13 January 2011

Flowers in the Desert

I spent the last two days of 2010 reading. For me,  reading is the best way to slow down and begin a period of introspection.

Recommended by my dear friend, Mercedes, I chose "The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir" because I longed for the warm sun of the desert and I was looking for a way to quiet my mind after the holiday rush and focus on my goals for the coming new year.

Sometimes the best way to find clarity or a solution is to literally walk away. I walked with Silko as she spoke about her thirty years in the Tucson desert, feeling blessed to be there and how she made friends with the rattlesnakes, pack rats and bees understanding the tenuous balance that existed between the wild and not so wild. I listened as she worried about the approaching development and destruction of the desert by bulldozers, painting small white crosses on boulders to ward off Machine Man like she had seen in the petroglyphs left on the boulders by the ancient people centuries earlier. I cried when the owls raided her aviary and killed her beloved macaws.

Silko explores the sacred and mystical quality of turquoise.

"When I was a child, people at Laguna and people in Spanish-speaking villages nearby used to paint the doors and window frames bright turquoise blue to keep away witches. The Spanish-speaking people used to save the bright blue stamps that sealed the Bull Durham tobacco bags, and whenever they had headaches they wore the bright blue stamps on their foreheads to stop the pain."

Thrilled whenever a piece of turquoise appeared on the trail, she returns home and places the new found treasure on her desk among the other treasures, writing or painting about that particular piece of turquoise and where she had found it.

With the recent shootings in Tucson, I am recalling the peace I felt as 'walked' with Leslie and the strength I get whenever I am in this part of the country, envisioning bits of turquoise being left by the ancient people for those harmed and lost as well as their families in the hopes that their pain will be eased and the healing will begin.


Brian Miller said...

nice...esp those closing sentiments...an there is signifigance in those rituals..d

CM said...

What a beatiful post. I felt like I was walking along with you. I didn't know about the turquose on the windows. Wonderful captures.


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