A New Mexican Holy Week

On a Good Friday I drove to Albuquerque. Thousands of the faithful walked north along Interstate 25. They sought the healing miracles of the sacred sands within the Santuario de Chimayo in the village of Chimayo, nestled in a valley, lined in cottonwoods and pastures within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains 24 miles (38.4 km) north of Santa Fe. From Albuquerque, the distance nears 80 miles, but the distance is unimportant to those who make this annual trek.

1968. Canned Heat Explodes

Hollywood. Sunset Strip. 1968. Indeed, Eight Miles High. The Vietnam War grew uglier by the day. Since January the nightly news rolled reel after reel of the Tet Offensive and the brutal American loss. In February, President Johnson, set on curbing draft deferments, made graduate students draft game.

Ray–Like A Dragon

Ray was fun and easy to know. Regardless, his gayness in rural New Mexico wasn’t always well received. Ray was young and out. If you didn’t like his sexual proclivity, that was your problem. Not his. “I’m like a dragon,” he said. “Full of fire and not ashamed.”

Full Moon Mountain

The gentle slope from the lift allows me to find a place without skier traffic. I take in the magnificent view below — a village nestled in the pines, to an expanse of a muted brown, deep green and mauve rural valley. A chilled wind adds pink to my face. Another swipe of chapstick protects my lips, a swig of water trickles down my throat like fuel for the ride downhill.

The Buck-Wild Girl

Neither a closed window nor locked door kept me trapped inside. I roamed my godparent’s neighborhood at midnight or stretched out on the crabgrass and watched shooting stars. Imaginative thoughts found their way on paper. Music, any kind of music, was mine to hear. Eye makeup. Long hair. Fashion boots. Tight jeans.

More Awe, Less Uh

…researchers discovered that awe brought on “a reduced sense of self-importance relative to something larger and more powerful that they felt connected to,” and that “a naturalistic induction of awe in which participants stood in a grove of towering trees enhanced prosocial helping behavior and decreased entitlement compared to participants in a control condition.”

The Need for Lies and Fiction

There’s an itch within me for some lies too. But not the kind of lies that make headlines. No. My crave is for fictional tales that run the gamut from historical fiction, fantasy, and some chick-lit for those times when I’ve just had enough of the humans on Planet Earth.