24 October

The Bandelier National Monument. When Eyes Are Opened.

by Jon Katz
Bandolier Cliffs

I know little about native cultures in America beyond the few books I’ve read and the unending stereotypes in media and culture. New Mexico gave me an opportunity to change that somewhat, we went to the Museum of Indian Arts And Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art, both in Sante Fe.

I learned a great deal about  the pueblo and Native-American cultures, and learned also how little I know about them. In our country, we are so selective about history. In New Mexico, native peoples live here in great numbers, and the mixing of cultures here is intoxicating. It isn’t old musty history, it is contemporary life.

We walked in the plaza markets in Santa Fe where indians have sold jewelry and other goods for hundreds of years in front of the Governor’s Palace, and I bought a beautiful copper bracelet from a Navajo artist named David Ponte. I love it.

This morning, we drove to the Bandelier National Monument – 67,000 acres – and hiked to see some of the cliffs where the pueblo people lived for centuries. One powerful experience after another here, from George O’Keefe’s haunting studio to the caves where the pueblo people lived and worked.

I still know only a little bit about these remarkable cultures, but my eyes are much more open than before. I’m grateful to New Mexico (and Maria) for that.

24 October

So Long, New Mexico. Heading Home Tomorrow

by Jon Katz
Heading Home: Theresa and Richard  Montayo, our friends (Richard loves to make faces for the camera.)

Wednesday morning, we start the day long trek back to Cambridge, and our Bedlam Farm. It is bittersweet, we are sad to be leaving this magical and mystical place and happy to be going to the home we love and our friends and animals.

We have bags full of trinkets an gifts for the farmhouse and for our friends, and rich and deep memories. I will write more this week about the trip, we both need a bit of distance to sort out the meaning of it. It has been a healing place for me, my hives, angina and stiff legs have all vanished. I don’t know what to make of it.

This felt like home to both of us and we are talking and talking about why. When I next blog it will be from home, we’ll be traveling all day and probably won’t be home until midnight. I looked briefly and the news and was saddened by almost everything I saw.

Yesterday, we walked around Santa Fe and I saw how beautiful a city it is. Today, we visited some ancient pueblo cliff caves. Lots to digest.

I will re-dedicate myself to doing good and to the Army of Good, We are needed. Much love to you all and thanks for sharing this journey with me. Talk to you soon.

24 October

The Villes Caldera

by Jon Katz
The Villes Caldera

Every day, the New Mexico landscape shocks and thrills and astonished Maria and I. Today, we wandered across the Villes Caldera. 

About a million years ago, a series of spectacular volcanic eruptions created this vast plain of volcanic ash that is unlike anything I have ever seen.  We drove to the visitor’s center – far up in the mountains and stared at this amazing sight and watched some coyotes trek across the endless meadows.

If we waited longer, we could have seen some of the herds of elk that cross this basin. Maybe next time. I will never forget the awe I feel so often here. No wonder so many artists flock here to work and live.

24 October

Retablo Coming Home. For Red, Fate And Gus: The Patron Saint Of Dogs

by Jon Katz
The Patron Saint Of Dogs

We went to Theresa Montoya’s art gallery to say goodbye. We have fallen in love with Teresa and her husband Richard, two gifted and incredibly sweet people. Theresa and Richard also make and sell the Enserado Healing Save that has somewhat miraculously and almost instantly cured the hives that have been plaguing me due to the medications I have been taking for my heart.

We hugged and promised to stay in touch with one another, and Theresa gave us a gift, this Retablo painted by Richard. A retablo is a Mexican devotional painting, there are dozens in Theresa’s gallery. This one is of Saint Roch, the patron saint of dogs. “It is a blessing to meet you,” she wrote, “thank you for all you did for us.”

We didn’t do much in truth, I mentioned the Enserado and Theresa has gotten many calls from people wanting to buy it. I can’t speak for others, but it has stunned and helped heal me and I am bringing a bunch of small jars home. I think it will be with me always, it has healed so many skin problems for many years, some of her most fervent customers are dermatologists.

Their art is beautiful and much loved, so colorful and vibrant and spiritual. It’s both traditional but it also reflects their own individualism. Take a look. I don’t eve know what to say about the Enserado salve, it has shaken me up

Theresa would not take any money from us for the retablo. They cost $47. You can also find Theresa on Facebook.

Theresa and Richard are good and honest and wonderful people, we have loved spending time with them and seeing their home and studios. I am happy to have a retablo for my dogs, Richard’s retablos are beautiful and have some strong mojo about them.

If you want to contact Theresa or Richard about their work, you can call them at 505 753 4698 or visit them at www.theresasartgallery.com or e-mail them at theresasartgallery@yahoo.com.

Richard is a passionate Beatles Fan and often works on his Beatle Art which is quite amazing. He has a wicked sense of humor, the two of them are very much in love.

We will miss them and plan to stay in touch with them. They are both good witches doing good in the world.

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