I just finished the bag of sea salt & vinegar potato chips I purchased on Labor Day weekend –they expired at the end of the year. Washed down with a bottle of winter brew dark beer still in my refrigerator from the holidays because everyone drinks wine instead. Me too but today it felt right. One beer. Late afternoon. Sunday football I do not watch though I know the Broncos lost and a friend is rooting for Seattle. And though sunny outside it is well below freezing. A day worthy of the bomber hat and big boots. The beer, the salty potato chips, the rest of the Trader Joe’s chicken salad with cranberries and all those calories (justified) because I am moving. Across town.
Pulling out the stove in one house to clean and pulling out the stove in the other. To clean too. Apparently something built a nest beneath the stove top, and between the wall and the oven since the last tenant. Or maybe the last tenant never cooked and those curled up leaves are from a former former tenant who had a little grow operation. This might explain the problem with the deadbolt on the front door and the reason it was not working yesterday. Or the fact it was 9 degrees. Or operator failure. Or because the doorjamb has been pried open with a crow bar so many times the entire door is broken inside, but the landlord wants to make it right. Has. Lovely people. Thank you. — still I’m pushing for a new door + a screen door too. With a little eye hook. For summer.
It is a sweet little loft casita. I will be happy there. A gate for greeting. A chile ristra against the adobe. The light is fantastic and I have my own yard and coyote fence, for privacy and entertaining. Don’t laugh. I do occasionally invite friends over. That said I like that it is on a one-way alley and not exactly easy to explain the exact location or how to drive to arrive. The wall outside my kitchen window is built of stone. Picturesque. It feels country European to me. I pretend I am near the vineyards of Tuscany though happily in Santa Fe. South Capitol. I will plant sunflowers and geraniums and sit beneath my umbrella to bask in their beauty.
Leaving El Zaguan is not without pangs of “will miss you” –the most charming apartment and compound ever, creative neighbors/friends, fantastic staff who leave little gifts outside my door: firewood, rusty metal, boxes, a painted glass, vintage linens, donuts and books and clothes. . .good memories. It has been fun and fruitful and I am happy for the experience(s). Did I sit on the porch swing often enough on summer Sunday afternoons? Walk around the garden? Look at the stars? For those creative types looking for an artful life in 500+ square feet I hope you consider applying to the Historic Santa Fe Foundation.
Life and the New Year are filled with a celebration of endings and beginnings. One job ends another door opens. That kind of thing. Change and poetry and art in new places. Four of my 12”x12” oil on canvas will be part of the small works room at the new Kristin Johnson fine art gallery located at 323 East Palace in Santa Fe (across from La Posada). I hope you can make the New Year’s Opening Reception this Friday January 18th from 5-8pm. The gallery features a fantastic selection of contemporary fine art including abstract expressionism, encaustic and photography. I am thrilled to be a part of this great addition to the Santa Fe art scene.
On the writing front I rekindled a poetry group after a long hiatus. Actually a resurgence of the one from Alaska. Just Mike and I at the moment. Trusted friends. We miss you Jim. Perhaps inspired by the combining of art and poetry in the Odes & Offerings exhibition of last spring or the current Voice to Image exhibit at Vivo Contemporary where Mike (Burwell) responded to the work of Ro Calhoun and read his poem at the opening last week. Or perhaps it was simply time to begin again. The poem I brought to the table, begun in May 2011 and untouched until a few weeks ago, is a long two page ramble peppered with memory and lyricism, about meeting my biological father. Maybe I’ll read it at the upcoming reading at El Zaguan –the 2nd in a series of on-going readings by writers/artists in residence. Sunday afternoon January 27th, 2013. 545 Canyon Road, Santa Fe. Free and open to the public. Time TBA.