October 8, 2014
When Romy was a wee newborn babe, our dear friend Chris proposed a trip to Stephen and me. I was feeling low and cloistered in a dark winter, post-birth moment and agreed with projected hope and enthusiasm. Last weekend was the trip. We went to New Mexico, where Chris grew up. We loved it. Having babies is like joining a radical cult (the best kind) – but they certainly devour time and focus. The four days in New Mexico was the first time I had been totally redirected in almost three years (with total confidence in the care team at home: thank you Xavier and Claire!). And I got to focus that attention with two people I love the most. We spent a lot of time driving/laughing under an electric blue sky (although some of Stephen’s jokes were not funny). Traveling with two people whose entire professional existence hinges around having an opinion on the way things look (Stephen’s photography, Chris’ photography) gave a glorious perspective on what we saw and experienced. I loved meeting Chris’ family, who were incredibly generous to us and such a pleasure to be with; I felt like I already knew them all, even though this was, for the most part, the first time I had met them.
Santa Fe: I could live here. Red adobe of many shades, blue blue sky, cowboys galore, fantastic. Shopping worth the trip.
Taos Pueblo: Tourist trap – but the mud walls, lines of shadow and light, set against the mountains made it totally worth seeing. It was mostly an empty vestige of a life now gone. The houses were empty, except the four or five that had been converted to sparse shops for the tourists. Most of the flock stayed congregated at the entrance or near the center. If you walked just a bit along the edges or in the alleys of the pueblo, there was a strange muteness and an occasional village dog. There was one particular Native American man who had my heart – here is one half of him in his gorgeous shop – sitting behind this counter. He spoke with soft, kind eyes – about growing up in the pueblo, as if it were unremarkable, but I was full of curiosity and questions about it. His whole family grew up here, in these mud walls.
Bandelier: Cave and cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Peublo people (10,000 years old). We climbed up into them and chose our bedrooms. Chris took some gorgeous, otherworldly shots. I actually wished that we had carved out much more time to hike – this National Park merits a bunch of time.
Spas: we also spent a good chunk of time giggling and spilling the secrets of our hearts in tubs at spas. Ojo Calliente and Ten Thousand Waves. One featured mud baths, the other Japanese waters mid New Mexican piñons and junipers. Loved that part of the trip.
Finally, we visited Chris’ parents’ horse farm – his boyhood home. The property was spectacular, cottonwood trees peppering the land, along with the Arabian horses that have been his mother’s life work. I loved being in a place that gave me insight into a friend I already thought I understood almost entirely (we have spent hours ruminating about every part of life and traveled traveled traveled together).