I’m having a tough time staying present because Thursday I’m off to Santa Fe and Taos with my Mom. It is her maiden voyage and I have faith in that she will be completely overtaken in splendor.
My first item of business is a prickly-pear margarita at The Shed, the magenta-colored one I’ve been thinking about since my last trip in 2013. And the stuffed tempura-fried squash blossoms at La Fonda.
And then… nothing but good art! I have a pile of artists’ cards from last time and I’m really excited to see some again. And there are new artists I’ve discovered through social media… and a whole week to adventure without commitments!
Regret is something I have no desire to cultivate. To live life in the present, to be mindful, thoughtful, and deliberate… that’s the goal. I don’t think most people go into something with the well-developed intention of hurting or taking from another. I believe most people operate from a place of survival, and from that place it’s nearly impossible to make well-considered choices, let alone separate emotion from practical matters. From survival there is no action, only reaction, the breeding ground for regret, if ego backs off long enough for regret to even take root.
Regret for missed opportunities? One who got away? A hare-trigger temper? Not me. What regret, then, do I have? They say everybody has them… I suppose I regret the way I saw myself when I was younger… how many years I wasted feeling inadequate because I compared myself to others, instead of honoring what I bring to the table. I regret giving myself away to people who could not appreciate me, instead of being patient and seeking out those who could, and then basing my own worth on the neglect of the broken. That’s about my only regret. Any others I have attended to… apologies, incompletes… I saw this tattoo on a woman’s forearm and asked what the English translation is. “No regrets,” she said with a grin.
In three weeks I will be on my way to Vegas. Part photography assignment, part visit with a dear friend, I look forward to the adventure. With Rayme, it’s always an adventure, and with me… Well, one could say the same.
Road tripping through the desert alone will undoubtedly put me where it always does, in the place where there is nothing else, where real life evaporates into the ether and there I am with nothing on the page. For hours, maybe days, I will follow the asphalt ribbon through the void of reality, and simply dream, imagine, and plot, if not pray. The desert, for me, is about letting go, musing, and inhaling expanse.
The subjects of my assignment are performing artists. Many of them. All at the graduate level and about to embark on what will one day be remembered as the precious gem of life’s path: stepping into it with hope, an open mind, an untainted heart, and little mind clutter yet. Early steps are springy, bouncy with freshness of mind, the white time before hues of experience leave their transparent stains.
The last time I saw Rayme, I had some seriously creative fun. This time, who knows what will happen? Good things always do when I take the solo sojourn across the desert to see my kindred.
I travel alone often so I can indulge my acute case of incurable wanderlust. I disappear into new places and, more often than not, become hypnotized and aimless. I sleepwalk, which is when my images find me.
I was on a solo walk with camera in Taos, NM this summer, wandering about in the last minutes of streaking golden sun, when this man called me over from his porch. He offered that I may wander around his yard and take pictures if I’d like. And he told me about his porch. And how he sits on it every day. And he was very proud of his house and that he deserves to sit on his porch every day. And I noticed that he spoke in “I,” even though he wasn’t alone.
The other day I came across a Diane Arbus quote I really loved because it pointed me to the root of my drive, which I hadn’t really thought of, particularly not in this raw and primitive way. She was a sleepwalker.
“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” -Diane Arbus