Tag Archives: spring

The Path of Finding Your True Nature


I recently read a blog by a writer, a kindred spirit, on a DIY Retreat. Do it yourself.  She mentions solitude.  How it can suck you into a place so deep you blink when you come back, face to face with a real person.  The point when one goes away for a month is generally to focus uninterrupted into a deeper level of creativity.  A time to reflect and walk or run and write or art.  To swim and dream and grieve.  To feel. To find yourself flowing in the current of a project from your heart, or simply free yourself from the day to day routine, to allow access to the deeper parts of language.  To beginnings and prompts and pay attention.


I think back to my own DIY Art Retreat.  The joy of waking each day into one of my own making.  It felt simple.  Though I had no income I did not worry.  My work before me.  My focus.  My abundance on the table.  It was there and rising like homemade bread.  The beauty of being present in each moment.  In the stitch and the idea.  In the walk on the beach.  In the reflection of the cypress.  Sometimes the phone call from a friend felt intrusive as I made my way back to the surface to engage in that voice to voice world.  Emerging from deeper and further and far.


Since I’ve returned I write a poem entitled “Missing January” as the world runs forward and I scramble to catch up.  Already March.  Spring is coming.  Daylight has sprung forward. Rain in the forecast.  Lovely all and despite the 7 inches of snow on Friday the ground outside my window is already bare.  Warmed by the sun. The snow melt deeply inhaled by the shallow roots of the high desert.

his Solitude (underpinning) --detail

But it is the significance of solitude. How easy to slip into that place devoid of interaction with others.  Face to face. During my retreat there were times I asked myself did I speak to another person today, out loud, or only respond to the thoughts inside my head? I asked myself this nearly everyday for 30 days — though there were interactions. In passing with my respectful host or the cashier at the grocery store or an exchange at the Farmer’s Market. A nod to a person on the path and once a real conversation with a woman at a florist setting out pots of pansies.  She had moved from Michigan and warned me against the road south to Apalachicola and the high crime in St. Pete. Though I went anyway and loved them both.

winterchairsnowInteraction can be dangerous.  The fear and opinions of others can sway or change your mood entirely.  Take you out and away and far, or it can circle back to self-reflection.  That is what I’m learning.  About myself.  The importance to socialize or engage with people; friends or strangers or within a community, is to spring yourself into the battle zone.  Often there is reward.  I am learning who I am through my ability, or lack of, this face to face blink in the sunlight interaction with other people.  It can be painful, tight-in-the-chest want to control anxiety, or equally delightful. An indicator to the better path.  The most true.  The joy of easy friendship and mutual admiration and connection. And to the discomfort of standing up, taking charge, saying no or redirecting and breaking the pattern that leads to nowhere new.  The guilt and letting go and acceptance.

tulipsdaffodilFleshnotafamily detail taoschurchskybarn

A friend of mine wrote this line:  the birds are still enthusiastic in spring.  I hear them now this sunny morning.  Monday.  The opportunities are mine for the taking if only I value myself. Enough. Know my heart and honor my true nature: art, writing, photography, walking, wine and travel.  Quietude and ocean and family and friendship.  The occasional roasted chicken.  The possibility of direction becomes obvious.  Trusting that it will.  And always imagination.  To color outside the lines and take the path less traveled by — if that be yours.  Go now.


Brenda lives in a small casita in Santa Fe, NM where she continues to work on her Primitive Seamstress series. Watch for her work in the upcoming miniatures show at Metallo Gallery in Madrid.  Dates TBA.



Posted in Artist retreat, Studio Art, Travel Also tagged , , |

From Cerrillos to South Capitol

Poet applause in my heart

I wake into a Sunday of NPR discussion of Evangelical adoptions and Irish music and texting about a new odd job —to add to the five I already have in that slow flexible climb to enough a month for living.   I wake from a dream that spews forth like the Pavlof volcano erupting in Alaska.  Percolating notions and stand-ins for something important all mixed together and exploding from my unconscious.  The most vivid: the boa constrictor emerging from the side of the yard that is really a bedroom who turns into an alligator at the curb and flies across the street to climb a concrete porch where it is now a psychedelic lion with pink and purple flowers all beautiful and strong on the stoop.  Whoa.  From fear to glory.  And I fly too.  On my back, levitating in a long hall while two men look on.  As if I have to prove myself.  To rise up from “the help” wiping the salad dressing off the floor.  Okay.  Enough.  But I find dreaming fascinating.  And at the end of it all 34A appears.  A long ago number on a hospital bracelet that belonged to my mother.  Her room.  I made art out of it 10 years ago.  What are these messages?  These stories unfolding?


On Thursday I take my car in for brakes and walk from Cerrillos to South Capitol.  It is morning and I walk in the shadow of the buildings on the East side of the street as if I am in a foreign country.  Alive and elated and joyful.  Where does that come from:  a walk outside the perimeter of our own lives?  A change of direction?  Graffiti and signage and the dishevelment of an old street.  Gritty.  I like gritty.  I take out my new smartphone to snap photos as I go.  It so thin and heavy and I fear I may drop it.  I feel a bit conspicuous but that doesn’t matter.  Really.  At Baca Street I push the button to cross and take myself to Counter Culture where I’ve not been and eat the best lemon poppyseed cake ever with an equally delicious latte at a table by the wall beneath the art of photographs for pets.  The phone rings.

I rise to the occasion of the question and outside find a path I did not know that carries me all the way to the Railyard Park in a matter of minutes.  Past the community garden.  The Rail Runner runs and I pause to take its picture.  On my way to work but I have a moment to spare.  And now I vow to do that weekly.  A walk from this neighborhood to that neighborhood on a path that will carry to coffee.  To rambling thoughts of possibility and a person I use to be — on other paths.  In other places.

In this slow coming spring the days pass without focus.  A blur of interview and company and shuttle here and there.   The Etsy site undone.  The blog unwritten.  No poetry for Wednesday.  But there has been art.  In Microscale in Madrid at Metallo Gallery and An Affair with the Muse at Kristin Johnson Fine Art in Santa Fe where my work shares the walls with other artists, known and emerging and the joy of friendship and good times and wine and food and walking beneath the stars of the New Mexico sky.  A glimpse at  “behind-the-scenes” of movie making on porches and side streets and vans with kitchens on Armijo.  Those yellow signs with letters sideways and upside down that instruct those in the know on where to go.


And the trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida that blew open my closed perceptions has come and gone and my photos not posted or sent to friends, but still I keep the weather of St. Pete on my homepage.  Just in case.  I check rentals on craigslist and subscribe to a newsletter and the Warehouse Arts District but will the humidity be too big an obstacle? And my mom has gone into the hospital and is out again as I plan a trip back for the family reunion.  For my birthday.  To get together with sisters and brothers and cousins and those aunts and uncles that remains.  A hug to my dad and hopefully more than 30 minutes.  So hard to fit it all in.  A moment here and dashing off for a moment there.  Maybe a swim in a lake, a walk on the beach of Lake Michigan, wine tasting and a walk in the country but how to get from Detroit to Durand?  No public transportation that allows independence except a car I won’t really need and one might as well pay the difference to fly into the local airport.  For convenience but it is steep.  Pause.

Everything is changing.


Today a poetry reading in Eldorado.  200 NM poems.  I will sit in the audience to applaud the poets.  Important to applaud the poets.

Go well into the tomato starts, the basil outside the door, the pots of pansies that make you smile.  Through whatever gate you walk into whatever street you travel onto that path that carries us forward.  To life without fear.  To love.  To ourselves in all our imperfect beauty and authenticity.

Brenda is a visual artist and occasional poet who lives too far from the ocean but loves her new digs in South Capitol.  Her work can be seen at Kristin Johnson Fine Art or hereIn Microscale is up through the end of May at Metallo Gallery in Madrid.  Studio visits welcome and by appointment.



Posted in Dreams, Poetry, South Capitol, Travel Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Ramblings on time and Boston and what if and what have you and spring so slow in coming does not violence diminish and so forth

Time feels ultimately the most precious today.  Saturday and too soon it passes.  Maybe because of death and change and spring so slow in coming.  Maybe because I want it to slow down.  To reverse.  Vacation.  Announcement.  Dismemberment. A moment.  A step to the right or to the left.  So much depends on instinct. Survival or consequence. To treasure the moments of no obligation and pansies in clay pots in a yard where the wind blows and no rain falls.  Only tears.  I want to relax in a bath, to fade into the mystery of nothing and everything.  Lavender.  Gelato.  Of thought and feeling and sob.  I want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be innocent.  I want to trust our government.   Implications of suicide but a boat riddled with bullet holes where he lay bloodied.  An exchange of gunfire. . . ?  Maybe.  Everything.  He lifts his shirt in surrender.  We live in a violent time.  I want to believe in America.  Tic tac toe.  Hopscotch.  Chalk and circumstance.  Circumcision.  Tequila and ginger ale and fertilizer.  Viagra does not a man make.  Though he prevails beyond the expiration date of do over and do again and let it be.  Does not ask to put cream on a vagina. Good night.  Go well. Good-bye.

Another woman is raped in India.  A drone kills a family sitting down to dinner in Iraq.  Syria sends their regards.  Condolence.  Compassion.   Newlyweds and brothers and others have lost their limbs at the Boston Marathon bombing.  One minute they were whole and now they are broken. Healing. An earthquake, an explosion and words hurled across the internet like anomaly.  Shards that penetrate.  Bury and burn and stain.  In America we shut down a metropolitan area of millions to hunt for one man who lies bleeding in a boat, under a tarp, and I want to know more –tell me what did you see when you climbed that ladder?  Information comes slowly like spring. The possibility of the death penalty like the bud of a tulip red or yellow or withering in the sun. Some anticipate with longing and joy.  Others cannot comprehend.  Carefully (or not so) treading media hiccup remorse not so much but sometimes to what end? –many times already the FBI inquired and followed this man in the black hat.  Dead.  But what do I know? Why am I so upset? Consumed? Silenced?  We wait as instructed under the bed for the bogey man to go away.  To trust.   Peter Pan out the window.  Mary Poppins with her umbrella. . .fly away

. . .The sad assumption carried in these reports is that Americans lack the intellectual equipment and moral imagination to tell the difference between an individual and a group. It’s an assumption that has, in the past, occasionally proven valid. Twitter quote.


My Aunt Rody died this week.  They greeted the family from 2 – 4pm today EST.  I am the absentee family member.  Always.  Is it only money for airfare or something else?  I miss them all.  The dead and the living.  Birthday and kitchen conversation and new recipes.  And now there are only three (out of 12 siblings).  I trim the juniper outside my window with a scissors because it is all I have.  Butcher the root of cactus with an old rusty shovel.  Red scabs on the top of my palms like needle points. It is manic energy. After my eyes glaze over at my limited value added options at Go Wireless.  The energy of sales.  I am still conflicted about upgrading to a smartphone. Today anyway.  Turn down the offer of friends.

Struggle with independence. I am an alien. Not autistic yet not dissimilar the lack of articulation easily understood by others.  Cannot explain.  Still I am grateful for thinking deeply.  That all my limbs are attached.  For the capacity of quietude and patience.  The moon rising in the east.  A free yellow table at the side of the road.  Street furniture. An art opening.  Scallops with pasta and conversation.  A friend connects the bombings to poetry to hold onto hope and understanding. Eloquently. To gentle the human.  But cereal is $6/box and I don’t even have children.  No milk in the house.

I’ve been completely absorbed by the  marathon bombings/man hunt all week and now filled with questions because the character of suspect #2 (white hat) is of such a sweet intelligent well-liked young man, and isn’t that bizarre (white hat/black hat) –the fact that he became a natuarilized US citizen on September 11th one year ago.  Do people still believe in coincidence?  FBI.  Dogs sniff the finish line.  Only the bones blown to smithereens –and after the fact.

I call a friend but leave no message.  Will that be evidence later?  Used against me in the court of relationships?  Drown in my wine.  The wind a continuous companion in the high desert does nothing to dilute the dysfunction of day job.  No compatibility though I did two loads of laundry.  No one responds to hello. Blatant abandon.  The sweet dog growls.  This is life. Day to day.  Guns are the new normal.  On patio cafés.  There is no substitute for compassion.  For critical thinking.  CNN in the airport. Our choice is surrender.  How much do they pay for that privilege?  Bombard with opinion and jump to conclusion give the dog a bone who’s on first?  Guns and gratitude and enemy combatant.  Terrorist.  On line streaming asks my preference on commercials:  Walgreens, US Bank or US Army.  Really?  Houston we have a problem.  But I am silenced.  No one talking or listening. Don’t forget your helmet.  Falling.  Fear.  Fallen.  Fell.  Fetch.  Fuck.  Future.  Fodder.  Folly.  Feelings. Feet. Font. Fiddle. Fault.  Miranda.


Brenda is an occasional poet and visual artist currently living in Santa Fe, NM.  For information on upcoming exhibitions please visit her website

Posted in Blog, Free Writings Also tagged , , , , |

Dogs and Connection

Spring is a blustery time.  A time of longing and too soon and still cold and then the phone rings and the cat steps out of the cupboard and well it is no ordinary Saturday.  I have been dog sitting the past few months.  Part of my new Girl Friday/Personal Assistant duties even though not on my original “task list” –who knew I had such capacity to love given my solitary track record and the great distances between my two legged relationships .  So thank you life for giving me other people’s pets to love.  And there have been a variety:  Labradoodle (very regal), Corgi (energetic) and now two Bulldogs I’m not quite sure how to describe.

Almost reptilian their weight low to the ground.  That under bite so hillbilly dental and pushed in (lovable) face that looks up with longing and rests easily on the top of my foot.  Their coat beautiful and buff.  I listen to them lick themselves clean like a cat.  And they snore and snort all through the night.  I contemplate changing rooms though imagine they would simply follow me so I stay put.  Adjust.  When I wake in the morning there they are.  Waiting (heaven only knows how long) for me to wake too.  Ruby does a little dance and so suddenly I am dancing too.  Around this borrowed bedroom in leaps and circles, and even Ace does a little thing with his front paw.  All so happy.  The other dogs on my watch have the same routine.  Wait patiently beside the bed. For my eyes to open.  For my voice to call their name.  To begin again.  Good thing I’m a morning person.  All this unconditional adoration before coffee.

And what’s not to love about them too when they ask so little of you, a walk in the arroyo, a belly rub, a few tender words, give the dog a bone.   Ruby Tuesday and Ace is the Place and the Rubicon and well there is no judgment in their eyes. Not even walking on dog slobber while I’m trying to cook dinner is too annoying.  Minor on some level – compared to sleeping in the wet spot–though I do go in search of slippers.

 And today a big wind blows.  The weather nemesis that is Santa Fe in spring.  Thirty-six degrees before wind chill.  I go on a walkabout to explore trails on the north side of Hyde Park Road.  Invigorating.  Love every minute.  The you are here trail number scratched out at every sign.  Who does these things? The Buddha on top of the ridge.  Dust billows in the valley.  A man who forgot his hat.  I lost in nostalgia from a phone call that crossed 30 years to ring that morning.  The voice a connection that lights you up like Christmas.  Puts you back together in a way you forgot you were broken.  I barely 19.  He saw me like an x-ray.  All of us:  from Ohio and Michigan and Minnesota.

All broken and brilliant, hopeful and strong.  Dancing our dreams at the 3.2 bar and hiking our way through the Rockies. He told me you haven’t lived long enough to look back on your life.  And now I have.  I could spend the rest of my life having that conversation.  So there it is –come full circle.  This voice from the past holding my letter in his hands.  A spring blizzard raging.  He 30 years sober and married.  Made a good life.  I so certain he had walked off the edge a long time ago cannot even describe the elation.  Thrilled he is alive and well.  Thriving.  Somehow this gives me permission for happiness too.  For success no matter the failures or judgments.  What joy to stand visible in the eyes of a beholder who saw you the first time your world cracked open.  And yes, I do normal well I tell him.  We laugh.


The wind whirling so strong now.  It whistles and bends low then flares up like fire.  All the ghosts are flung out of hiding.  I hear them skipping across the roof and against the windows and imagine my ristra has blown off the side of the house again.  Chile seeds scattered like pearls.  Like today.  Gifts come when we least expect them.  Pick them up and put them in your pocket.  For safekeeping.

We all sleep at the base of the volcano Sage.

When not dog sitting or running errands for other people Brenda works in her home studio painting abstract shapes on small canvas and writing the occasional poem.  Her work can be seen at the new Kristin Johnson Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe or on her website.  Studio visits welcome and by appointment.



Posted in Blog, Brenda Roper, Hiking Also tagged , |

March madness (not a shopping expedition)

March came on Friday.  Rabbit rabbit. A madness that blows in with the longing for spring.  The return of  light and warmth and hope for our weary winter souls.  Though we carry on.  Make our plans.  I felt disoriented.   Last week my balance off kilter.  Unsure where to be when, double booking.  Then pause.  Who’s on first?  Full moon.  A gentle interlude.  Obsession and isolation and be patient.  I feed myself movies and rice.  And today the sun shines so brilliant on flowers inside my house.  All the joy floods through the door.

Random thoughts from a weekend where winter reigned — beneath a full moon:

  • they call them “designer dogs” –crossing a Labrador with a standard poodle.  Labradoodle.  Originated in Australia. Love the Besa dog
  • to MAC or not to mac –and cheese.  PC?  These questions and iPhone or Droid and options and do I really need a smart phone?
  • I could run away my winter fat on the Dale Ball trails.  Or run away.
  • panic at being poor though not homeless and the perspective that brings it all back to grateful am I and so rich despite the bank balance and lucky too and talk to sisters and friends and take a bath and take a hike and maybe a walk on the wilder side of my nature.
  • Homeland has caught my attention and I cringe when Carrie goes through shock therapy thinking she’s wrong when she is the only one who has it right.  Still the label of crazy too convenient for dismissal in a world that does not allow for other. (I know it’s only sitcom).

And today the hope of spring prevails.  Fresh chard from the Farmer’s Market.  The mailman’s radio tuned to a ball game.  Bring me some peanuts and cracker jacks. . . permeated my sense of accomplishment at using day-glo zip ties to repair my dryer rack.  My version of duct tape.  I sat it in the yard feeling happy with laundry.  Sat in the sun talking on the phone to my big sister.  Chicken in the oven.  A glass of French pinot.


And I am painting.  Oil.  Glazing.  Small works on canvas.  Are they equations or villages or walls — or simply abstract shapes without narration?  Do I scribble more or less?  Excavate.  Smooth over.  Draw.  Then wipe it all away.  I am intuitive but the paintings do not feel intuitively painted.  Expressive yes but still I hold back.  Uncertain.  How to proceed.  When to stop?  Outline or blend?  What tool works best with oil?  I experiment. I am a trial and error artist.  Some call it process.  Not to be confused with progress though I believe I am making some.  Progress.

A friend gifted me 6 inches of Art News.  I look through the pages.  Tear out an image.  The cat rolls on her back.  I tape up an abstract by Lillian Orlowsky (who studied with Hans Hoffman).  Her foundation PAAM offers a grant to painters over 45.  Check it out!


What do you think?

I’m hopeful the gallery might be interested.  For the May opening.  Small works.  And if not I am still having fun.  On my path.  Figuring it out — one painting at a time.


Brenda is a visual artist and occasional poet who works as a Personal Assistant/Girl Friday to a variety of interesting people in Santa Fe, NM.  Please visit her website for more images of her work.  Studio visits welcome by appointment.

Posted in Blog, Studio Art Also tagged , , , |

The art of collage and the collage of art: words and such

I have company coming this week.  Family.  A sister who loves Santa Fe and me and a good time will be enjoyed.  Wine tasting and green chile and Ten Thousand Waves.  She is easy and fun and I love her too.  In my efforts to prepare I put off the deep cleaning for the art of collage.  A trip to Michaels 40% coupon in hand.  A trip through words from friends important enough to print.  A glance at a journal entry from 2004.  A glance around the room.  A meander across my thoughts.  Christmas lights burnt out except for one edge still tacked to the wall.  “To Do” ironing and hand washing draped over a chair.  Green chile stew warming on the stove.  An invitation an obligation and an RSVP. . .waffles remind me of Montana.  I will, and maybe, and yes, later by phone but I have a birthday party on the same day.  Still I thank you.  Would love to.  How to admit I am scared of the phone.  Of conversation. Don’t want to bother.  You or anyone. When is the best time –is there a best time or better than now?  Will I catch you off guard?  Will you be happy to hear from me?  Are you eating dinner?  Making love?  Out in the garden?  Busy?  Silly.  I’ve always been this way.  Who knew?  I take after my mother.  The first sentence apology.  Better now.  Really.  Email is good.  –but I long to hear your voice.  What will you whisper? 

Desert dust gathers every 5 minutes anyway but she doesn’t like spiders so I sweep beneath the radiators.  Twice.  And reach toward that dark corner where the claw foot tub bends away from the wall.  I’ve seen them there.  Below the soap dish.  No bother.  I wish to go to the place where the spiders spin philosophy, to sleep with Henry’s letter beneath my pillow.  We are children who have lost our freedoms, disassembled by an installation of men with guns at the International Airport. Emotion and logic are at odds. I feel the weight of solitude.  A collage poem from long ago.  It sounded wistful and everyone wondered “who is Henry” –?  But I am obsessed with the possibility of love and the arrival of spring and all that pungent longing like pregnancy.  Nature’s pink blossoms cause me to trip over the buzzing bees who have not arrived.  Swollen with the fragrance of pollen.  Ripe.  From yesterday.

My mother is in the hospital.  Again. Her artery clogged at 95% — we gather hope  like clouds.  Soft and buoyant to keep her afloat.  To keep her longer.  Longer.  Even a little bit.  Longer.  Like a ruler one upon the other the lengths suspended across the map.  One inch legend.  A strong blue line.  A river.  Meanders.  No one is ever ready for that kind of departure.  So I check for updates — keep the phone on through the night.  All is quiet.  Love gathers in places not visible. 

The studio hovers.  In the background. Tin and blue foam and wedding paraphernalia.  Papers and glue and cake stanchions (of all things) but it seems important.  I will make my mark.  It is Sunday.  Collage somehow seems cheap and shabby.  No matter the sun shines and the pansies did not freeze.  Flat line daydreaming rocks me to sleep.  The photos too flat send me to Michael’s where I feel more crafty than conceptual though I surrender myself to believe in my abilities.  That I will shine in the end.  Chaos will prevail in that way creativity tumbles forth to protect me from shame.  Like a waterfall.  Pour-over and plunge.  No diving.  White chiffon and game pieces bring it back to perspective.  No dust gathers at the kitchen sink.  And a journal entry as I rummage and reminisce from Baltimore:  . . .trying to plan my life around an arrival that may not happen. . .or a departure.  Not my mother’s but my own.  Beyond the border of permission.  This crab is poking outside her shell and no beach has she found.  

Posted in Blog, Brenda Roper, Poetry, Studio Art Also tagged , , , |

Easter on the High Road: Chimayo, Taos and walking the Rio Grande Gorge

On Easter morning I wander past the blue gate framed in shadow and solitude to the cemetery at the top of the road near our Bed & Breakfast.  A glow of 7am dawning sun over the mountain that cannot be confused as resurrection though it is spring and isn’t that the symbolism really?  The birth of blossoms after the dead of winter? The rising of idea and possibility and friendship road trip  rich with ripeness.  Kumguat burst of citrus opens conversation like song and sometimes politics slow us down and send us running from borders we did not mean to cross or offend with opinion.  Yet it is all necessary.

It was beautiful.  The quiet morning before the walk across the gorge into vertigo and sage.   Impromptu picnic along the Rio Grande on that lovely stretch between the bridge and Pilar –with ants and a lazy river meander dip the toe in the water April Sunday without consequence except for that ant hill –rosebud blanket could not contain. In the end given over to beer and cheese and organic beef jerky.  A fly fisherman in the shallow water.  Afterwards  a poem by Tony Hoagland published in the SUN April 2012:

The Best Moment of the Night

You had a moment with the dog,

down near the base of the butcher-block table

just as the party was getting started.

Just as the guests were bringing in

their potluck salads and vegetarian lasagna,

you had an unforeseeable exchange of warmth setting them down on the buffet,

with this scruffy, bug-eyed creature

who let you scratch his ears.

 He lives down there, among the high heels

and the cowboy boots, below the human roar

rising to its boil up above. Like his, your evening

 is just beginning –but you

are lonelier than him.  You think

that if you disappeared tonight,

 you would not be missed for years;

yet here, the licking of the hands and face;

and here, the baring of the vulnerable belly.

 You are still panting, and alive, and seeking love;

yet no one who knows you

knows,  somehow,

 about your wet, black nose,

or that you can wag your tail.

and doesn’t that about sum it up?

I have mixed feelings about the Kit Carson memorabilia park and cemetery and museum but such is history.  Selective and recorded and repeated.

Three little girls in white Easter bonnets and Ughs pass us on the patio courtyard outside our rooms and the youngest cheerfully bellows “happy Easter Bunny” and I love that.  Happy Easter through the lips of a 4 year old.  Bless her and a weekend with friends on the High Road from Santa Fe to Chimayo.  Holy dirt and Indian dancers.

The Millicent Rogers Museum and “art of the dress” to margaritas at the Taos Inn and Agnes Martin at the Harwood to dinner at the Love Apple –a highlight for us all.  Earthy French wine with a peppery finish and local cheeses with baguette.  Funky aprons and farm-to-table food served by beautiful young women that remind me of myself 30 years ago.  Wholesome idealism and possibility dancing up mountains far above the elevation where I can breathe today –though I try sometimes.  Or not at all when I think about it.  Joyful projection eventually beaten down with the marshmallow bow and arrow.  No chocolate.  The ” l  o  v  e”  not written at the end of a letter.  The email that comes without intimacy.  Only obligatory “send”.  And a voice thick and already an arm’s length away from the phone without “hello” as he hands it to another.  No manners on that side of the tracks.  Now or in the beginning.  No happily ever after.  No interest these men in their daughters.  Our father who art in heaven. . .right.

The day after Easter I walk up Abeyta straight onto the Merry-Go-Round of redundancy.  That hamster wheel circles past the Easter bunny and all those wrappings I found in the garbage behind the trailer when I was 9.  A loss greater than Santa Claus.  What is it about sugar that brings joy?  About secrets that bring pain?  Jesus tortured on the cross does not answer despite his resurrection.  As we pass another cross upon a mountain a stranger recites the rosary and  Kate packs the holy dirt in her eyeglass case.  Hallelujah!  I dump a little in an Altoid tin –for what I wonder?  Still in my purse.  Today grateful for the rain.  A gathering of clouds to release the storm.  Brief and fresh and sunshine everlasting in the mind of the believers.  A ray into the hearts of the truth tellers.  A crack in the armor.  A vision of hope.  The wisteria awakening at the edge of the roof.  Not even May.  A purple haze whispers seductively to those who lean closer.  Do not fear to go to that place where angels venture freely and only fools fear to tread –or is it the other way around?


Posted in Blog, Brenda Roper, Poetry, Studio Art Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Spring and violence

Hard to disentangle myself from too long a sleep this Saturday morning snow on the ground already melting.  March.  Spring blows in and stalls.  Quietude of clouds more unusual than normal and already tonight we “spring forward” into light longer by evening.  I read where taser guns are allowed in prisons now to subdue the unarmed –and the mentally ill, who really shouldn’t be there in the first place.  But where else to go? In America? –where mental institutions no longer exist except on the streets or underfunded programs or prison.  Where are their families? Part of the problem I imagine or if willing unable to help for a variety of reasons.  Were we ever a compassionate country?  Violence begets violence and all that.  Not to mention the pharmaceutical evangelists flaunting taser by pill to those hungry and affluent enough to subdue uncomfortable feelings from a scripted bottle in the guise of betterment.  And for some perhaps this is a good thing though bipolar is the new depression apparently.  And Bradley Manning in solitude for telling the truth while the criminal continue to criminal.  And still the violence.  The downtrodden.  Those barely holding on to their homes or their Budweiser or their Veuve.  It is all relative and not really what I want to write about today but I needed to vent my way up from a low place.  Like the new shoots of daffodils and crocus.  Poking slowly.  Lapping in the snowmelt.  Thirsty for life.


Disclaimer:  of course this is one feeling at one moment from frustration or anger or some sense of not being responsible (enough) for my own happiness –financial, emotional, etc.  I realize that this is a very small window into a very big issue.  Laws and institutions and boards and powers that be use that very mode of operandi to create what they think is the best choice at the time. . .and many more sides to this coin.  Of course.  As with everything.


Posted in Blog, Brenda Roper, Studio Art Also tagged , |