#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
“It’s my private mountain. It belongs to me.
God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it.”
All day I felt like weeping, from beauty, from gratitude. And, on the trail ride at Ghost Ranch, crossing the desert on horseback, in view of Georgia O’Keeffe’s summer home, I was overcome. What spectacle. I worked this morning, up early, and went for my hike on the Butterfly Trail, as usual. I stopped for awhile at my favorite spot (below) and knelt down facing the rocks and said thank you. For the poems, for the presence, for this place, for this time. I took the afternoon off for my day trip to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu and the horseback ride I had signed up for, the landscape trail ride past the landscapes O’Keeffe painted. Before I left, I opened one of the last poems I’ll have time to revise; written months ago, and workshopped. “First Artists,” about a trip to the Chauvet Cave in Ardeche, France. It’s been simmering. But I opened it, and worked on it a bit, unsatisfied with my progress, but glad to be inside it. trying to craft sense. Then, I drove to Abiquiu, the spectacular ride of a lifetime, this landscape, the red rocks, the lavender hills, the pops of green juniper bushes, the cloudless sky. I just kept driving into deeper beauty, more astounding views. It’s my third trip out this way, to Abiquiu, but my first to Ghost Ranch. I crossed the Rio Grande. I crossed the Chama River. This is the land where Frank did a vision quest about twenty-five years ago. I arrived in time for lunch. The horses were well behaved, well trained, it was an easy ride for someone like me who has ridden a horse about five or six times in her life. It was so quiet, so gorgeous. I can’t really write about it without tearing up. Just something welling up I can’t yet put into words. It’s almost in the pictures. We saw, of course, pedernal, which she painted so many times God told her in a dream it belonged to her. We passed her entirely remote and almost hidden from view adobe house where she climbed to her roof to meditate and sometimes sleep. And then we were back at the corral. And I drove home in a kind of stunned and happy stupor. Except I made one stop at Bode’s store in Abiquiu for a coffee and a t-shirt for Frank. The last time I was here we were visiting Abiquiu together and we hiked into the Chama River desert so he could show me where he did his vision quest. Tonight, I fussed more with “First Artists,” and still don’t know if it’s there. I have to decide which poem I will workshop tomorrow night - by Zoom - with my Monday workshop. My retreat is coming to a close soon. I have so much, so much to take home with me.