Nothing like a vacation from your vacation.
Before I went North for a few weeks, I had plans to go north, anyway. I needed a little time away from the buzz and rumble. A weekend in the land where the sagebrush and juniper plot their domination from. No vacation is ever really without adversity, or it wouldn’t be a vacation. You’d be dead.
So I boarded another train for Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center, that magic off-grid compound my friends Amanda and Andy run. We drank wine, and talked feelings, and talked words (because I’ve apparently become the Ampersand marketing dept.). Amanda put electrodes on my shoulder and ten minutes later I was an evangelist. The wind kicked up and all the heat in the world scrambled into space, and I slept in one of their guesthouses, ready for something.
In the finest spirit of land communion, we took a geology hike.
I’ve always believed strongly in the ocean-floorness of New Mexico. Really! This place used to look a lot like south Florida (several million years back). Those who feel this place is without water just aren’t feeling hard enough. It’s all here, as all times are here, as here contains all of its selves. As it is with all beings, anyway.
I’ve maintained for a long time that land draws its power from its humans’ relationship with it. The better the communication, the better we are integrated into it, the more powerfully we feel it. This is of course true of all places, but I think New Mexico is one of the few left where most of its people still feel that—spiritually, and without irony. Hometown pride here isn’t a slogan; land communion here a multigenerational, racialized, spiritualized way of life. This place is unique in the way that it’s not unique.
And if New Mexico isn’t paradox, nothing is.