Yup. I'm in New Mexico.
I've been on the road about a week, wending my way slowly across the southwest corner of Colorado and into the Land of Enchantment. (24-hours after my arrival in Farmington I think it should be called the Land of Outrageous Library Booksales Causing Me to Fill the Trunk of the Car with 40 Additional Pounds of Reading Material.)
The last several days have been... well... they've been a lot of things. Last Thursday I met several delightful and accomplished women for whom I did a little field sketching workshop. We did some drawing, and indulged in panini and books and the stunning views above Crested Butte. A fine way to spend an afternoon, and invigorating as always to meet new people.
That evening I stayed with friends in Montrose, caught up on some chisme, and admired the progress of their work on their new house. Their chinchilla, Santiago, consented to sit with me for a little while, too, which satisfied a childhood desire long-stifled. I had friends in grade school whose family raised chinchillas, but those critters were declared untouchable. FINALLY, 35 years later, I got to sink my fingers into that ridiculously dense pelt. A good reminder that some goals just take a while to attain.
From there to Durango, for the Colorado Art Ranch Artposium, "Mapping in the Arts." More about this later, but it was a fabulously mind-expanding, idea-inspiring, question-launching, laughter-filled gathering once again. Of particular intrigue to me were the presentations by Peter Turchi, whose book, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer, I have been enjoying very much and Nikos Salingaros, outspoken thorn-in-the-flesh of contemporary architecture and eloquent proponent of biophilic design.
And now I'm in New Mexico, visiting friends and enjoying that off-balance feeling that comes with being in unfamiliar territory. Tomorrow I'll turn around and head for home, since the next day I'll be receiving a visitor of my own... a college chum not seen in 24 years.
So... in addition to still feeling snake-skin-ish I am now feeling like a manic squirrel, stockpiling ideas and experiences, memories and explorations for the shorter, darker days ahead.
Life is good.