Yesterday, a long day of traveling in a sleepy haze due to less than 4 hrs sleep, as I'd wanted to be with friends on my last night in Beacon for a while. On the bus from Albuquerque to T or C, my first impression was of a predominantly beige landscape, a horizon line stretching far into the distance, and bright sun flashing through the windows. By the time dusk fell I was ready for bed. Nine hours later, I woke soon after sunrise and thought happily, I am in New Mexico. This is actually happening.
I was received warmly by the young woman who's founded this residency. My living quarters are charming. Blue painted floors, cheery yellow doors and everything I need. Outside, a courtyard with sun and shade, 2 raised-bed gardens planted with corn & squash, and around the back, the hot springs tub. At night, strings of colored lights go on and the dark sky fills with stars.
This morning, riding a borrowed bicycle, I am taken on a tour. Turtleback Mountain rises in the distance beyond the town. Many brilliantly colored little buildings as well as warm earth-toned ones, the shops and galleries and spas and churches. The Rio Grande, green and cold, flows nearby. The studio space/gallery is in an orange-painted storefront on Main St, and there is lots of room for me to work. I meet several nice people over the course of the day. Still having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that I have a whole month to spend in this quirky Southwestern town, to move past the initial over-stimulation that excites and tires me and to feel it all gradually soak in. Becoming part of something within me that will always be there to draw upon.
I unpack my supplies and note with some relief that whatever paint spilled was fairly minimal and that it wasn't the cobalt blue. Later there is an after-dark performance outside a restaurant to celebrate the first of May. A drumming circle and fire dancers spinning and flashing light through the darkness, hips and arms a wild blur.