drink that sun I’m gonna love you good and strong
while our love is good and young
Joni left for South Africa a few years ago and then

Beth took a job all the way over on the West Coast
And me I’m still trying to live half a life on the road
I’m heavier by the year and heavier by the load.
Why do we hurtle ourselves through every inch of time and space
I must say around some corner

I can sense a resting place
With every lesson learned a line upon your beautiful face
We’ll amuse ourselves one day with these memories we’ll trace
Get out the map get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down
We’ll leave the figuring to those we pass on our way out of town
Don’t drink the water there seems to be something ailing everyone
I’m gonna clear my head I’m gonna drink the sun
I’m gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young

Weekly Writing Challenge

Daily Prompt: A Plot of Earth

You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

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There’s something about an earthship that just speaks to my soul, tugs at it and begs me to leave everything behind and live in one.  Earthship biotecture salvages items you’d never think of using in building a home like used tires and bottles, and even coke cans.

It uses solar heating and collects rainwater where it’s purified in some built in cistern inside the home and also utilizes a graywater system wherein water from your sink and your washing machine goes to water your indoor plants (which provide the interior with oxygen and cleans up carbon dioxide) before finally filling up your toilet bowl and that way every time you flush that toilet, you’re not throwing away up to five gallons of clean water per pee-pee.

I always thought that if I had endless amount of money, I’d buy one of these earthships, especially the one I got to stay in years ago, called the Phoenix, and make it my little hideaway in Taos (now you know where to find me), surrounded my miles and miles of wild lavender and coyotes howling in the distance (at night) where the only lights you see are the stars up in the sky and the giant moon that seems to be communing directly with your soul.  It’s a place I would write a million stories and dream endless dreams in.

It’s a place where my soul can find some peace and where my spirit can soar.

And where everyone is welcome.

Just make sure there’s wifi though…

03 Gagne Dining

PHOENIXBATH

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phoca_thumb_l_living_phoenix_plants_web-625x416 earthship11If you ever want to learn about earthships, here are a few links to check out:

Earthship Biotecture

High Existence: 10 Reasons Why Earthships are Fing Awesome