A long drive to escape the 13 million souls of L.A., past a billion cacti and the four corners of Winslow Arizona, a pause to stand listening to the Eagles, probably all bald by now, and a gift from Harold – a drawing on a receipt of mountains and trees and clouds… He’s been on this land all his life (perhaps on this corner) and drunk many a fermented plant in a Winslow roadhouse trying to loosen his load…
Somewhere along the way I adopt the new name “Cloud”. It’s a joke, but strangely, it fits. Beautiful and soft and fluffy, wispy, feathery, transparent, boundless, mesmerizing like the ones drifting across the sky blue sky of Arizona…dark and brooding, billowing, storming, blowing, roaming, hovering seemingly still but always moving or flying. High level, low level, cumulus, stratus, cirrus and nimbus. A cloud is vapor and matter, nothing and everything, transient and universal. A cloud is the wind. I throw irreverence to it just for fun and it’s gone. I am Cloud. Here comes the sun.
Sunrise at the Grand Canyon, where your inner immensity is projected onto the monumental mesa of your heart, unexpected and unexplained; your outer fragility exposed on the faces of a dozen Japanese donning white surgical masks.
She is GRAND and makes you silly happy so you skip in delight wishing you had more than a morning to honor your nature but the Land of Enchantment beckons like a sailor moon.
Ten Thousand Waves awaits open like a woman in the hills with the koi in the man-made zen pond and a man named Buddha Bob. You can come for an hour or a week. Stay for Indo-Asian, Nose to Toes, Deep Stone Massage or Shiatsu-do, or go inward and outward in the hot and cold for two hours solid and become liquid. That’s my pleasure. Ten thousand ways to bliss – for twenty dollars it’s the best deal in Santa Fe.
A lazy Friday afternoon stroll through the Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market about six miles north of town might net you a new frock or a blue rock. Watch out for the Lebanese chef with the gift of the gab. He wants your wallet but he has beautiful fresh spices and mouth-watering recipes he’ll exchange it for.
Follow that with something bursting and blossoming into your cup, warming your belly, like a ginger matcha soy latte at the Tea House on Canyon Road. Bring your laptop so you can send a love note to your lover, sitting across from you sipping South African Rooibos.
Criss-cross Canyon Road after five, but don’t expect a deal better than free wine and cheese. Twenty thousand dollar paintings you’d need a new house to house and sculptures that may only work as Canyon Road garden art. But the gallery girls and guys are hungry like wolves so you mingle and admire the pretty colors and smile and sip their wine all civilized and sophisticated like you popped out wealthy.
Unlike at the brandy-sipping table of the faeries, set by the mover of mountains who communes with the cosmos, where you buy in wholeheartedly to the ritual of feeding faeries brandy because they, of all people need liquid courage to come out and reveal themselves to us mortals!
Wait. I’m not mortal? The Wise Woman of the Tarot declares me to be from the Angelic Realm and she is dead serious. Even a skeptic like me has to admit that helps to explain the proximity of celestial beings when I need them most. I also learn that “sorrow” and “dread” are not necessarily bad cards to draw…”The ultimate sorrow” she said, “is not being true to your deepest self, your true passion.” Alchemy can fix that in an instant. And so it is. This is New Mexico, after all…
And only in New Mexico can you experience something called the “Albuquerque box” where a conspiracy of air currents conflict in beautifully orchestrated chaos above a field that glows and flows in a mesmerizing phenomenon known as “mass ascension”. Take a hundred photos in contribution to keeping its reputation as the most photographed event in the world. Inside the “Albuquerque Box”, altitude is everything.
If you can handle any more weird and wonderful, ride on up the Turquoise Trail to Madrid for a coffee and a breakfast burrito with some local stars right off a movie set. Just don’t let them catch you calling them Wild Hogs.
Before flying back to the city of angels, walk the medicine wheel with the Goddess Queen herself at the Garden of the Goddess and leave something behind – something you won’t need in your re-visioned life…or something you want to return to. In this magical place, inside your altered space, there exists the possibility of everything.