Yesterday evening reading organized by SOMOS, Society of the Muse of the Southwest.
First, Sean read us a short story, without convincing me of his talent though the following is given on the web:
“Sean Murphy – He has published three novels (The Finished Man, The Hope Valley Hubcap King, The Time of New Weather), a nonfiction book on Zen practice (One Bird, One Stone) and four plays. He teaches creative writing and literature at UNM – Taos and leads writing workshops around the country.
He also co-taught with Natalie Goldberg (author of Writing Down the Bones) in her series of writing and meditation seminars. Sean’s latest novel, The Time of New Weather, (January, 2005) from which he read was awarded first place for best novel in the National Press Women Communications Awards.”
And Mirabai Starr who lived as a child, teenager and young woman in hippie communes then one day “turned to God.” She translates the mystics, so she read fragments of her translations and then from her memoirs, more specifically, about how she went from her many hippie lovers to the life of nun which was not very satisfying, returned to the secular world. She finally found the love of her life, who was sitting in the front row and explained to us why it finally worked. One reason in her opinion was that he left her free to pray and to love God as she needed. Is this really convincing ?
Then Jenny Bird, who is quite well known in the United States and has set to music the mystical translations of Mirabai Starr, sings some of these adaptations. Emotional.
That’s it, as my neighbors say, it was very interesting to participate in an evening like this where everyone knows and congratulates one another.
Anyway, we were part of the show. Some people had already met us. And as always, there was great enthusiasm expressed at the announcement of our specialties. Conversation with Bill Ebie and his wife Teresa, who had told me of their passion for coyotes, and I had then told them my story of the indistinct dog shape I had seen. They asked me if I had received the pictures of coyotes taken just outside their house the other night that they had sent to Michael to forward to me. Not yet!
To return to the story of names, it’s bizarre that I do not remember them. While the encyclopedic accuracy of Pierre Lieutaghi fascinates me; or that of the Indian writer Scott Momaday in his book: Names: A Memoir.
Aptly, the other time Michael had told us about some names here:
– Los Pandos means bend or hunchback. In this street with many turns there lived, it seems, a hunchback and his mother also a hunchback. – Taos means red willow
– Alamos means poplars.
Short walk on the path above the Rio Grande, very impressive. Then I decended down into the gorge where the Rio Pueblo flows into the Rio Grande. It was the beginning of the walk I intend to do with George and Carolyn and is part of the no man’s land where I had met the woman with six dogs.
Once more, as Rimbaud would say: “retour enluminé“.
Tonight an invitation with Carolyn to the place of a friend of her’s, full of people of all ages, each brought a dish, lots of good things, some wine … I met Patrice, a musician and photographer who offers to help me discover other rivers less accessible than the Rio Grande or the Red River. We exchange email addresses. His wife talks about her research on learning language from birth.
We talk, we snack, drink and little by little, the musicians begin to play, to improvise …