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I sometimes think that all works of art are born somehow of fire. Words burn in a writer’s brain, unforgiving until they can spill upon page. Motion burns from the core of a dancer’s muscles. Paintings are licks of flame risen from a spirit through a brush to a canvas. Even in photography, there is a burning peaceful need to capture what is seen by one set of eyes into something that can be seen by others, a sharing of the embers of the photographer’s vision. The center of the earth that we walk on each day is made of fire, and it passes through layers of rock and soil and the skin of the soles of our feet to the center of the souls of our being, and must be expressed somehow.

In this sculpture studio, we found the purest expression of the creative fire, molten iron casually poured by men protected from its destructive power, men looking like creatures from the center of the earth themselves, men who controlled the flow of creativity, channeling it into molds and frames, containing it, shaping it, melding with it, as it fashioned itself through the sculptors hands into art, cold to the touch but still retaining that fire within. As we all do.

It reminded me that art can be dirty and primal and beautiful, full of heat and passion and practicality all at the same time, blending hotly and gently to create an artist’s ever-imperfect vision, for imperfection is the nature of art as viewed by the artist, and what makes them strive to improve always, trying to touch that fiery core with their bare hands, capture it, rejoice in it, and share it.

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Shidoni, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I used to know a sculptor… He always said that if you looked hard enough, you could see where each person carried his soul in his body. It sounds crazy, but when you saw his sculptures, it made sense. I think the same is true with those we love… Our bodies carry our memories of them, in our muscles, in our skin, in our bones. My children are right here.” She pointed to the inside curve of her elbow. “Where I held them when they were babies. Even if there comes a time when I don’t know who they are anymore. I believe I will feel them here.” — Erica Bauermeister

Daily gratitudes:
Brief flashes of clarity
Some time with Kelsea
Realizing creative necessities
Water
Beach time soon come

I don’t know if this means it’s a sale on Big Jesuses or if it’s a big sale that encompasses all Jesuses, but either way the sign struck my fancy. I mean, you can’t buy Jesus. He’s way too ethical for that. I don’t actually recall even seeing any Jesuses at this interesting and chock-full shop that popped up on the other edge of Cerrillos Road from Jackalope, which it is trying to resemble. It was worth a stop on the way out of town.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.” — Anne Lamott

Daily gratitudes:
The light smell of rain
A peek-a-boo sunset
Shared experiences
Good books
Clean sheets

The rooftop bar at La Fonda Hotel is scorching in the summer at cocktail time, so they have been most considerate in putting up canopies that shield the sun while unveiling the sky. We have had enough hot in our western world in the month of July, and while I would never expect to hear myself say it, I am looking forward to cooler weather. If I must be hot, then let me be by a beach. Soon.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “We love easily in summer, perhaps, because we love our summer selves.” — John Updike

Daily gratitudes:
The look in MKL’s eyes and reassurance of his presence
Kelsea and early adult heartache
My bracelet from Tam
Random exercise
A suspected new comrade

My fascination with doorways, about which, I’ve written before, continues. I am not the only photographer was a passion for windows and doors, though my passion extends to porches as well. Perhaps it’s the secrets that lie behind those doors, all the life that exists back there, but to which I am simply blind. I do love it when old lace currents hide interior secrets.  That’s how I want my home to be. I have always wanted lace curtains, providing only mysterious and tempting flashes of my inner world. And a romantic touch of balcony merely adds to the dream.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Always seek justice, but love only mercy. To love justice and hate mercy is but a doorway to more injustice.” — Criss Jami

Daily gratitudes:
The Corazon is back from vacation
Missing MKLThe Great British Baking Show
Plans and dreams
Avoiding the cursing, flailing, screaming homeless man on the corner of Work and Work

Even though the door is turquoise, my favorite color, the stairs look as if the light of heaven is leading one to the surface…our lives are all about choices, aren’t they?

Since last week’s rant on the Republican National Convention, I’ve been quiet and contemplative, with dreams of having pleasant discussions with Donald Trump as we walked along a lovely beach, which made me feel like I was drinking the Kool-aid. If you’re not of a certain age, you might need to Google that term to understand its sad reference. I’m looking forward to feeling the antithesis of what I felt last week, as I watch the Democratic National Convention. The last few days did not disappoint.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “The first duty of a man is to think for himself” — Jose Marti

Daily gratitudes:
Animal best friends
Box fans
How Tim Kaine is so smiley
My current read
Our talk with the Virginia railroader yesterday at Union Station

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Kokopelli Sunset
Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” — Laini Taylor

Daily gratitudes:
The man talking to his dog as they walked
MKL
Lightning
The stars in Estes Par
Sleep and dreams

I love classic cars. We seem to have an abundance of classic car shows in Colorado during the summer, and I haven’t made it to a single one this year! Next year, I’m determined to create a calendar in advance so I can schedule Job #3 around at least a few of them. We found this gem in New Mexico, and MKL was super happy to sit in it. It reminded him of the truck in which his grandfather taught him to drive on the farm in Kansas when he was a small boy. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to find a great classic truck of our very own when we get a little more space around us. Ours is out there somewhere!

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” — Anne Frank

Daily gratitudes:
The duck umbrella handle peeking from the lady’s purse on the bus
Sherlock Holmes
Sleep
That Janalee got a new job!
Watching internet cat videos with Kelsea

I love taking pictures of doorways. I love doorways in general. They have such symbolism in our daily lives — arriving, departing, leaving our pasts behind us, entering into our futures. They suggest mysteries undiscovered and experiences unmet. The wicked imps of depression are nipping at my heels just now; I am trusting that the days to come will offer some relief and solace and help me get back to being myself. This is a doorway that has appeared in my path unexpectedly so many times, leaving me at a loss as to how to move through it every single time. I stand before the door to depression, fighting the imps that are trying to hasten me through, doing my best to kick them aside. I have made promises that keep me from succumbing, from falling through the door, from giving in. I instinctively wait it out until that doorway fades from the path before me, leaving it clear and bright. And now, I am waiting. But it is hard.

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” — Helen Keller

Daily gratitudes:
Helicopter seedpods
The concert on Wednesday night
That Kelsea had safe travels – it’s hard to have my little girl far away
Bed
Books

Peace and quiet were encouraged at Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. Not only did the management have people walking around with “Whisper Please” signs when it seemed people were getting too loud at the pools, cellphones were prohibited in most public places, the rooms did not have phones, and this was the public telephone. I was struck by another mild anxiety attack this afternoon, perhaps brought on by more prospective storms, so I am home curled up with Mr. Man, and remembering being happy and relaxed over the last two weekends.

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” — Chaim Potok

Daily gratitudes:
The man holding two tiny toddlers hands crossing the street this morning
Cowboy boots
Lunch outside
Cold milk
Mr. Man’s paws crossed on the computer

 

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Love is a flower that grows in any soil, works its sweet miracles undaunted by autumn frost or winter snow, blooming fair and fragrant all the year, and blessing those who give and those who receive.” — Louisa May Alcott

Daily gratitudes:
Sunbeams
My bed
MKL
Kelsea
My new salt and pepper shakers

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