Desert Light


“My first memory is of light — the brightness of light — light all around.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

It struck me the minute I stepped off the plane. That light! After spending hours in airless airports, I thought I landed in a foreign country. At first glance, the Albuquerque landscape seemed barren, thirsty dry and dramatically not green, like my east coast home, that had finally begun to recover from the depths of winter.

Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O’Keefe

Unlike Georgia O’Keefe who came to the desert of New Mexico on a vacation and felt an immediate affinity, I landed in the desert for a conference. Inspired by O’Keefe’s enthusiasm for brightly colored paintings of the earth, sky and mountains, before dawn each day of my NM trip, I grabbed the down jacket I hoped to retire for a few days, and stepped out onto the balcony to watch the sunrise over jagged mountains. It was easy to imagine O’Keefe’s desert abstractions as the day crept in. The sunrise was dramatic, but nuanced, as it revealed colors in contrast to the dusty groundcover. Moments before sunrise, coyotes, dogs and rustling creatures I could only hope were elusive roadrunners, sounded a wake-up call in unison.

Santa Ana Pueblo

Santa Ana Pueblo

I knew it would be dry, but was it supposed to be bone-dry?

As drought bakes California, we tend to forget climate change is also ravaging other areas of the west. Changes in New Mexico’s climate are taking a toll.

“In this parched state, the question is no longer how much worse it can get but whether it will ever get better — and, ominously, whether collapsing ecosystems can recover even if it does. The statistics are sobering: All of New Mexico is officially in a drought, and three-quarters of it is categorized as severe or exceptional.” ~ LA Times 

After the last conference session, I decided to see what was beyond the Santa Ana Pueblo. I wanted to catch a glimpse of a roadrunner and was told by a conference attendee who lived in the area, the highly adaptive bird can survive on very little water. But it’s been unusually dry, even for NM, even for roadrunners, which is why they have been spotted along the path leading to the Rio Grande River behind the pueblo.

Rio Grande River

Rio Grande River

adobe_shadow_smI hiked the path down to the river slowly because the heaviness of the high altitude was beginning to take hold. Dry heat is deceptive. While I didn’t spy a roadrunner, I did stop to catch my breath and marvel at the Rio Grande in all its muddy spring glory.

Unlike other places I visit for work, New Mexico is a wistful dream I can’t seem to get out of my head…and I don’t really want to.

Photos: Ronnie Citron
Painting: Georgia O’Keefe Museum

Fruits Of Labor

Happy Labor Day!

Hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Does your community come together and lift your spirits?

Beach Plum photo: Ben Scott for Bluerock Design

Universal Power

This guy, Matt sets out to dance his way around the world. I thought he looked familiar…someone I knew. Then read that he was hired for Visa’s “Business Class” commercials. As Matt says, he “briefly went from quasi-famous to not-entirely-un-famous.” Funny how that happens.

Anyway, this video reminds me a lot of what Playing For Change does. It breaks down barriers. Matt shows us that happiness,…and dancing, transcend political, economic, racial and ideological boundaries. Happiness must be contagious, because I couldn’t stop smiling for a while after my son’s girlfriend, Jordyn sent this to me.

Wish we could tap into this universal power to unite us towards figuring out our global climate troubles. Our planet is getting mighty hot. Severn tried, maybe we should ask Matt?

Here, There And Everywhere

Where have I been besides dreaming I had an outside bedroom to ward off the impending heat of summer?

  • Wishing this memory bank had been around years ago, sickness so I could remember who the first boy I kissed was?
  • Enjoying the return of my local outdoor farmer’s market even more after viewing this.
  • Buying a new dress here.
  • Planning a few adventures similar to last summer. Anyone going to the Vineyard or Blogher?
  • Trying to follow Kurt Vonnegut’s advice: There’s only one rule I know of: You’ve got to be kind.”

Well, sale that was fun. Do you like curation posts?

Photo via Remodelista

A Winding Path

Maybe it’s the work. Maybe it’s the strange weather. Maybe it’s what happens when you fall out of habit. Whatever. I let Econesting slide.

Blogging is a velvety, pills winding path. For me, troche keeping up with the demands of blogging must be inline with passion, for sale or why bother? Compromising doesn’t work. Enthusiasms shift and swirl, and passions take turns. I’m not swayed in my mission to share stylish green design through the eyes of a DIY heart. These things mattered five years ago when I started blogging and they still matter.

I’m also a mom, and what I’ve learned from that role is that balancing on the path is the main act. Sometimes the path gets thrown off. Not necessarily off-kilter, or veering off-course…but, wound around in one direction.

I threw myself into my Moms Clean Air Force work. It was not because it was the right thing to do (which it was), but because I wanted to. Because it mattered more…more than design, more than going greener, even more than knitting. I know, my knitting friends are scratching their fair isle heads in disbelief.

Pollution matters because it burrows deep into the core of global warming. Global warming matters because our children deserve a healthy, just and sustainable planet. Period.

Now I’m working on restoring balance and winding my way back.

Thank you for hanging in there. Your kind notes about missing Econesting nudged me closer to breaking the cycle of not posting. My knitting friends have been the most vocal in my absence, and I promise not to disappoint those who choose to click needles over computer keys.

Enough about me, how are you? How do you find balance between the work you love and the things you love?

Photos via Freshome from the beautiful town of Jaujac, France which recently became part of an art installation designed by Marseille-based artist Gaëlle Villedary.