There are colors I have never seen before here, and a different landscape every few miles I am glad to be here. This is the door to the B&B where we are staying. It is an enchanting and comfortable place. Got to go to sleep.
Our journey began at 3 a.m. in a hotel room in Albany near the airport there and we got to Chimayo, New Mexico, and our magical B & B around 5 p.m. I've been all over America in my life, but never to New Mexico, and it startled me with it's striking landscape, extraordinary architecture, mix of mountains and desert and adobe. Lots of free spirits. We are tired, but I just wanted to share a few photos with you. Maria seems to have come home in a deeply spiritual way.
She is is very attached to this place and tomorrow, we'll set out to do some exploring, perhaps just walk around Ghost Ranch.
I met the warm and generous man in the photograph at the restaurant where we had Chicken Tostados and Shrimp Enchilada. He was happy to have his picture taken, and I'll be back to see him again. Tomorrow, we might just drive out to Ghost Ranch to walk around Georgia O'Keefe's old home.
Gus inspires me to take off, he has wings.
OK, I've got to get out of here, I'm not good at waiting or sitting around, I'm beyond restless and I have to go, Maria is finished blogging and we are finished packing. I'm outta here and thanks for coming along on this remarkable journey. I should surface again here Monday night or Tuesday, and hope to share bits and pieces of this trip.
Blogging and photo-taking is not work for me, it is pure joy. Watching the news is work, and I will take a week off from it. Shelby says we can go early, so we are gone. Blessings to you all. Stay tuned.
A friend I haven't seen in years wrote me to say he enjoyed my blog and he could see how happy I am to be with Maria. "I've never actually known you when you were happy," he said, it sent a bit of a chill down my spine.
Maria, I said, is always herself, that's the best I can do for you. Whenever I see her out in the pasture, shoveling manure, in her leggings and skirts and necklaces and many colors and imported Thrift Store boots, I am reminded of just how much herself she is.
When I met Maria, I don't think either one of us really know who we were or wanted to be. We were both broken, but I was in more pieces, I think, once Maria started doing her art, she simply started rising and has yet to stop. I think she will eventually soar right up through the clouds.
Looking at the photos of George O'Keefe in preparation for our trip to Mexico tomorrow, I keep thinking of Maria, I am not comparing their artistry or fame, but I sense the same kind of identity in O'Keefe, she knew precisely who she was and insisted on being who she was, she permitted no one to tell her who she is.
(I am not like either of them, but I have this same instinct when it comes to dealing with social media, I bristle every time someone tells me what to do or who I am or what I am feeling.) Identity is precious, and you have to have a strong sense of it to go out in the morning many mornings and shovel manure in your wedding dress, which cost $15 in a Thrift shop to begin with.
I married well. We are both on an identity mission together much of the time. I have an identity too, it is not as exotic as O'Keefe in her spooky black designer outfits or Maria in her many skirts and colors, but is is mine. I wear a blue shirt and blue jeans every day of my life, no matter where I am or what I am doing. I care nothing about clothes or fashion, clothes are just something to cover my body and keep me warm.
Maria considers it a great breakthrough that I am wearing red suspenders. Many people have remarked on them.
Susan Jackson wrote a lovely message saying she has always seen Maria as a New Mexico kind of artist, and I know what she means, that is so, I think. But identity is a tricky thing, and I think our identity often comes from the place where you find yourself, where you learn who you are.
O'Keefe clearly found her place in New Mexico, it is a special place. Maria found herself up here in the country, in the mountains and hills and woods. That is where she is drawn, and is most at home. It will be fascinating to see how she reacts to New Mexico again, I know it is important to her.
This farm, this country, is my place also, it is where I have found myself and learned who I am. In this way, it is in my blood. I was reading this morning about Henry Roth who write the novel "Call It Sleep," considered to be the greatest American novel of the twentieth century. After publication of this book he vanished, he had fled to New Mexico, where he spent the rest of his life living and writing in a trailer. I'd love to find it and pay some respects.
I also want to see D.H. Lawrence's grave in Taos, if that's possible. Otherwise, we will be exploring galleries and museums, I guess and maybe a pueblo or two.
I love Maria's sense of identity, I love that she is always herself, and has no false or phony faces to put on. She knows who she is, and if the New Mexico desert was O'Keefe's place, Maria is in her place, at least for now.
I am very happy to be finally figuring out how to sell my photos – occasionally and inexpensively, but printed in the highest quality way. I have a new photo-for-sale gallery up on the blog, and I can print photos that are wanted and ordered, rather than matte and frame them for hundreds of dollars.
This has, as a friend suggested, opened up a small but steady new revenue stream for me, and I love doing it in this way. Check out the photos for sale.
This has become part of Maria's art universe, she handles the sales and takes a commission, as she should. I found a wonderful photo lab in Vermont, they are meticulous (not cheap) and print on the highest quality rag paper. I love the work they do, I ship them the images and they ship the photos back.
Maria handles the invoices and shipping, and sends the photos off in a secure tube.
This is rewarding for me, and I hope, for you. I pick a small number of photos and print them only if people want to buy them. All of my other photos are free, and are not bookmarked or copyrighted. If you don't care to buy one, please enjoy browsing the gallery, it will grow and deepen.
I long ago abandoned the gallery experience, the truly expensive part for the photographer is the matting and framing. And lot of people with smartphones are good photographers now.
Photography is now as important to me as my blog, and my blog is now as important to me as my books, and my books are important. Creativity is about evolving and changing and growing, I hope I never stop.
I've ordered another art lens for portraits and landscapes, it should arrive after Christmas.
Thanks for your support as always. I've sold about 75 photographs (some of them are small prints) in the past few weeks, this is a very happy development, and for me, an intensely creative one.
Thanks for supporting my work. You can see the photos here.