#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
Poetry sees things with an inner eye—it unravels the essential beauty in things. ~ Usha Akella
I made a mistake with shoes. I discover this as I am climbing Camelback Mountain in the noonday heat on a lunch break from the Power of Words Conference nearby. I packed my sneakers; they are so light. Not my hiking boots, which I’ve worn out in the winter woods. I change out of my skirt and blouse in the car. I know it’s probably too hot to hike, but I want to try and there are many people coming and going up the trail. I pack my water. I wear my hat. When a half hour into the hike I reach the part of the trail where you have to really climb rock, I realize my sneakers just don’t have decent traction. So, even if I make it up it will be too slippery coming down. So, I turn around. It’s gorgeous, it’s peaceful, there is a hot breeze and a little shade here and there by some rocks. I want to keep hiking, and see there’s a flatter trail - Bobby’s Rock, a loop, and so I follow that trail. Everywhere there are signs: stay on the trail. Don’t leave the trail. Well, this looks like an easy trail to follow, with pretty views and gorgeous rocks. But, soon enough, I seem to have lost the trail. It’s rocky and gravely and not well marked and I can’t tell now whether I’m following the trail or a stream bed. Well, I meant to stay on the trail. Now, I’m off it. I’m not far away from the trail head, I know that, and I can certainly see civilization sprawling below me. But, how to get back to the trail? Oh, this noonday sun. So, I see where I can cut across some low brush and cacti to a big rock I recognize. And then I skid on some rocks, slip, fall down, cut my arm, mildly, but it’s bleeding, and I get up, unharmed, but this is silly. I was supposed to stay on the trail and I’m in stupid shoes. Bobby’s loop, indeed. Soon enough, I scrabble my way back to the trail. I dump half a bottle of water on my head. I vow to buy hiking boots. I return to the Power of Words, more workshops, long talks with writers. I present tomorrow - Aim for Astonishing, how pictures heal. All day the presentations I attend are very inspirational and moving, particularly the keynote presentation by the South Asian poet and festival founder, Usha Akelle who wants the poets of the South Asian diaspora to be paid attention to in the literary landscape, and so she founded a festival, based in NYC, to promote these poets. Tomorrow I present my workshop, then head to Albuquerque to see old friends before heading to Santa Fe. And now, to sleep.