22 October 2008
Computer havoc; a song,a death, life goes on.
7 pm. it is already dark and I am sitting outside CASA NOPAL uploading photos to flickr, and Cowboys and Indians.Catching up with DKish and my Poppie; trying to sort out whatever happened with my computer last week when everything got shuffled or disappeared. It was quite disconcerting and no measure of help can really take me back to where I was. what's a GRRL to do?
Backup and smile at the universe and get real with the world; Close the computer and sigh. Instead I went to a book signing out under the stars at the Presidencia for Julian a local art historian and teacher. A small trio began to play; an accordion,a guitar, an old upright base. The songs they sing are about Chihuahua, the revolution, the sierras, love; in this intimacy I am in awe and am reminded this is why I am here; Julian's students are beautiful shy girls, they serve the bocitas, a few familiar faces from my pueblo, Horacio who last year invited to me to join them at his family's plot at the cemetery asks me if I am coming this year; I met some of the other potters from Mata Ortiz; they remember me from the rodeo; Chinese Mexicans; Mexican Chinese; Cowboys and potters; the 1st and 2nd generations of Mata Ortiz potters. Wives,daughters, and sons. We all shake hands. There is a formality that I love here and miss when I go home to the NOrth. Kids do cartwheels in the grass in the moonlight. The bass player smiles, the people move into a circle and add their voices to the song they know. It is wonderful to hear; the computer is what it is. I am reminded to not be attached to material things; the word 'non attachment' floats through my mind. be here now. Listen. Look up. This is a gift. Count your blessings. Remember why you are here. Some things are out of your control and others are waiting to be felt and seen.
I am thinking of my friends who have lost loved ones or who are traveling through to the other side of life; Zman's dad, ARtie. Carmela's dog Apollonia. Dkish's furry friend Monday. The Midge. Old age and pain. heart attacks and alcoholism. There is an outpouring of love for these people. Across the street in two day three funerals; one related to the crazy cartel shakedown; the son of the owner of the Marysol where I eat heavenly burritos stopped to help someone and got shot in Nuevo...border wars are at the door; Families line the streets; Men drink beer and smoke cigarettes in the shade. Later I see one of the abuelitas from the parade with her beautiful big, fat grand baby carrying her down the street. Without knowing it the funeral has changed guard; the young man at the beginning of his life and an older grandmother has come to her own time of rest. People walk to the little chapel to pay their respects; all the generations; each will be walked to the cemetery for their final rest. I have not photographed this.... instead I chose to offer my compassion; a touch on the arm, a hug, a handshake. I don't want to "take" something away from them. I wonder about what my response is; Death unites us all and I imagine these people I know and don't know meeting on the other side and somehow accompanying one another. That's how I imagine it. I say my mantra; I say a prayer to Our Lady. I look at the beautiful day; the golden leaves more golden than the day before. The memory of songs
connecting us to the stars and to the brown earth where we return. The ache of love's memory haunting....the love for this world. Everything still so beautiful; so sad, so amazing. What matters are these little moments given.shared. I want to remember and not forget as I still remember when I fell in love one spring with life itself. Something is gone and yet something still remains. A small ember lingers like a note of a song and disappears into the night.
Jeffrey Allan Siegel, 36, died Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008, in Flagstaff.
Mr. Siegel was born May 5, 1972, in St. Paul, Minn. He was a free spirit who truly enjoyed the challenges of climbing the rock walls of Yosemite and Zion National Park. He loved the thrill of running the big rapids of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and yet he also enjoyed the peace and tranquility of floating down the Verde River. His family and friends will remember the laughter he brought to all.
A Poem for the Midge:
I saw you walk away down the dark alley the last time I was home
and I had the sad feeling as I called your name I would never see you again.
Word of your passing comes to me and I wonder of the pain of losing yourself
in the drink; the eddy your soul's boat was never able to break.
I don't understand how or why.
I hear the laugher of our friends on the porch
I hear your laughter, your long hair sometimes in your face
under a ball cap; I remember you brushing it for Dk's birthday party.
Ajo laughing and your generosity of heart expressed in sharing the gift
of so many crab legs; you never held back.
You had the insight of perception,
a kind spirit, and always a helping hand.
I still hear your soft voice expressing your joy for photography, for nature.
Little notes of insight into what you love but couldn't hold onto.
Something in you broke and lost the line to lead you out of the maze
of your own sorrow.
Alone you left. But not alone anymore as you melt into the great mystery
and return as the child who loved this world.
I imagine you and Monday.Two souls, one human,one dog
united on the other side; familiar to one another,
and we are blessed to have know you for a little while.
A sticker remains on the pink VW bus.
Midge has a posse and that is us.