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Vipaka Blues

Taos Plaza at Xmas

Taos Plaza the other night without a soul around

Temporarily offline for revising. Check back shortly. – JHF

Coming Home

old Taos adobe in the snow

The time of year to keep a shovel by the door

Haven’t been too good at breaking curses lately. Drag me into beauty, fighting all the way. This is after driving to the Plaza to see the crazy Christmas lights. There was no one there a little after dark, and it was startling. I’ll have a picture for you later.

It’s always strange to walk around the plaza looking at the stores. There’s a whole other world, a little urban culture. Very little, obviously, but a completely different scene from out here where the coyotes roam. Some of the shops were open. I would have killed to go inside the Southwestern souvenir places when I was eight. Maybe even now if had the dough. I saw a middle-aged man with a gray face exhaling huge clouds of tobacco smoke in front of one of them. He was dressed like a proprietor, no tourist, and I figured he was on a break. Gray face, though. That isn’t right. I also peered in through a glass door at a little coffee shop I’d never been to. It looked warm and cozy inside, and that struck me.

Mountain Time

half of Taos Mountain

Working up some new material, stay tuned

No one knows why, but here in northern New Mexico it always snows on Sunday. Go ahead, say it. Anyway, it’s true. You can look it up. As you can see above, it’s been altogether too calm and temperate here for quite a while, and the gods will surely punish us soon. Like Sunday morning.

Anyway, here’s half of Taos Mountain, taken just a couple of days ago. It’s been at least three days since I last posted one of these, so here you go. Intense and enervating in these parts, as usual. Back shortly.

Another Morning View

clouds over the southern end of Taos, NM

I’m a sucker for this stuff, all right

This is from Friday morning, after it rained from afternoon to midnight. I love it when the clouds actually touch the mountains. That cloud-mountain interface is one of the best things about living where it isn’t flat. I could sit and watch this stuff all day. Sometimes in warmer weather, that’s exactly what we do around here. It’s not being lazy, it’s being enthralled.

This is the kind of thing that pulled me here. Sort of a culmination of what the peak experiences of my previous life were trying to tell me. It’s never been the civilized side of things that impresses me—culture, great institutions, architecture, the collective behavior of mass events and movements, although all of that is wondrous—but there’s something in Nature, even the weather, that goes beyond what we can make or understand.

Just my little path through the world, with many interruptions!

Morning Raven

water towers south of Taos, NM

Still running 10 to 15 degrees above average here

Oh, you’ll find it. This is a telephoto shot, but I could hear him (?) squawking all the way across the road. It was all of a piece: a welcome end to Thursday night’s rain, the light about to break through low-hanging clouds, the raven calling the sun.

Just a couple hundred feet above us, light snow. Here a steady drip and drizzle until after midnight. The tall elm trees that shade the house collect the water into giant drops that plonk against the skylight. It’s a fine one, too, that skylight, custom-built fifty years ago with a great big slab of heavy plate glass. I’ve been here for more than ten years and it’s never leaked. Lord, it’s nice when something just works.

Calling the sun seems to, at least if you’re a raven in the morning.

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