17 January 2011

In The Shape Of A Heart -Martin Luther KIng and Jackson Browne -

HOPI RADIO rocks my world. ghost dancers in the moonlight and ol Jackson Browne. JOni Mitchill. The music my babysitters used to play ; and when you made out in the front seat at the Mars Hill Overlook....

I haven't heard some of these songs in years so I ask WHY tonight? a bit melancholic; the night is actually balmy ; haven't started to make dinner yet... want to make prints and put new images behind glass.... look at prints not a computer screen... all of it goes hand and hand but sometimes you got to touch your pictures....the tones, the memories; more than just ink, on the page.

It makes me think of country loves songs and red neon light l; I think of the frontera; and of a woman named Juanita or Maria Guadalupe...she is beautiful and waiting for something to happen ; what is the fate? of one or another? holes in the wall...spray paint,icons of our Lady, Mal Verde, Jesus, Coke a Cola all lined up; my mind jumps ; teenage love; mature love; what the #@k love? rhinstone cowboys ; river stones and naked trees; lost love letters and the faces
of the people I've photographed these years; the screen saver plays random photos of the past 5 years; which file is this from?...changing times / movies. the kids all getting bigger; friends now parents; rocks and water; walking up canyons to touch the heart in the breast of Sonora; wouldn't you know I found two heart stones....one green one sparkly...it felt like magic ; )

Heart rocks make me think of Laurie and Dennis; woo cafe red lights and summer nights in Flagtown ; she has a wall full of heart stones... just beautiful; usually I find worn wood.... still have a bag full of drift wood from the canyon.... old scrap from the rez... worn just so. and now there is the gold of Sonora; walking in tall grass; shades of denim blue mountains; the sycamore trees elegant in winter like ancient monks contemplating the silver sound of water under fallen leaves.

thinking too much tonight. a sentimental sip of tequila for it's long journey with Spence and Emi ; it got here - everyone home again. late night coffee? dark and sweet.... contemplate the moon with milagro and look south to where I go next - the wind is calling.

and now the baddest version of this little light of mine sung by Nina Stapler who sang during Martin Luther King's rallies ; dang KUYI you sure know how to choose em.

Is a glass half empty or half full? is a heart half empty or half full ? what do we put into life? Lots of heart to think about and it's almost Valentines day...

It was a ruby that she wore

On a chain around her neck

In the shape of a heart

In the shape of a heart

It was a time I won't forget

For the sorrow and regret

And the shape of a heart

And the shape of a heart

I guess I never knew

What she was talking about

I guess I never knew

What she was living without

People speak of love don't know what they're thinking of

Wait around for the one who fits just like a glove

Speak in terms of belief and belonging

Try to fit some name to their longing

There was a hole left in the wall

From some ancient fight

About the size of a fist

Or something thrown that had missed

And there were other holes as well

In the house where our nights fell

Far too many to repair

In the time that we were there

People speak of love don't know what they're thinking of

Reach out to each other though the push and shove

Speak in terms of a life and the learning

Try to think of a word for the burning

You keep it up

You try so hard

To keep a life from coming apart

And never know

What breaches and faults are concealed

In the shape of a heart

It was the ruby that she wore

On a stand beside the bed

In the hour before dawn

When I knew she was gone

And I held it in my hand

For a little while

And dropped it into the wall

Let it go, heard it fall

I guess I never knew

What she was talking about

I guess I never knew

What she was living without

People speak of love don't know what they're thinking of

Wait around for the one who fits just like a glove

Speak in terms of a life and the living

Try to find the word for forgiving

You keep it up

You try so hard

To keep a life from coming apart

And never know

The shallows and the unseen reefs

That are there from the start

In the shape of a heart

16 January 2011


Originally uploaded by Mary Bogdan
a little bit of earth... I keep wondering where do all those plastic bags go - looking for envelop art ; and food stories. I really love this quote.... one earth.

"If people can see Earth from up here, see it without those borders, see it without any differences in race or religion, they would have a completely different perspective. Because when you see it from that angle, you cannot think of your home or your country. All you can see is one Earth...." --Anousheh Ansari, Iranian-American space tourist who flew last year to the international space station.

First prints and the Eternal flame

I was feeling an inertia and sense of melancholy when I returned back to Casas Grandes after Jason left and the sense of return and life changes - some heart ache and wondering what is it when you feel a long night ahead ; or those 3 am walk abouts and dark lit coffee. The unexpected visitors - how they lifted my spirit up - hundreds of images later and a having to alas discard my old epson printer after the Suenos de Aztlan show I feel I owe it a memorial dis-assemblage ; maybe even a makeover at the Chicas Bravas : ) anyways new printer, new drivers and fiinding the right usb cable I was finally in action. So with the end of the year and the beginning I wanted to make my first images of hope... of my shy friends; their youth, beauty, and the people from whom they come from how I hope what is of essence will survive....

Here's a view of real Mexico and the people who come from her sierras.

I also enjoyed making this portrait of the ranch manager whose name escapes me at the moment... I want to say Santiago , at Rancho Cerro Colorado; He's been there for years; He was the gardener I photographed earlier and then I realize he knows this ranch most of his life as I left contemplating his portrait with a sombrero vs a gardener's hoe. I do a portrait of him and his son Miguel. I show them photos of sustainable building examples made with bottles and adobe... I see the lights go on. I wish I could learn how to make an occitillo fence from them : ) they are sooo cool... and I like that they can grow...

I stand in the old tack room full of history and memoir of a different time and place -

I was reading Carlos Fuentes last night from a book Sal Gal gave me for Christmas. Finally to just sit with a book; and pictures and powerful words... HOw to write to see like that!!! Images I still sometimes see but less and less even now. Can I have regrets about the times I am living in? To know each festival may not come back again next year... As I turn the book's pages, Bresson's black and white pictures under the brilliant blue of Mexico sky; the naked trees with a few golden dried leaves and pigeons cooing in the setting light I think of these words and this music I now play over and over.... the Chinese 6 year old; the orchestra; the violia and violin version.. the father/daughter duet.... It pours out of the CAsa Azul and squeezes some salt out of my eyes ; I just can't help it....

one hopes for different endings ; or thought the story would go some other way - and when you're all alone with music and words and feel the depth of resignation to just feel it for all it is... how would have what I would have seen been different ? how does one just create again?
listen and look around...

I think of Dkish's 40 birthday and I think Bennett would have been 62?? birth - heaven? a life time of memories - what do we record as photographers ? as lovers of light? and dark? what inspires us to blow on the flame or have it be breathed into us? I wonder about Dkish's climbing trip - making coffee in the mornings - and waking up in nature ; we are just on either side of the fence and maybe 5 hours away from each other...so I send her an email ; a fb shout out; look at all our funny fotos; and I wish I could just give her a big ol hug and make her stuffed chiles and toast to her Birthday with Sotol - so close, so faraway and yet right here with me because of the music and the pictures...and the love we share doing it.....

I heard this story about Haitian violinist, Remal Joseph; it inspired me while working on these images ; it was truly a moving piece of music and story of a life still inspired ; if you get a chance check it out. Passion, grace, desire to create and recreate and rise up against the odds - I was listening to HOPI radio and then just had to stop, listen, and take to heart this story...this music; Oh how much time does one really have?? not enough I am sure so best to stay doing something even if it's wrong as Emi would say... she's the Queen so she must know!

just like Carlos Fuentes writes for Bresson's photo essays in Mexico....
" The wounds of Mexico heal for one moment so that the world takes shape beneath the watchful eye of the artist. The answer could be found in the sum of moments discovered by the invisible butterfly that is the photographer, which ends up alighting on a portrait of eternity without meaning to - for time, said Plato, is nothing but eternity on the move. To render simultaneously the movement of the moment and the immobility of the eternal could be a way of the forming a poetic destiny."

Just found these from two years ago.

14 January 2011

Twist in my Sobriety

I remember this video late or early in the morning depending on how you look at 3am. San Juan Puerto Rico at my tia's house near the sea. The tropical air moist and salty. This video imprinted itself into my mind. I haven't seen it in a long time; I think it was a defining moment in my life.

Lisa Wiltse - One Life Photos Mennonites in Bolivia

A poignant dream like documentary of the Mennonites in Bolivia. I wonder if they are related to our Mennonite friends here at Campo Capulin.
It is rare to find such a eye on so an intimate culture. I was very moved by these images.

A beautiful series and the art of gift giving on ones journey. jason florio - One Life Photos

11 January 2011

MAGUEY una pelicula

El Charco: San Miguel Allende. Mexico
1st Maguey Festival; Featuring the movie by

Sonora; The Magical Mystery Tour 2011

Out of the blue Gil asks if I want to go to Sonora. Dkish invites herself and it's a posse! Trigger has a stroke. His 985th life.... one eyed and swaggering like an old Chinese Pirate he has survived AGAIN! needless to say Dkish was indisposed.... other plans totally fall through so why not head the call and just say YES? I say 'Si!' like as in Hell yeah to Gil's invite to visit his old friends down in Sonora . I so want to see something new - My interest is piqued when he tells me that I could actually see a zebra in the magical world of Mexico. And then when it actually does happen he swears to God I could probably hand feed one of them a banana !

Good to have traveling compadres - I flash to Hason reaching his hands out across the void of sorrow laid out on the kitchen table back home before everything changed; he says " I am coming with you to Mexico." Not, I am thinking about it, or...asking... he's just coming. I am grateful to have a visitor from my other home; can't believe it was almost four years since Jason came with me and helped me move into the casa. still cant' believe so much time flies. It's a new experience to see the landscape as a passenger as Jason flies in the Mariachi mobile south; just get to Mogillion - and we do. It takes everything to just get me in the van...loaded with the doors closed and heading east and south.

Mountain passes. A long wait just 15 minutes outside Agua Prieta. Running and Margeoux are meeting us at the border. Apaches. Mormons.Revolution. border wars. Farmers. Old Haciendas. Running brought me my ACME new camera just enough time to share a gran cena, at the infamous BONANZA in AP. Later in the night I reflect on how short the time was; how far they came and we spend a night so close and so far away because a fence is right there...
I am so grateful for the song and the moment like this I don't even have a picture of...the end of the year and the next one right around the corner.

Wild lands and snow topped mountains in the Sonoran desert. Family legacies and a passion for wild animals ; a reserve where Zebras and Bison roam over and around the fingers of gold.

The new year has begun in the middle of golden hills where bison roam; regal Scottish Elk duck beneath naked trees and disappear over the ridge. Rainbows and a cold wind kept at bay from the constant fires burning to keep the rooms warm. Coziness inspires red wine to flow. A song from David in the afternoon - Christmas already come and gone. Friends for years from NY,Miami,Mexico City; Us, Scottsdale and Chihuahua ; ) via Flagstaff, Arizona; what a sad state of affairs these days.

How great to travel with good and dear friends - They inspire you to stop and take part in shared experiences no words can express. They have patience for the act of stopping and making a picture. I think of all the good people we met and connected with on this trip. The unexpected invitation to go where many of our friends don't want to venture to these days is an affirmation of being here - on this side- to learn and see all I can and be sure we have a really GREAT time. The world is mad - everybody is afraid but we're lighting candles and listening to old songs in Spanish; walking under naked trees and crunching leaves into wet earth.

The media onslaught falls silent as we head down the road. It's mute as we pass another roadside shrine. how I love the shrines; god I'd never get where I was going if I stopped at every one.... maybe I should make that a project...Sunlight streaming like God's light onto a cerro in the distance. We meet families and friends as we head south. We make a circle 8 on the Rio Sonora. A two lane road with not much traffic is deceptive in it's pastoral beauty and the rich history unfolds each bend and morning with the fire crackling. I think this is where we'll turn off when we come back... seen and noted. Deceptive blacktop that gives way to dirt and land movers and big work trucks on the uphill. Abandoned work camps of tarpapered 4x 8s. The wind blows in between the two sierras.

Red roof top of drying red chile. A family eats popcorn and offers me some when I ask if I can take a photo of their chiles. A hawk flies over head. A dead badger; I wanted to look at it up close. I wonder why they're sacred animals...what's their stories? A dead horned owl too. A Giant Guadalupe on the side of the road. I relight as many candles as I can remembering the little girl and her mama relighting candles at the shrine outside of AP where people cross.

It's a road trip where we don't know what day it is. Or which path we'll take on the Sonora Trail. The maps are changing with the new paved roads over old dirt, winding mountain passes. The wind blows as we rise up from the river plain to the winding ridges and down the back side.

The Sonoran Trail:

Cool place to rest:
Cerro Colorado

Chicas Bravas Retroworks WEST

The Chicas BRAVAS!!
Arriving in Fronteras as the golden light goes down. We had out to the Valenzula's. Gil hasn't seen them in eight years. I stop to make photos of trash bags in the fence. The local police stop by ; we're odd out here... just past Geronimo's garrison. I'm reading the Apache Diaries and it's all here.... history on the winds of change in 2011.

The bunk house has a huge stove. We hang out in the kitchen. unload our cooler and get some coffee. It is cozy by the old cook stove that will come to frame and ingrain in me a portrait of Alice framed by the lines of this symbol ; the harth of the home.

Sotol from chihuahua and red wine for Scottsdale.The thick cut bacon disappeared into the black hole of the cooler but miraculously made it's reappearance back in AP. Pork Tenderloin and morning with green chile beer pancakes with real maple syrup; strong coffee... and a nice side of ham ; ) sounds loca que no? but let me tell you it will forever be a taste memory. Sweet and spicy! I added some fresh crushed walnuts too. all flavors native to the landscape...I suppose one could make some mesquite syrup to really make it local ; or serve with warmed up honey with zest of orange.

Chicas Bravas Retroworks WEST will be profiled in it's own post. I want to return and spend a couple days doing portraits and listening to stories. The revolution of grandmothers... mamas with gran corazon! What's amazing is it is NOT an overnight process... there's a dream and there's a lot of work; faith and elbow grease - my mind could not have visualized what I saw. The GRAN picture is amazing; it gave me hope for the women I met in Monte Verde - people want to learn - so how do we make ideas accessible ?

A stop at Celso's Rancho Guadalupe. We have never met but I have certainly appreciated his legacy of Sotol. I meet him and Emma on my way home.

I am back in my Mexican Dollhouse, The Casa Azul in El Pueblo, camping. pero que lindo la dias! how beautiful the days! Sunshine and warmth all around. I wish i knew about growing lettuce in the winter... ideas for composting ; heard a cool pod cast on An Organic Conversation that addresses this very issue! A good listen for the new year ; )

A green house; windows ; pathways; prayers for the dead garden to come alive in the spring. Naked trees with birds in flight ; stalling a minute pausing on the wind. I love washing dishes outside; baking in Dutch Oven treats. It's a process to keep the home fires burning and not chop off my finger with my new hatchet I had to replace since the other one was stolen.

I sit sometimes by the fire reminding myself what it was like camping at the bottom of the Grand Canyon cooking for science in January when the winds would howl downstream and we had to layover because of the snow. The fire the center of our world. The rafts tied to shore. Dog beds under the cliffs up high. The sound of the river rushing by.Cold.grey green.

Milagro the cat sits on the edge of the stove. I like to kick up my boot on the edge when I eat. read a book with a headlamp on just like being on the river and waiting for it to be at least after 8 before going to bed in the long dark winter nights.

Green chiles roast. more hot water for coffee, tea... Lots of hot drinks in winter. My honey do list included adding plastic to some of the windows. A sarape over the door; It's good to
wear a hat or scarf for extra insulation.

I am compelled to make cakes and bake with the coals. A corn bread is next up or banana corn bread ; maybe banana beer pancakes manana... Swedish oatcakes..with corn meal.

more contemplation and kat yoga. Hopi radio makes me feel reflective;

Hopi radio tonight; Love and Happiness, Hotel California, I can't find my way home...classics...streaming from HOPI land... It seems I'm more like Harry Chapin flying through the borderlands in the mariachi mobile vs a taxi in NYC...wondering where I'll land ; what will take root?

Go put another log on the fire.... make some more late night coffee... this still isn't half the story.

Orion Magazine

I submitted some work to Orion last summer. Turns out Justin the photo editor had been to Chihuahua; and our long time friend Hans Teensma was still designing beautiful magazines. The world of photos, northern mexico, road trips and assignments Bennett and Running did with Hans back in the 80's -

Here's a few of the designs as it progressed.

The photo illustration was for a story by Luis Urrera, one of my favorite writers whose stories have accompanied all the road trips and stories through Mexico's magic lands. Still my work from the San Francisco Mission accompanies me - the urban existence and the call of the natural world. I was stoked to find old pages from the original diaries of Luis and Clark. I have always remembered Luis' reading from The DEVILS HIGHWAY at the Border Book Festival put together by Denise Chavez. For the love of the word and the cultures of the borderlands.

Please have a listen : Orion Magazine
Summary: Lius Alberto Urrea reads his short story, "The Southside Raza Image Federation Corps of Discovery," from the January/February 2011 issue of Orion.