Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nature's Mood of Mockery

If you think the weather where you live is as fickle as a co-ed cruising on roofies and a half pint of Smirnoff, you should spend some time in the Land of Enchantment. Waiting five minutes is for amateurs. Try five milliseconds.

See this?

That happened in just an hour this morning. A two-week slate of sunny skies, still air, and 60 degree temps wiped clean by a storm blown in from God-only-knows-where-Alaska, churning the wind and dumping buckets of snow like some stage hand during a cheap community theater production of the Christmas Carol.

Hard to believe that just last week I was in a tee shirt and jeans, scouting out historical churches along the Turquoise Trail for a magazine article.

That’s not me; that’s the photographer. I like her because she’s prepared to do anything for a shot, including ignoring No Trespassing Signs with the impunity that comes from the belief that the perfect photo trumps everything.

Not me. I’m just the writer. Which means I don’t get paid enough to risk getting shot by some lard-brained rent-a-cop with a breakfast burrito in one hand and a Smith & Wesson in the other.

But I did donate a five spot to the cause. Just in case Baby Jesus was watching and decided the whole event necessitated a mark in my Hell No You Won’t Go To Heaven column.

The Turquoise Trail sure is pretty. I sure wish I'd taken more photos so you could see just how much.

I love exploring ruins, silently pondering how people long passed lived out their lives when everything was perfect and new.

This is Cerrillos, a tucked-away-on-the-radar town that for the most part looks the same today as it did when Billy the Kid blew in yesterday.

Still, it is the way of a carpetbagging state like New Mexico that some places can't escape gentrification. Most usually by artists from New York City who offered a family who's been in the area since the beginning of time a few pesos for their place and, voila, another adobe mansion with Sub Zero appliances and Italian marbled floors is born.

Which is not to say I wouldn't do the same thing, were I flush with cash. But if I ever did make enough money to build my own Casa de la Grande Moi, I'd paint a tribute to Our Lady on one of the walls. Isn't she beautiful?

And I would also make sure to pick my way across the gravelly streets regardless of my Manolos every Sunday morning to further give thanks for my good fortune in this church:

I so dislike modern churches. They are too scrubbed-bright and hopeful, more appropriate for housing dentistry conventions or Up With People concerts than sermons or the reverent contemplation of the mysteries of the universe. Or your own sinful ways.

God, I would like to believe, still prefers to kick it Old School,
like this:

Or this:

Oh, and one final thing: when I die, if my heirs don't see fit to follow my instructions to load my body in a boat, light me on fire, and float me down the Rio Grande to Mexico, then I'll settle for a burial in a New Mexican cemetery. What a fabulous way to house oneself for all of eternity.


Jenny said...

I got a little bitch slappin' from Mother Nature last night too. Uff-da, no fun to wake up to icey/snow on the windshield... however, WHAT a beutiful part of the world you live in. It's enchanting to me and when I finally do take that month long RV trip I'm heading straight South. All of that ancient culture right in our own backyard. Great pictures. Great writing.

sparringK9 said...

oh moi, i LOVED this. i have never been to NM and i love mission churches. and wow that weather is insane. we are in a fake spring, it happens every year. the buds come out- and then a freeze comes and kill them all. the chicks know better -they ownt lay until after last frost.

that pole barn at the end reminds me of my north georgia haunts.

what a great little travelogue and Way cool friend. you girls can get in my survival loblolly anytime. way to spend a day. bravo!

sparringK9 said...

man i have been struggling with typing lately...sorry

h said...

Nice pics. I think your heirs should honor your funeral instructions.

VintagePurseGal said...

Great post and beeeyootiful pics. I even got a little teary. What the hell is wrong with me? Anyway, you're lucky to live in such a gorgeous area and I envy your cool assignments.

I have told my heirs that, when I die, I wish to be stuffed and mounted.

Gnomeself Be True said...

I know, you would have hired me for the shoot, but I'm a little out of area.
Have K9 do your Madonna. Your casa would be doubly blessed.

Heff said...

We just went from 10 degree nights to 70 degree days in my area. Amazing !

moi said...

Boxer: And spring hasn't even arrived. We get doubly bitch slapped then.

K9: It was an awesome day - this place is truly enchanting. If you ignore the wind.

Troll: Knowing my heirs, they'd groove on carrying out the instructions. Although, also knowing them, they'd toss in a couple pairs of Crocs for grins and giggles.

Wendy: In an action pose, wearing your Docs, wiggle dress, and carrying that furry purse!

Gnome: You would have had a field day, I'm sure. Yes! K9 will be the el perfecto person to paint Moi's Madonna!

Heff: You're getting the opposite of bitch slapped, then. What is that, I wonder?

Mandy_Fish said...

I want a GravePort.

h said...

In case there is no Moi2012 fire-storm-of-support, you should endorse this fellow as soon as he announces. I know him. He's sort of a MAN version of Ron Paul. Similar philosophy but weighs more than 98 pounds and his voice changed at puberty.


Jenny said...

I see our next location after Chickory.

moi said...

Mandy: So do I. I think?

Troll: I know this man. He can dress and he's kinda sorta hawt. So, yeah, the Republitards should run him! 'Cause when reason fails, sex sells!

Boxer: Hee.

czar said...

One of the best comments I ever heard on talk radio was years ago in Atlanta. A listener called in to give the local station a hard time about its weather forecast. Saith the caller: "Yesterday your weatherman gave a forecast of partly cloudy. This morning I woke up with seven inches of partly cloudy on my lawn."

Pam said...

Beautiful post! We got a beyatch-slappin too today ... tornadoes in February! What's up with that?

Meanwhile, what exactly is the Turquoise road, and can I take that one photo of the church and photoshop OUT the powerlines???? please please please???

I agree about the old style churches -- they draw me in and make me want to even attend services there!

Aunty Belle said...

Amen, mah dear. Amen.

moi said...

Czar: We've been blindsided by so many storms I'm tempted to put meteorology in the same category as astrology and the I Ching.

Pam: Photochop away! I lost my own program when I switched to a new Mac last year – it was pirated and my new operating system went, no, no, no. I've been thinking of petitioning the gub'ment for a new version.

Aunty: :o)

VENTL8R said...

It was 60 here yesterday in Omaha, snow by Thursday/Friday.

h said...

80 degrees without a cloud-in-the-sky each and every day in Troll County this Winter/Spring.

Come on down!

Bretthead said...

We get your crazy weather too. I actually love the psycho mother nature.

Cool pics. Reminds me of some of the little towns and churches on the road between Santa Fe and Taos. I loved the one that had the miracle holy water with all the crutches on the walls. I was just hoping to get rid of a headache, but realized that is a little sacreligous considering I was really just hung over.

moi said...

WTWA: Chimayo. The dirt is supposed to be holy. Don't know about that, but the place is tres cool. The inn there used to serve a rockin' red chile enchilada, too.