In the Girls in the Basement class, the discussion this week is on love. As it happened, I was scheduled to go to Albuquerque for a panel yesterday, and having emailed a big chunk of the book the my agent, I was free to take an artist’s date. So I landed early and took a cab to Old Town. It was still early and quiet. Daffodils bloomed in pots around the little secret plazas. I drank coffee with an old man named Peaches, who shared his Albuquerque Journal with me. He offered to drive me to UNM in his school bus, but I wanted to shop lightly, because the Girls really like cheap silver and turquoise. I bought some silver studs, and a thin airy turquoise scarf and and a red stone heart for the writing altar, as was required for this week’s exercises. It was hard to find a taxi back, but I remembered there was a hotel close by and went there, and they got one for me. The driver was named Sammi. He had an Arabic accent and promised to come back for me for the trip to the airport. He sent his friend, instead, a man who had come to Albuquerque from the Sudan to go to college at UNM, fourteen years ago. We talked about Gov. Richardson and his chances for the presidency.
Notes from the plane on the way home:
–The Rio Grande and Sandias at sunset. The mountains to the east, sky that orange mango pink, the land austure, severe, pinons and arroyos and a sudden shimmer of lights all in a cluster at the head of a valley, like spilled yellow rhinestones.
The sky so vivid. Like blood beneath skin. Alien skin. (This morning I think of the name for that color: vermillion) The depth of color is like melted crayon.
Then I wrote, with love splitting my heart (like a red heart afire, burning in my chest): "The west, the west, the west, vast and vast and vast. "
What places split your heart open?