And it is Summer! the cholla is in bloom. These are a few shots of my walk along the Rail Trail this week. The photos capture the brilliance of these blooms on their waxy yellow buds. The sight brings back memories of when I went cholla harvesting with the crew from Santa Fe Spirits. That was during a drought year so the blooming of the cholla was late, but we found fields of it on a ranch south of Santa Fe (where they were also filming a Seth McFarlane movie). The day was in the 90s and cloudless. I was using a vise grip wrench to twist the blooms off the cactus. I was given a pair of leather gauntlets but I found them too bulky to be effective, so I braved the cactus spines with bare hands. And what day of playing in the desert would be complete without a rattlesnake? That’s the rancher poking at one with a ten-foot pole. Such ventures call for volunteers, but they rewarded us with a bottle of Wheeler’s Gin, which was distilled with the essence of the cholla blossoms, and other Southwestern flavors.
But most days in Santa Fe are not so herpetological. Recently we celebrated Bloomsday, for which fans of James Joyce descended upon the Jean Cocteau Cinema (thank you, George R.R. Martin!). We feasted on seed cake and gorgonzola sandwiches and all manner of cocktails, before regaling each other with pungent selections from the novel Ulysses. Some of the passages were quite intense, requiring a sizeable cast sharing the microphones (Cyclops episode) and some were breath-takingly bizarre (Circe). And all good fun. I was delighted to be invited to show some of my work at this event; in addition to the Joyce-themed Bloomsday at Molly Malone’s and Leopold Bloom, I displayed Too Far Out and Loosen Your Soul. The curator for the theater was excited – and perhaps more opportunities are coming down the pike. You will hear it here first!
Right on the heels of this one-day show, I got more exciting news: I will be presenting a workshop on poetry and collage at St. John’s College here in Santa Fe. I am thrilled! The date has not yet been determined, but it will be during the next academic year. I will be sure to announce it on this page.
On the home front, the family chefs and I have been experimenting with a wood-burning pizza oven. I have nicknamed it Jonah’s Bane. On its first ”trial-by-fire”, we cooked spicy shrimp, eggplant, and hand tossed pizza. More to come.
I will be in the Railyard Artisans Market for the next few Sundays, working on my Coral reef series. The market is indoors and air conditioned, with live music, so I enjoy doing my work there.
See you soon!
Love and Peace,
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.