Tag Archives: American Southwest

wish.

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”  – Agnes M. Pahro

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Snow moon

Snow moon

http://jima828.blogspot.com/2011/02/snow-moon.html

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“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”  – Calvin Coolidge

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Bryce Zion stars

Bryce Zion stars

http://www.bishoppeakgroup.net/Landscape%20Images/Arizona-Utah%20Parks/bryce_zion_2010.htm

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“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, the melody would stay in your heart always – a song for all the years.”  – Beth Streeter Aldrich

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Zion snow

Zion snow

http://www.bishoppeakgroup.net/Landscape%20Images/Arizona-Utah%20Parks/bryce_zion_2010.htm

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“Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.”  – Joan Mills

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Bryce tree fog

Bryce tree fog

http://www.bishoppeakgroup.net/Landscape%20Images/Arizona-Utah%20Parks/bryce_zion_2010.htm

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“It’s been my experience that most folk who ride trains could care less where they’re going. For them it’s the journey itself and the people they meet along the way. You see, at every stop this train makes, a little bit of America, a little bit of your country, gets on and says hello. That’s why trains are so popular at Christmas. People get on to meet their country over the holidays. They’re looking for some friendship, a warm body to talk to. People don’t rush on a train, because that’s not what trains are for. How do you put a dollar value on that? What accounting line does that go on?”  – David Baldacci, “The Christmas Train”

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Bryce

Bryce

http://www.bishoppeakgroup.net/Landscape%20Images/Arizona-Utah%20Parks/bryce_zion_2010.htm

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“This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love, and then speak it again.”  – Howard W. Hunter

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snowy utah mountains

snowy utah mountains

http://optimisticarmywife.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html

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“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…”  – John Geddes

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Zion

Zion

http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20131205/OUTDOORS/312050013/Snow-makes-Zion-even-more-magical

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“What is the spirit of Christmas, you ask?  Let me give you the answer in a true story…
On a cold day in December, feeling especially warm in my heart for no other reason than it was the holiday season, I walked through the store sporting a big grin on my face.  Though most people were far too busy going about their business to notice me, one elderly gentleman in a wheelchair brought his eyes up to meet mine as we neared each other traveling opposite directions.  He slowed in passing just long enough to speak to me.
“Now that’s a Christmas smile if I ever saw one,” he said.
My lips stretched to their limit in response, and I thanked him for the compliment.  Then we went our separate ways. But, as I thought about the man and how sweetly he’d touched me, I realized something simply wonderful!  In that brief, passing interaction we’d exchanged heartfelt gifts!
And that, my friend, is the spirit of Christ~mas. ”  – Richelle E. Goodrich

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good deed for good red road.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/arts/design/secret-bids-guide-hopi-indians-spirits-home.html?emc=eta1

December 16, 2013
 Secret Bids Guide Hopi Indians’ Spirits Home
By TOM MASHBERG

The auction in Paris was set to move briskly, at about two items a minute; the room was hot and crowded, buzzing with reporters.

More than 100 American Indian artifacts were about to go on sale at the Drouot auction house, including 24 pieces, resembling masks, that are held sacred by the Hopi of Arizona. The tribe, United States officials and others had tried unsuccessfully to block the sale in a French court, arguing that the items were religious objects that had been stolen many years ago.

Now the Annenberg Foundation decided to get involved from its offices in Los Angeles. It hoped to buy all of the Hopi artifacts, plus three more sought by the San Carlos Apaches, at the Dec. 9 sale and return them to the tribes. To prevent prices from rising, the foundation kept its plan a secret, even from the Hopis, in part to protect the tribe from potential disappointment. Given the nine-hour time difference, the foundation put together a team that could work well into the night, bidding by phone in the auction in France.

The foundation had never done something like this before — a repatriation effort — and the logistics were tricky, to say the least.

Two staff members in Los Angeles, one a French speaker, were assigned to the job. The foundation also quietly arranged for a Paris lawyer, Pierre Servan-Schreiber, who had represented the Hopi pro bono in the court proceeding, to serve as lookout in the auction room.

He stood in the back, on the phone to the foundation. Whispering updates to him was Philip J. Breeden, a cultural attaché from the United States Embassy.

“It was intense, like a movie,” Mr. Servan-Schreiber said.

But camouflaging the role of the foundation was crucial.

“I knew nothing good would come out of it if the house knew there were people out to get the whole thing,” he said. “I was sure that would jack up the prices.”

The sale had been assembled by the auction house EVE with pieces from a variety of American tribes that were held by a number of French collectors, all of whom said they had owned the items for many years and had good title to them. Several collectors said they had been impressed by prices realized at an April auction of 70 Hopi artifacts.

The tribe had been angered by the earlier sale as well, which like this auction featured vibrantly decorated Hopi headdresses, known as Katsinam. The tribe, which had gone to court to block both sales, believes the items are not simply religious, but living entities with divine spirits.

Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, vice president and director of the foundation who lives in Paris, had followed the legal battle in the French news media. After the Hopi lost in court on Dec. 6, he went to the auction house to preview the artifacts, all of which are more than a century old.

“These are not trophies to have on one’s mantel,” Mr. Weingarten would say later. “They are truly sacred works for the Native Americans. They do not belong in auction houses or private collections.”

Mr. Weingarten had his California staff tally the presale estimates from the auction catalog and confirm that the objects were authentic. The staff members also became familiar with the Hopi belief system and built a database that would allow them to follow online the bidding on the objects they wanted. Mr. Weingarten approved a budget of $500,000 to $1 million to buy all 27 disputed Native American lots — the 24 masklike Hopi artifacts and three items of divine significance to the San Carlos Apache, also in Arizona. To do so he tapped into a discretionary fund set aside for individual projects.

“It was a leap-of-faith kind of moment for us,” said Leonard J. Aube, executive director of the foundation, which was founded by Walter H. Annenberg, the publisher, philanthropist and diplomat. “Not a lot of foundations are geared up for this kind of clandestine, late-night activity.”

At one point, the owner of the EVE auction house, Alain Leroy, said he had noticed that one phone bidder was grabbing up the disputed Hopi objects and told an employee to check into it. Reassured that the buyer had wired money ahead of time and was legitimate, he says he nonetheless grew frustrated and even muttered aloud that he hoped the secret bidder would “leave some for the others.”

Members of the Hopi tribe were also watching the sale online from Arizona. Unaware of the forces at work on their behalf, they said they became dispirited as item after item sold. Sam Tenakhongva, a cultural director for the Hopi, said when he turned off his lights at 2 a.m., he felt he was saying goodbye to the spirits embodied in the headdresses.

The foundation, however, had enjoyed marked success in the bidding. By the end of the auction, it had spent $530,695 and bought all but three of the 24 Hopi objects and the three other Apache artifacts that the foundation had sought.

And one of the three, a Hopi headdress featuring antelope antlers, had been bought by Mr. Servan-Schreiber on behalf of a couple, Marshall W. Parke, of the private equity firm Lexington Partners, and his wife, Véronique, who had instructed him to obtain what he could as a gift to the Hopis.

Mr. Servan-Schreiber said when it was his turn to bid, he took care to inform the foundation people, “so we wouldn’t start bidding against each other.”

The foundation lost out on only two items, both times, participants said, because of miscommunication. But they secured the auction’s priciest lot, a Hopi Crow Mother headdress that sold for $130,000. The event, which was over in a quick hour, generated $1.6 million in sales.

“It’s a good outcome for the Hopi but not the collectors, I suppose,” Mr. Leroy, the auction house owner, said of the foundation’s tally. The Hopi did not learn of their tribe’s good fortune until several hours later when the foundation sent an email alerting them to its clandestine purchases. Mr. Aube said the Annenberg Foundation, which focuses on civic and community projects, is consulting with the Hopi on how best to return the Katsinam.

The objects, surreal faces made from wood, leather, horsehair and feathers and painted in vivid reds, blues, yellows and oranges, cannot be encased in Bubble Wrap, for example, because it would be seen as suffocating the divine spirits. The Hopi have not identified their plans for these artifacts on their return, but they are not viewed as art objects or housed in museums. Typically, Katsinam are still used in spiritual ceremonies or are retired and left to disintegrate naturally.

For Mr. Tenakhongva, the fact that the Katsinam had to be bought and paid for, even by benefactors, was a bittersweet nod to the reality that some American Indian artifacts have become highly sought, expensive commodities.

“No one should have to buy back their sacred property,” he said. “But now at least they will be at home with us and they will go to rest.”

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appreciate.

“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach

http://daringtolivefully.com/gratitude-quotes

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cliffs north of Colorado City AZ

 

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if.

It’s not an original story – that of dreaming of winning a lottery or some other unexpected windfall.  But I read something the other day that caught my attention and it wasn’t the first time I read the question either.

The question was, “If you could live anyplace, if money was no object, where would you go?”

Have I considered that question or one very similar to it? Sure, many times. It’s interesting how my dreams and fantasies have changed over the years.  Years ago, it was buying a corporate jet and having the opportunities to visit many places around the globe.

Nephi

If I could live anyplace where would I go? One place that keeps coming up as a very good memory is visiting friends a few times who lived in a 200 year old adobe home in Nephi, Utah.  The last time I visited was October, 1983. The walls were a foot thick, there were old hardwood floors with large area rag rugs over them, vintage sheer curtains in the deep-set windows (like my grandmother used to have on her windows..) and a large, black pot-bellied wood stove that was used for heat.

For some reason, that simple, old fashioned, very solidly-built house felt like home to me. I always felt extremely safe, very comfortable and thought it would be lovely to live in an old home like that.

nephi ut

http://www.century21.com/real-estate/nephi-ut-84648/LZ84648/

Another place where I have been countless times over many years is to the Flagstaff, Arizona area.  so many visits that I looked for homes there. Just south of Interstate 40 is an area where many different types of homes were built. Kachina Village I think they called it. There was once one home, an adirondack style one built adjacent to the National Park forestland that I really liked. But when the real estate agent and I went back to her office near NAU campus in Flagstaff, the home had already been sold.  It was very disappointing and I took it as a sign there was another, better-suited home for me.

151_kachina_trail_rear

http://activerain.com/states/AZ/cities/Flagstaff/communities/Kachina%20Village

Because there are many, many places I’ve visited over and over throughout the Four corner states as well as a number of places still on my bucket list, I think living in this area would allow me to take trips to visit old favorites and experience new ones too.  Attending lectures on geology, archaeology and anthropology at several of the colleges and universities in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah is something I always wanted to do.

Museums, lectures, archaeological sites, National Parks, National Forests and other similar activities are something I want to be part of my life. There is nothing remotely like that here.

Huge sky that allows a mile-long train to be seen at a distance……now that is my kind of geography rather than the ant-hill closeness of the U.S. Northeast.

When is the right time to give myself permission to just pack up and go? There is no more taking care of elderly parents and no other reason to stay in this awful area that feels so pinched and violent. What in the world am I doing here?

West, ah, west. Been there, done that for many years. After thirteen years of being back east, it is time to move back west.

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Language.

“In indigenous, oral cultures, nature itself is articulate; it speaks.  The human voice in an oral culture is always to some extent participant with the voices of wolves, wind and waves – participant, that is, with the encompassing discourse of an animate earth.” – David Abram

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Near Providence Mountain

Near Providence Mountain

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/33785086

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“….the synaesthesia between the human eyes and ears is especially concentrated in our relation to other animals, since for a million years these “distance” senses were most tightly coupled at such moments of extreme excitement, when closing in on prey, or when escaping from others…..Yet our ears and eyes are drawn together not only by animals, but by numerous other phenomena within the landscape.  And strangely, wherever these two senses converge, we may suddenly feel ourselves in relation with an expressive power, another center of experience.” – David Abram

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Clipper Valley

Clipper Valley

http://www.mojavenp.org/clipper.htm

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“Trees, for instance, can seem to speak to us when they are jostled by the wind.  Different forms of foliage lend each tree a distinctive voice, and a person who has lived among them will easily distinguish the various dialects of pine trees from the speech of spruce needles or Douglas fir……Certain rock faces and boulders request from us a kind of auditory attentiveness, and so draw our ears into relation with our eyes as we gaze at them, or with our hands as we touch them – for it is only through a mode of listening that we can begin to sense the interior voluminosity of the boulder, its particular density and depth.” – David Abram

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Providence Mountain

Providence Mountain

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/33785084

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There is an expactancy to the ears, a kind of patient receptivity that they lend to the other senses whenever we place ourselves in the mode of listening – whether to a stone, or a river or an abandoned house.  That so many indigenous people allude to the articulate speech of trees or of mountains suggests the ease with which, in an oral culture, one’s auditory attention may be joined with the visual focus in order to enter into a living relation with the expressive character of things.” – David Abram

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Providence Mountains

Providence Mountains

http://www.geolocation.ws/v/P/33785082/providence-mountains-state-recreation/en

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“Far from presenting a distortion of their factual relation to the world, the animistic discourse of indigenous, oral peoples is an inevitable counterpart of their immediate, synaesthetic engagement with the land that they inhabit.  The animistic proclivity to perceive the angular shape of a boulder…..as a kind of meaningful gesture, or to enter into felt conversation with clouds and owls – all of this ‘could be brushed aside as imaginary distortion or hallucinatory fantasy if such active participation were not the very structure of perception, if the creative interplay of the senses in the things they encounter was not our sole way of linking ourselves to those things and letting the things weave themselves into our experience.  Direct, prereflective perception is inherently synaesthetic, participatory and animistic, disclosing the things and elements that surround us not as enert objects but as expressive subjects, entities, powers, potencies.” – David Abram

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Filed under American Southwest, Geology, Healing, Nature

Road.

“Road rule 11:  The straighter the road you’re on, the more your mind wanders a curving path.  As your vehicle hurtles forward in space, your thoughts meander backward in time, often stopping to linger with a memory as if it were a historic marker on the roadside.

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Driving Monument Valley

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First Corollary:  Each place you stop exists in layers of time as well as space. The present is merely an intersection of the winding roads of the past.” – Dayton Duncan

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Driving Monument Valley

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1984.

Sante Fe Luminarias

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Thanksgiving Day, 1984 I flew from Los Angeles to Santa Fe, New Mexico and stayed at El Paradero Bed and Breakfast.  It seemed like 0-dark-hundred when the alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. to drive from Irvine to LAX for a 7:00 a.m. flight.

By the time I landed in Albuquerque, wrestled suitcases off the carousel, rented a car and drove seventy or so miles north to Santa Fe, it was early afternoon.  After checking in and exploring El Paradero a little, it felt as if I had entered a very different place.  It felt considerably drier and I felt sleepy at the high altitude.  Still, I was excited about experiencing whatever Santa Fe’s treasures might be.

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El Paradero Bed and Breakfast

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The people at El Paradero prepared a New Mexico-style Thanksgiving supper with turkey and all kinds of trimmings. The stuffing had tiny bits of different peppers, pine nuts and other tasty morsels I didn’t recognize. The B&B owners told me about New Mexico’s blend of cultures and how that impacts food tastes.

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Thanksgiving Sante Fe Scallops

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After an incredible meal, some of the guests and I took a walk and the cold, dry air felt wonderful.  There were a few dry snowflakes falling as we walked past some shop windows with antiques from Mexico, Native American sterling and turquoise jewelry and pottery.  Businesses were closed and the streets were quiet, almost hushed.

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The next night a group of us took a drive around Santa Fe and I saw luminarias or farolitos for the first time in person rather than photographs. It was magical and I laughed out loud with delight at the beautiful candle-lit adobe buildings all over town.  Everywhere I looked, there were various sizes and types of bags filled with sand and a lit candle.  I had never seen anything like it before.

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“The whole of the life — even the hard — is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole. These are new language lessons, and I live them out. There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up.” – Ann Voskamp

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