Your traveling blogger greatly appreciates the intense comments on our recent Taos scenes. We began our trip to the High Desert in Santa Fe, coming in on a golden evening, heading from Albuquerque’s airport to Santa Fe’s ordinary but acceptable Best Western. Next door was a shop whose sign read “Unlimited Firearms — Big Discounts for Cash”. One of their major windstorms soon played havoc with the sign before I could photograph it for NJWILDBEAUTY. This is not the form of ‘wild’ I had in mind when I named this communication op… I considered going INto that shop to see what I could see… Was not so ‘intrepid’, after all…
The heart of Santa Fe is no longer the holy faith after which it was named. Nor even the cathedral of Archbishop Lamy. It is La Fonda Hotel. Hundreds of years old, its name signifies the end of the, YES!, Santa Fe Trail. We ate in every one of its restaurants, each more interesting and gratifying than the previous, even a French one for afternoon respite from the inescapable dazzle of sun.
We went West for Georgia O’Keeffe. Know that Georgia’s spirit prevails in her museum in Santa Fe and home/studio in Abiquiu. This museum held her earliest, most abstract, even most daring (nude self portraits in watercolor) works. We had always known there was more to Georgia than flowers and skulls and storms over Lake George. Her museum and her home/studio proved this indelibly. We might dare to call Georgia an original Intrepid, along, of course, with Eleanor (Roosevelt).
The most exciting aspect of Santa Fe for me was the museum of Indian Arts and Culture. I’ll let the images speak for themselves. Just know, –if you’re a fan of Maria’s black-on-black San Ildefonso pottery–, you can feast your eyes on it in Santa Fe and Taos. You will find whole rooms dedicated to this master artist. You will even see her clothing and her own personal Navajo jewelry, in your wanderings. You may depart even more impressed/committed, even obsessed, than ever.
A few Museum of Indian Arts and Culture scenes for you – full blog later. We spent our entire afternoon up there! We particularly could not resist returning to this icon:
The West thrilled and filled. Our hearts, our spirits often return there. We greatly miss BEING there. But a certain level of roughness is required. And, as Janet gently observed, “I have to keep reminding myself that lawlessness is the norm.” I require that level of light, those levels of change in the clouds. I could return to find ‘my’ Navajo woman and her luminous art and liquid language on the hem of Santa Fe’s Governor’s Palace. But I will always be a visitor.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania wildnesses are filling me anew. And Lenapes are replacing Navajo and Apache and Hopi and Tewa. Most of the time…