Feast or Famine

Marfa is located in the Chihuahuan desert. It is feast or famine here. In a dry year, the lack of water is real hard on the wildlife. Right now things are pretty good. Our desert gets the summer monsoon type of rain so Spring is a waiting game, a windy waiting game which eventually gets hot and then late in summer brings hope and then rain. It comes down in torrents for weeks and that is our water for the year more or less.

Marfa is a feast of art. A feast of creative people, and a feast of freedom.

(The not so hidden meaning in this post is that I like Marfa.)

People in Marfa are independent and tough. They can walk around with 10 stickers in their foot, get hit by a cattle truck, denied lunch, bit by a rattlesnake, blown around in 30 mph winds, denied pizza, burned by the sun, denied medical care and say fuck it and do it the next day.   Things are not convenient here. If you need something you can post it online now and gather ideas from the community, but you have to be kind of scrappy and inventive. When new people move here they are bursting with ideas to make Marfa better. This gets chipped away little by little. As I know Marfa more and more, I meet more locals, learn names, what people do, the personal side of things. Life here is personal.

Anyway…People here are tough and weedy. It is not easy to get here, and it is not always easy to stay here. The tough remain. They pop back up and flower over and over again. The Marfa locals, a select bunch of funny and imaginative people have the space, time and quiet to expand their creativity while being nurtured by a palpable air of acceptance and humor  within the community. These creative people put themselves out there artistically over and over, you have to admire the fortitude.

I myself am easily distracted.

It is tempting and easy to watch and admire. It is harder to “do”. My attention to my work and interests is delicate. It blows in the wind, blows away, blows by, becomes visible, then blows away again..

I need to stay here and work this out.

This little water tower is sort of hard to shoot. It is surrounded by houses and power lines, but as you can see it is appealing. It is a constant. A little tin man cheering me up daily and nightly, and providing water too.

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Happy New Year

Well since this is the first posting for me this year 2016, Happy New Year.

Marfa is growing a little. We have a new hotel which will be ready in March, and there are more and more people moving here. I like it, it’s OK. Apparently there are more people than me who like art, peace and quiet, dry air, wine under the stars, roadrunners, javalinas, and tumbleweeds. This reminds me that in Alpine (one town over) this afternoon a cowboy type guy said that everyone in Marfa was “weird”. When my friend said “define weird” he pointed his alcohol induced wrath at Donald Judds’ cement boxes and said they were not art.  He outweighed me by a lot and seemed rather convinced of  himself so I reserved my own words on behalf of Donald Judd for the drive home. I love this funny little town and feel that it is perfectly wonderful. And so do a lot of other people. Alpine you suck. These photos are from the last 2 days, it has been cloudy.

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Thanksgiving in Marathon

There was a stopped train on my way out of Marathon. Something that I feel is a sign from god that I should take photos. {I went to The Gage for Thanksgiving feast. Expensive but good.}

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And I usually look for any excuse to visit the funky youth hostel that is located in Marathon. Word is, they are struggling financially, hey join the crowd. But anyway a cute couple are taking it upon themselves to organize some work days out there to help out the owner. I’m on board.

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PS I hope everyone had a nice day.

Lacking Elegance

I found my way into 2 houses in this area. One is in a bit better shape, but both had spontaneous art. House 2 the theme seems to be love and hate. There is a photo of Kristin Bonkemeyer at the bottom of the post. She will transform “house 2” like no one else. She is a seriously good architect in this little town and stays very busy. She will incorporate the unique flow of the house with the large central hall into a modern wonder.

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house 1

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house 1

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house 2

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house 2

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house 2

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house 2

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house 2

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house 2

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front hall

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back hall-Kristin Bonkemeyer architect

No Beginning, No End

I am soaking up the dry desert air, enjoying the open spaces, and digging into my photo archive. One of the many things I love about Marfa is the constant presence of the train. It is very loud and totally unpredictable. It is large and scary, yet approachable since they are often painted in a personal way. Hello unknown painter, I read you. I have been printing these train pics lately, I see them as portraits. I realize my train has no beginning or end and feel that this must have a deeper meaning that as long as I am on this particular combination of wine and antidepressant I will ignore for now. Anyway it keeps me looking for the engine and the caboose. Train on the Brain.

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And then some photos from my phone

There was a canoe trip to Moab with Dirk and Bettina-too great for wordsIMG_0038 IMG_0071 IMG_0089

Dinner with the most charming Kristin and Mary Bonkemeyer at Cochineal in Marfa, it is getting a tad chilly here at night now

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And I will never forget my own MOM and her unique way of interpreting the world through non engagement. More on that upon request, or on a couch.

Head to Mexico II

I went again – To Mexico.

To work again at the school in Bacaburiachi. I remembered some of the kids from last time, and some of them remembered me. There is nothing mysterious about the beautifully dressed Tarahumara indians. They are sweet, fairly hard working, love kids. Another impoverished discriminated minority. And in Mexico that is saying a lot. Poor, badly educated, a deadly combination as we here in the US well know. They are too humble to take to the streets in anger demanding equal treatment. It is more like them to beg. I really understand that for some reason. I am not much of a fighter. The kids are just normal sweet happy kids. Probably not sure why they would want to excel. Some kids do get to move on to high school in Carichi. Others get to sell candy on the street in Chihuahua City.

I will get right to the photos and I promise the next blog will be US/Marfa based. These are my favorites. I will include one of the waterfall in Basasiachi, Chihuahua, Mexico so you can see how pretty it is.

At the School

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Some Architecture, Bacaburiachi, Chihuahua, Mexico

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Cusarare, Chihuahua, Mexico

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Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico

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cascade at Basachiachi, Chihuahua, Mexico

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Sin-Aloa

In lieu of being important I am going to interview myself about my recent tour to the Copper Canyon area of Mexico aboard the CHEPE train.

  • Did you have fun: yes, lots
  • Did you drink the water: no, bought bottled water
  • Was the train ride fun: yes, totally fun, dining car, comfy
  • Was the food good: yes, OMG, homemade tortillas, chili rellenos…
  • Did you hurl: no
  • Was there any hint of trouble: no

My tour guide was Jim Glendinning from Alpine he did a great job, there were twelve in the group. If you want to book it yourself within Mexico there is a group called Three Amigos Adventures in Creel, Mexico. One of my favorite times was in our non electric hotel outside Creel a small town located at 7,694 ft. in the Sierra Madres, hiking to a waterfall and also a hike to rock art, rooms equipped with wood burning stoves and kerosene lanterns, tarahumara women in the kitchen cooking meals, a guitar band playing corridas at dinner, wine and margaritas. It felt authentic and was really memorable.

Here is my smattering of photos. The Tarahumara seem to hate having their photos made and I am conflicted. These people are poor and disadvantaged enough, I feel guilty for getting some photos, if they didn’t dress so cool, I would leave them be. The dancer man is re enacting a sacred dance from before the Spanish missionaries came to unravel their religion.

Stepping on a Rainbow

My friend from Denver Pat Griffin just died suddenly, he was 68, cause not known yet. My immediate reaction is always that I really need to talk to him one more time. This is my second sudden death of a friend in a few months. It brings to mind the seriousness of the subject of being happy. It should not be so hard, but if you are getting on in years, you better start thinking about it. Because soon enough you end up dead with possessions, houses, books, papers, and sad and confused friends left behind. I think it is a good idea to find those friends and have some fun. I don’t think it has to be a spouse/partner although if you have that congratulations, that will work. It can be scary to be happy, I have to bust out of my comfort zone which is hard.

Pat liked my photography and recently told me to believe in myself and keep at it. Thanks Pat I just want to talk to you one more time, with meaning.

Geology

Terlingua got me in trouble. I was so curious about the geology of the place that I am now taking a geology class at Sul Ross in Alpine a lone senior citizen in a class of babies. All I know is that there are unusual beeps and sounds when the students turn off their devices before class. Maybe games? or something because it is eerie. On my first day I stopped to ask a fellow “Lobo” where a building was (that was right in front of me) and first he spit, and then he took out his ear buds and looked at me to begin again. So these kids are really in their own heads. I have not figured out yet what is going on in Terlingua but I am learning to keep to myself. I have so far only gleaned that the earth is very, very old and that all this stuff we see around us took millions of years to happen and is seriously changed and eroded from what it started out as.  The drive to Alpine is fine albeit cold lately.

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Here is one more photo that I took recently of my secret spiritual advisor. She says I need to keep seeking the magic.

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Thank you thank you to the nice person in Wrong today who told me to keep blogging. I will put in a good word for you to my yucca. I do remember you just not your name.

PSS Recent remark by my 94 year old friend at dinner: “I need to drink more wine because I didn’t have lunch”.  Made perfect sense at the time.

 

Terlingua

Christmas day 2014.  These were all taken at a place in Terlingua that has Indian petroglyphs. Indian sites are always extra beautiful, why is that? They have good taste? This hiking trail out Indian Head road is right off the highway and pretty easy to find. It is before the hotel on the right.

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hiker message

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me

me

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cactus garden

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see dragon petroglyph lower left corner

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Indian message

Indian message

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The first football

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grind corn here

grind corn here

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precarious rock

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Mars landscape

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Terlingua has a lot of yellowish tan soil

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Bridgett

Bridgett looking for arrowheads

Starlight in Terlingua for Christmas dinner

Starlight in Terlingua for dinner