THE THINKER & THE PUPPET


After I  published this last story,  I spoke with White Zen, my palgal in Santa Fe.  She said the last paragraph of the story made her cry.  Juxtaposed between writers Zen of exporting such feeling, and the sadness we both shared. White Zen had a Thinker too. I guess there are more of them than I knew.

Having had six true loves in my life, who impregnated me with knowledge generosity, and loyalty is what made me so unprepared for the Thinker.  He does resemble Macedonio;  the first man to peel off  the woman in me. They both have charisma, mystery and good dark looks,  Macedonio is dead now, and the memories of him still glisten;  like the day in Golden Gate park under the cherry blossom tree.

What I miss most, is the giggling, dancing, folly-maker that the Thinker pulled out of me  as If I were a puppet. He called me Puppet because that’s how he saw me.  I’ve got to get my Jojo  by tomorrow. I live Thanksgiving as a day with admissions of selfishness and greed. I need  to be washed away into thanks that I am here with a mouthful full of food, and a napkin.

Thanksgiving with Rudy and Opus I his brother.DSC00512

OUR HOME FOR LEASE: LIVE WORK-GALLERY-OFFICE-B & B- SHOWROOM-


OUR HOME FOR LEASE: LIVE WORK-GALLERY-OFFICE-B & B- SHOWROOM-

5 BDR/3 BATHS. FORMAL DINING ROOM. PRIVATE GATED. GARDEN MOVIE THEATER
ACROSS THE STREET FROM LA POSADA RESORT & SPA.
HISTORIC EAST-SIDE OF SANTA FE, NM
2 BLOCKS TO DOWNTOWN PLAZA

 

CATCH THE ART IN SANTA FE PART ONE


 

Portrait of Eugenia Huici (Eugenia Errázuriz)

Portrait of Eugenia Huici (Eugenia Errázuriz) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CATCH THE ART WAVE OF SANTA FE    

Living in Santa Fe is a fertile landscape of more than sage, lavender, mud and ancient dwellings. It is where art branches out in new directions of livingness.

Along the path of adventures in the arts, I attended “AT HOME WITH FASHION, presented by ShowHouse Santa Fe in collaboration with Artgraze; a league of interior designers, artists, and galleries to embellish our homes with, “the art of living with art.” They patterned classic and chic Fashion Design on Interiors selected by ShowHouse Santa Fe founders, David Naylor and Jennifer Ashton. The Santa Fe Interior Designers set up shop in a quintessential Santa Fe home and opened the doors to the public to eat, drink, dance, get lost, or be discovered.  Along the interior paths of the home, artists, designers, home buyers, and sponsors conversed while behind the scenes; funds were dispersed from a generous monarchy to support the Community Foundation of Dollars4Schools. The designers worked for eight weeks, to transform a modest décor, into a stage setting of flamboyance, élan, and their secret design techniques. The designers; Jennifer Ashton, Jackie Butler, Gloria Devan, Pam Duncan, Emily Henry, Edy Keeler, David Naylor Annie O’Carroll, Lisa Samuels, Paul Rochford and Michael Violante. They schlepped all the furnishings, and accessories, including wardrobe accents, and art work to the home and coutured the house as if it was a model.  The epervescese of this lively group spread outdoors, onto a glittering garden patio designed by Catherine Clemens where the best Barbeque chicken I ever tasted permeated the painted postcard silhouette of sunset on the mesa.  Who was there?  A man in yellow rubber suit, fashion models, filmmakers, photographers, art collectors, and Antique Activists. In the crowd I noticed a distinctive gathering of men and women stylists bearing: squash necklaces, Concha belts, O’Keefing hair styles, and jewelry to stop traffic at Paseo Peralta and Cerrillos Road. The 4747 square foot Las Campanas Estate is listed with Ashley Margetson of Sotheby International Real Estate.

 

 

 

HA HA SANTA FE


IN THE GALLERY- EVO GALLERY SANTA FE, NM

The panel of experts on appropriation and copyright of

images covered the recent case, Cariou vs Prince. I knew nothing about the case; but it

was a participation of audience and panel that really worked.  The humor on the panel did not

overcome, the man in the third row who was knitting.  Richard Prince, "Graduation" (2008) was widely cited throughout this case, and was one of the five pieces the Court withheld judgment on today (image via Fordham's IPLJ)

Today I saw a woman in her fifties walking past my house with a dog. She was wearing her apron.

Last week, my phone called Sam Shepard three times, instead of calling Stefanie.

 

DON’T READ THE NEWS OR WATCH IT ON TELEVISION


[contact-form subject='[SMILEY%26#039;S DICE’][contact-field label="Name" type="name" required="1"/][contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="1"/][contact-field label="Website" type="url"/][contact-field label="Comment" type="textarea" required="1"/][/contact-form] I’m a creative nonfiction short story writer, and a  columnist on arts and lifestyle. I have never said one word about politics; I am not a debater, academic, or political science major.

As a writer I read the newspapers; Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Santa Fe New Mexico papers, where I live.  I watch all the news stations. I quit MSNBC, cause Chris Mathews made me hyperventilate.  I think Charles Krauthammer is the most knowledgeable and sustainable journalist of our time.

Do to an act of nature, lightening, I lost Cable for a month. This was when Syria broke. No one talked about it here, and I felt the communities disillusionment. When my service was repaired, I turned on the news.  I felt more insulted than the time a young boy told me my legs were hairy.  Who did you think you are kidding? You want us to watch both sides fisting each other like a street gang!  Please someone tell them, the Press, chill out a bit and stop turning the news into a talk show.  You talk to us as we were mutes.  The Government has evolved as false as who we see in the mirror.  If you are plain you see beautiful, if you are beautiful you see plain.  I see you government, and I am ashamed.

I haven’t read the papers since June. This Thursday I went to the bank to make a deposit to cover my negative, and I looked at the newspapers on the customer coffee table.Image, My eyes shut after two headlines. How much more can we take? I really have lost track of priorities.

Should I get a job because my writing remains unrecognized. I need a retirement guidance counselor. I don’t like the title of financial advisor; they sound too rigid. Should I respond to the dreadful vacillation of American Policy. How much more debating can they do? It’s like when I worked in corporate real estate.  The meetings I attended and had to present were progress reports on whether I was an effective employee. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did; my act was good, and I impressed some of the boys, but communication was too formal to bring out honesty. Maybe that’s what has evaporated in our

government, or am I seeing it differently because I’ve aged into it slowly. I think it started when the cool shit act came about. Some artists have it,  Musicians, yea they got it, gangsta’s got it, but they always had it. Those of us who feigned cool acts, became feigned. Rambling now. Got to sweep fall leaves and

start editing 350 columns.

I’m listing to Nessun Dorma, and oil treating my hair. I was thinking how much I detest all this multitasking. I can now handle five projects at once; write, sweep mop the floor, water plants, contemplate resolutions to my finances, all the while feeling my nerves tighten, and even though I stretch four times a day; this crushing operatic play in life is overstrung.  I watch those Sandals vacation commercials and practically cry because how many of us haven’t had a vacation in years, or a chance to

play a round or golf or read More Magazine all the way through?

SNOW DRIFT TO DANCE


SMILEY’S DICE-ADVENTURES IN LIVINGNESS

White Wolf introduced himself to me when he worked Valet at La Posada Resort. He was the kool one with enough style and manners to attract attention. I learned he also provided private airport transportation and luxury limo service. A trip to Albany, New York was on my schedule, so I asked White Wolf if he’d drive me to the Albuquerque Airport.  When I told him my flight left at 6:30 AM, he didn’t flinch, ‘I’ll be at your house at 4:00 AM with Starbucks-what’s your drink?’

He showed up, loaded the car, asked me to select my own music, and off we went. I felt like I was riding with James Bond; smooth shifts, minor breaks, all the time engaging me in conversation. The combination relieved my pre-boarding stress and woke me up. From then on, I chose White Wolf’sairport service. When he picked me up from Albuquerque, he had Fiji water, Travel & Leisure Magazine, chewing gum, and he played Vic Damone. ‘Chill, sit back, tell me all about the trip.’

At my kitchen counter, on a twenty-below morning, White Wolf leaned back against a bar stool too petite for a swarthy 6’ 4” man. His Johnson & Johnson silky blond hair is swept back, and I want to touch it, but we don’t play with physical affections. White Wolf’s forty, looks thirty, and thinks like he served an attitude and values apprenticeship under a wise guru. He’s on a break; from plowing snow at Albertsons, the Yoga Center, and private homes. This is before he reports for work at Geronimo Restaurant, where he not only parks the cars, but walks the ladies indoors, keeps the Zapata’s outdoors, and directs traffic on Canyon Road until midnight. He’s wearing a sheet white Polo turtleneck and black slacks, his day look, and I’m about to serve pesto, prosciutto and feta cheese frittata for late breakfast.

White Wolf is sipping a sixteen-once Chai and unwinding his broad shoulders in a circular motion as he considers current consciousness of Santa Fe.       

     “It’s a different kind of materialism. You really want it but you can’t have it. The most simple things; a toaster, a new phone, pinion wood–cause we’re cold–it’s so cold! The guy in front of the Homeless Shelter was near frozen when I drove by to drop off a bundle of clothes. Why is it so cold? Even the valet has to wear BMW beanies. These are some funny times.”

     “What’s so funny about not having money?” I snapped.

White Wolf breaks into a full body laughing recess. His sailor-blue eyes are just slightly turned up when he laughs. This transmits his effortless humorous pitch on life.

     “It’s different,” I said. I mean everything feels unfamiliar.”

     “Yea, its okay to feel,” White Wolf said. “Things are rattling around. That’s why the Gorge Bridge felt so stable the day I drove up to Taos.  I think it’s the most stable thing in my life right now! Hah.”

I had placed the frittata in front of White Wolf, but he hadn’t touched it yet. Even when he’s starved; he lets the food sit there and cool off.  I’ve never seen a man not eat when food is placed in front of him. I was already biting into the frittata; relishing a real meal.

 I found a momentary silent inlet and asked him if the food was cool enough. White Wolf looked down, touched it with his index finger, and then his appetite fired off. After a few pensive moments, as if he were saying grace, he took a proper bite. He takes the food seriously, intensely. He’ll make a remarkable husband for some woman. He talks a lot about marriage, and the songs he’ll sing to his bride’s mother the day of the wedding. He confides in me uninhibitedly, as if we were two teenagers, cutting class. I feel youthful when he’s in the house; the absence of masks, emotional camouflage, and exaggeration is how I remember adolescence. When you’re so much yourself, even the most serious student, is humorous in his self-absorbance.   

    “What’d you say Wednesday was–on your new schedule?”   he asked.

    “Wednesday… I forgot since you showed up. I know! It’s Gallery LouLou marketing.”

     “We have to give out two cards a week. I want you to pass out two everyday.”

I nodded my head and bowed.     

     “Geronimo been slow, no A-list celebrity types, no mothers and daughters; cause the daughters don’t want to come here anymore.”  

     “Neither do single me, I interrupted.  And if they do they’re from Los Alamos. Can you see me with a scientist or an engineer? I’d make them crazy.”    

     “Listen–someone asks you out for an Ecco latte, don’t be a bitch. Just do it! You reverse sweat it. If he’s a jerk; deebo him.”  Deebo is the guy who shows up late, and should have been on time. His quip is unabashed, and he handles himself like Sean Penn; smoking and all smiles while he reverses blame.      

     “Can we change the subject?” I said.

     “No! I want to know why you’re not even trying to hook up?”

     “Because I’m convinced the man I want isn’t in Santa Fe. The ones I’ve met are looking for a caretaker, a fly-fishing partner, or a biker. Look, there are two types of men: one loves a woman because she’s not a man, and the other one seeks a mother who he can bash around.”

     “I want to rat those guys out–like the ones that pinch and don’t tip. Give a name to that.”  

      “ Listen to this; the newly coined slogan for New Mexico is Truth.” I said.

     “ Truth. About what?” 

     “ Exactly! What truth are they referring to? How bout’ the naked truth? Picture a Native American woman out in the arroyo in a leather crop top, her black hair elevated in strands by the wind, dust on her cheekbones. New Mexico is naked, isn’t it?” I asked.

     “It’s isolated. If you can afford to come to Santa Fe and not blow your brains out, or go broke, you deserve to be here. Right?”  He is smiling. Even the painful truths, are reformed as tests of endurance rather than complaints.   He developed his own poetic rap dialogue that I suppose comes from growing up in two cultures: one in the hood, and the other in the wealthiest homes in Santa Fe. 

      “ Then it’s a good place for you. Like your friend that takes her poodle to Hospice. I really respect her for that. That’s what she’s doing with Santa Fe.” He said.

     “What do you do with Santa Fe?” I asked.

     “I’m the union organizer for luxury limo drivers. Like, iron your shirt and shine your shoes, have CD’s in the car, and water. You know–like this is New Mexico but we can spell Burberry. On the weekends I’m the ladies traffic controller!”

     “ What is that?”

     “At the clubs. Some of the guys are okay, all suited up, hoping for a dance, but some are like, I’ll buy you a cocktail if I can follow you home. Someone has to protect them. Ladies can’t drive home cause they’ve cocktailed all night, or they can’t find their car keys, or they want to impress their friends with the Viking chauffeur. It’s chill; they’re good girls during the day.” 

The morning turned into afternoon, and now I was cleaning dishes, and watching the birds from the kitchen window. Every hour or so I stop responding to White Wolf, and let him talk. I can feel the rush of his life; how he sprints from limo driver, to Geronimo valet, then to Albuquerque, the gym, and his family. People who live intensely engaged in a variety of relationships; stir their surroundings like a human wind.  Every time White Wolf leaves, I’m bouncing through the living room and dancing.  

When I tuned into the conversation he was recounting his day in ardent animation. His laughter echoes; almost like he’s singing a song and it last a long time.

     “I don’t mind giving back to our greedy city tax roll.  I feed the meters at the Lensic; that quarter made a difference. Huh?”… more laughter and he repeats, ‘we’re down to quarters.’

     “Those meter guys were writing tickets like, here take that, and then on to the next car. Don’t bother coming back to Santa Fe, and it’s the weekend! That’s the barometer of my city—-hurry hurry write that ticket. Once it’s done it’s done.”  Suddenly he stands, positioning his legs a few feet apart, he leans over, picks up his keys, and his phone.

     “Come on let’s go for a quick creep.”

     “A what?”

     “Cruise the plaza, get you outdoors, come on it’ll make you feel better.”

     “I’m not dressed for outdoors..”

     “Put on a pair of low brow boots, and a jacket. Not fashioning this afternoon. You won’t even get out of the car. Come on.”

I listened because White Wolf is definitive in decisions. He doesn’t waver back and forth or want to argue. I rushed upstairs, zipped up my boots and grabbed a down jacket. He was standing by the window.

    “We have twenty-minutes.” He said pointing to his watch.

We hopped into his silver VW GTI and he told me to pick a CD. I shuffled through the stack, while he backed out. Just then I noticed a car pull out across Palace Avenue.

     “Wolf! Watch out!”

     “I got it.” He leaned back, shot eyeball calmness to me and asked what CD I wanted to hear. He didn’t scold me for my alarm and doubt. After that I knew my caution was unnecessary. You learn a lot about a man by his driving. It’s a graph of his responsiveness, confidence, and how he handles sudden movement. White Wolf cruised over the icy asphalt and into the empty Plaza, all white and brown like a two envelopes sitting side by side. He was now slouching back, one hand on the wheel, messing with something in the open compartment, and driving 15 mph. There weren’t a lot of cars, but I had the feeling White Wolf didn’t care if there was someone behind us. We drove past Santa Fe Dry Goods, and he stopped, “Empty– that’s sad. No one buying fuzzy boots or hats.”

He drove by every shop and looked in, as if he was monitoring shopping trends. His eyes swept the streets, the alleyways, and I mimicked him, because I knew this was for me. We went slow as a couple of tired horses, so the eyes could bring in the unknown: a homeless man on a corner, the Indian woman selling jewelry, the Mideastern jewelers smoking cigarettes, and a few locals trotting back to work from a break. I looked up to the sky and found a patch of blue, and pointed it out to White Wolf,” and he turned to me and said, “I’m happy you noticed.”

     “It’s two o’clock already.” I said.

     “How’d it get to be two o’clock?” White Wolf kept the engine at crawl speed all the way back to the house. “You have to go to Santa Fe Spa–at least go see people! And go after six.” I nodded my head as I got out of the car, went inside, turned on the Rolling Stones and danced. 

 

WHY NOT SANTA FE IN FEBRUARY OR MARCH


GALLERY LOULOU VACATION HOME AND ART SALON

IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING Santa Fe, the land of enchantment, for your next destination….

We’re at 7200 ft, 33 degrees daytime, and wavering between sunshine and an O’Keeffe cloudy sky. Bring sunscreen for the slopes or trendspotting Santa Fe from our porch.Small_Porch[1]IMP

NEWS:

  • 10,000 Waves renovation completed and worth a trip for hot tub, stars, and  massage, before dinner.
  • Farmer’s Market Weekends at the Railyard
  • All that Happens: www.santafe.com
  • ARTfeast February 24-26. Walk, eat, shop.
  • Restaurant Week

March 4-11, 2012

Take advantage of great deals during Restaurant Week, when the city’s eateries offer special three course meals at discounted prices for eight days. This is a wonderful time to try new restaurants that you might have neglected because of expensive prices.

Many Santa Fe restaurants participate in this week, offering up new specials as well as signature dishes. This is a relatively new event to Santa Fe, but it has proved incredibly popular with locals and visitors alike.

For more info, visit http://restaurantweeknm.com.

FLAVOR SAVERS:Geronimo: Low season, you get that table you want,  Il Piatto, New Menu-New Wines Chocolate Maven, Coyote Café Bar, Taberno for Tapas and Spanish guitar.

Morning flaky croissants at Chez Mammou on Palace Avenue.

Tia Sophia’s and Pasquels for Green Chili Breakfast Burrito

La Posada, Complimentary Wine & Cheese Wednesday,  and Friday night Chef’s tasting.

If you need Valet airport pick-up, reservations, snow update, requested movies..etc,  just you ask.  Thanks for knocking on LouLou’s door!

Adventure on,

GALLERY LOULOU PHOTO, FILM, MUSIC SALON- VACATION RENTAL


SANTA FE, NM.  VACATION HOME, GALLERY, AND MOVIE THEATER.

Gallery LouLou is a nationally recognized  Historic Home. It was upgraded to allow for preservation to mix with modernism. The house is across the street from La Posada Resort and Spa, and is two stories with 2500 square feet. We are one and a  half blocks  from Downtown Plaza.  visit our website at http://www.vrbo.com/345671206DSCN4229 110912113454aba9IMG_0499DSC02353 - Copy - Copy

•         The house is sandwiched between two outdoor living porches, one with BBQ overlooking the private garden. Daydream and smell the lavender.

•    The garage is a renovated  theater.. An overhead projector allows you to show DVD’s, plus turntable and 6 track CD player to create your own multimedia performance. Heated and furnished.

•    The house is all hardwood floors, with French doors in the main living area connecting to the front porch.

•    The kitchen is accessible to the porch and BBQ for dining Al fresco.

•    There are FOUR unique private bedrooms and two baths.

•    Two porches:  One in front with garden of roses, and back yard garden is lush with herbs, pear and apple tree, roses, lavender, cherry blossom, and a string of lights for a really romantic night.

GALLERY LOULOU IS A PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY AND HOME. OUR ICONIC ROCK & ROLL PHOTOGRAPHS BY JIM MARSHALL, BARON WOLMAN AND PHILIP TOWNSEND ARE FEATURTED THROUGHOUT THE HOME,  AND ARE OFFERED TO GUESTS AT A DISCOUNT OF 15%.

We are two blocks from Canyon Road, which leads to art galleries, restaurants, and HIKERS AND BIKERS wilderness, Santa Fe Ski Valley and the Sangre de Christo Mountains.

Turkish Linens + Coverlets.

Three Queen Perfect Sleepers, one King Perfect Sleeper.

It’s fanciful, but unpretentious.

Writing Desk

Two televisions upstairs. Flat screen 52”

Indoor and outdoor music system.

Pantry.

Washer Dryer in basement.

Large eat-in, two sink, and island kitchen with pantry.

Jacuzzi Tub

Three outdoor dining areas.

Wi-Fi- purified water, and wood burning fireplace.

YOU’LL LOVE IT.

ADVENTURES IN LOVINGNESS


Carson McCullers photographed by Carl Van Vech...

Image via Wikipedia

The sky is brush stroked with rivers of grey clouds interceding the passing blue of the day. I feel breathed, my heart exhausted, and my spirit is groping for remission, like an Advil into a hangover.

I remember my childhood, my first kiss, the day I announced to a class of fellow writers that I was a writer too. Our teacher, Emily, instructed all of us to stand up and say it. I resisted internally, and afterward the effect was as she promised, it became second nature.

I don’t know how I will remember the dragon episode, which turn in the labyrinth will remain most vivid; until now, imagining a folder and how I would label it, The We of Me, the phrase borrowed from Carson McCullers short story, “The Member of the Wedding.” I read all of Carson’s books when I lived in Saratoga Springs, NY. Carson spent several seasons as an artist in residence at Yaddo Art Colony in Saratoga, and was known to escape at night down to Congress Street, and sit in a saloon sipping brandy. The story is entwined around Frankie, a young girl in love with her brother, who has just married and is moving to Alaska. Frankie wishes to go with them.  “A sweet momentary illumination of adolescence before the disillusion of adulthood,”[4wikipedia “It happened that green and crazy summer when Frankie was twelve years old. This was the summer when for a long time she had not been a member. She belonged to no club and was a member of nothing in the world. Frankie had become an unjoined person who hung around in doorways, and she was afraid.”

Last summer, I was not hanging around looking out at the world, I was on the porch, serving wine and crispy chips, while Rudy loaded Pete Rodriquez in the CD player,” Can I play it one more time?” he shouted, and John basting chicken over the Barbeque, draped in my William Sonoma apron, and I am drifting through the epilogue unaware that these moments will turn into sculpted memories, of a summer in Santa Fe. But for then, we lasted until the sun melted in the horizon and Rudy ran out of Kelly’s Cove stories. We were joined, we had our own club. Sometimes Jewels joined us, or LimoLoren, and there was a ribbon around the house, all of us were tied to the harmony of the we of me.

John won’t be coming back; there is too much brittleness, and astonishment in my life. As before, but not the same, Rudy is here, he just appeared in the doorway, “Come see what I did in the garage.” Our garage was transformed into a movie theater after I mistakenly poked the wrong button on the gate remote, and the automatic doors crashed into Rudy’s van. Yesterday, he strung red lights along the perimeter of the adobe building. He does these things to cheer me.

A lot of people I know are falling out of love, or have been asked to stop loving someone they thought they loved. There’s a group of us at La Posada; Victor the Cuban singer just broke up with Ruth, “ I’m going crazy–I’m Latin, without a woman—I cannot do it.” And Eddie, who just broke up with his girlfriend, “Two years-Oh well, I just move on. What can you do?” and Tobey; who has figured out how to forget his girlfriend’s fatal fall from a hillside where she was hiking, he is now the master of mingling. Then there’s Sam Shepard, whose pain is transparent, without a spoken word, it’s in his vigilant Mustang eyes, and in the angle he looks at the world. There are a lot of us; who have fallen from grace with someone who thought they could love us. Then, comes the reoccurring incident; whether it is about money, lovemaking, or the act of communicating with anger or restraint, that suddenly bloats up to the size of a thunder cloud, and bursts through all the promises and collective dreams.

After my burst with John, I went over to La Posada to escape the chattering in my head. My pal, White Zen, who I’ve named for her constant calm joined me at the bar. Raul was on duty, he’s been there since before all the Anglos discovered Santa Fe. He’s seen the white lightning of movie stars, and the Indian Shamans with feathers and folklore.  Raul takes all of us in his stride; which is slow as molasses. Don’t try and rush Raul, because he will ignore you, and your drink will be watery by the time you get it.

I was sitting there, with a glass of wine, when I recognized the man next to White Zen. At the same moment, the juxtaposition of reckoning beckoned us off our stools and we hugged. Dancing Bear, I’ve missed you I said, or something like that. Dancing Bear is a New York Santa Fe success. Unlike so many people I’ve met, he lives here,   works globally, and he’s in big demand right now.

Dancing Bear smiles even if his mouth isn’t smiling, you know he is inside. He’s in the tidal wave of dreams coming true, but not without their own claim ticket on your soul. Someone is always disposed if you’re catching big tuna. Now this night, goes like this.

“ Look if I don’t fuck up this dance–if I don’t fuck it up; it’s going to be something I’m really proud of.”  He emphasizes this with one hand, raised eyebrows and a slight bend in his neck.

“And you won’t.  How long have you lived here?”

“Do you know how I ended up in Santa Fe?  I was living in Los Angeles, driving on that freeway all day, and a friend said, ‘ Hey, you otta come to Santa Fe.’ Never even heard of it, so I came, that was 1983(I think it was 83) and bought a house, and moved here permanent a few years ago.  I could live in New York–in a minute, I love New York, Los Angeles, no- what for, my daughter’s not growing up in the Palisades.” He looks at Raul, they share another story, because they’ve known each other years, then Dancing Bear slaps the wooden bar with one hand, his face creases into a private memory; “El Farol!” he shouts. “Those are the memories, everyone was there, it was the most amazing time.”

“John and I used to go every Tuesday,” Dancing Bear wasn’t listening; he was swept into the memory. His eyes looked right through the mirror behind Raul’s bar. I wished I had seen it then. I didn’t get to El Farol until 1998.

“ Now—okay–I mean right now, after all these years,

I have my ex-wife-ex-wives, and their children, husbands, whatever, and they are in my life-okay–they are in my life.” I tried to speak, but his bear mouth wiped me out.

“They are in my life.. forever.”

“What does Dancing Dora say about that?”

“I’ll tell you what she says; they all sit down to her table at Thanksgiving. All of them. And it’s cool. Not all the time… this one with that problem, the kid with that, but in the end it works.. it works.”

“ It didn’t work with John and me.”

“ You got nothing to be ashamed of.. okay. A lot of people cannot handle it.. my friends think I’m crazy.”

“So do mine.” I said.

Lula Carson McCullers adapted the book, A Member of the Wedding to stage in 1950, then to film in 1987, and into television in 1997.  Lula wrote until her body failed her, and her hands crippled. She dictated her unfinished autobiography “Illumination and Night Glare” (1999) just before she died. She wrote her first book at twenty-three, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

 Carson’s major theme; the huge importance and nearly insoluble problems of human love.” – Tennessee Williams.

 

DON’T GIVE UP


WONDER

 

 

“Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous.”

 Anais Nin.  1931

Expecting snow, expecting pleasure… we are all in some range of expectation. Where you may be hunched under an umbrella waiting for the light to turn green, so you can find shelter inside a café, a shop, where someone else waits for the arrival of a friend, the death of a loved one, the offer in writing, the publication, the house to sell, the decision to resonate, the pain and suffering to subside.

I think of something my father used to say, “You made your bed, now you lie in it.”  And another one, “It’s your lot in life.”  I began writing Smiley’s Dice in 2002 from a desk in a Solana beach rental.  Maybe in two years I’ll have a column in a newspaper or magazine, and maybe I won’t.  It’s my lot: to not give up.

Santa Fe is blistery cold, the street dry and the sidewalks baking sheets of white snow.  Out my window is a metallic sky that hints of more snow.  This sky slows the rhythms of the body and mind; it invades the hurried motions of pedestrians, vendors and hotel staff. There is an absence of light that intercepts outward vision, so we turn inwards.  I do anyway.  And because I gorge myself on the emotionalism, and interior life, I have not slid into home base.

That is why it has taken me longer to launch my writing for worldly consumption. Some of us are not in a rush to wave the “I made it” flag.  Some favor holding back, until the other elements of our character life are lived; our destructiveness, fear, pettiness, falsity, greed, so many steps to climb.

You and I have to trust in the pattern of our lives, the invisible thread that taunts us, teases us, and even torments us. My lot, postponed progress, maturity, development.

I was an A cup until college, without direction, a major in English, Art, and Psychology, before dropping out.  My major interest was the countryside beyond Sonoma State campus walls, the roaming cows, and flock of geese over the swamps, the crooked paths winding through eucalyptus woods, the poetry pasted on bulletin boards in the coffee house, the farmers in the pasture.

“When are you going to start taking your life seriously?” My father asked this question every few years, and every few years, I lied.

I was adulterated when I was first employed at the old Gibraltar Savings & Loan on Wilshire Boulevard. I was serious about how they measured my performance, and was vicariously unconcerned with personal gratification. How excited could I be about trust deeds? I cannot even recall what I was doing; just the name of the department, the Beneficiary Demand department.

All that restrictive training, in punctuality, production, and prudence, exploded late in life. I did not discover my passionate interest in writing until I was forty.I didn’t own a home until I was forty-seven, did not stop biting my nails until I was fifty-four, did not learn to love and trust until last year.

I developed friendships late in life, now I honor a treasure chest of sterling gems that glitter from near and far. Friends that abandon tasks to listen to me talk about moving the furniture again, and consent to my absence because the victor of writing has kidnapped me.

It is a day later, the sky is unchanged; still the cloud cover is nailed to the sky. In random conversations I have heard of people’s hardships, of sacrifice and compromise during this holiday season.  No more travel talk about Paris, and the Orient. No more extended vacations or extravagances.   We have to give ourselves a holiday from lament, from error, and from exasperation.  I tell myself not to be combative, not this year, and don’t polish the guilt and remorse, just let it fade away. Don’t open those links to real estate values, retirement funds and investments; open the link to History. Remember what the greatest generation was handed; remember soup lines, suicides, and World War II.

Mostly don’t reprimand your partner for unrealized expectations; They are most fragile to your voice and touch. The adventure in livingness is to look at your lot; and ride it with amusement and wonder.