Saturday, May 12, 2007

So long, for awhile

The cowbirds are singing and the seagrapes are in full bloom and we've even got wild green parrots waking us up at six in the morning. A little sad to be leaving such sweet sounds and pink puffy evening clouds and fiery orange balls at sunset and mostly my dear family and friends.

Miami Beach, South Beach, North Beach, Downtown. When I return, it will be to July humidity with explosive afternoon storms that build from dark gray and purple cumulus and wall clouds and pool-like warm turquoise seas filled with colorful styrofoam bananas and rafts and sailboats and sexy south Beach sirens in tiny bikinis. When I return there will be brand new million dollar high rise condos with posh boutiques, and the summer crowd will be out there walking Lincoln Road in their choice of ugly crocs or ugly thongs, sipping raspberry smoothies to beat the relentless 90 degree temperatures that will linger through September.

On Wednesday, I will be exchanging turquoise and green for red, orange and tan for just a little while. I think that a change of climate and altitude and the sights and smells and quietness of a very different world are necessary for the soul's nourishment. If living across the street from the Atlantic Ocean is a privilege. visiting the desert and its denizens is an even greater one for me. It is a chance to make the crazy world go away for just a little bit, to forget about war and greed and pollution and to get fresh again, to learn new ways of healthier living and to be able to carry the knowledge back to help all the people who grace my life.

On Lincoln Road, outside of Starbucks Hear Music this morning, I met a young man selling pieces of colorful Florida glass that he had wrapped in silver wire. I asked him his price for wrapping since I always come home with prize desert specimens. He said that I could pay whatever I wanted as long as he covered his $5 charge for the silver wire. That his joy was making the wrappings and touching the glass and colorful stones.

He was a thin guy, wearing old jeans and a torn t-shirt. His ears were pierced as was his tongue and eyebrows and his eyes told a story of a difficult life. I opened my handbag and showed him a sampling of the jaspers and opal and quartz I find out West and his eyes fairly popped out when he saw my little orange ball filled with horn-shaped pecos diamonds. He held it in his palm, staring as if it were the Hope Diamond. I decided that he and the stone would be good for eachother, so I closed his palm around it, telling him to take care of it. As I walked away, he was saying, "Oh, my God, this is beautiful!",and I could still hear him saying that by the time I reached the end of the block.

Medicine is not necessarily something you swallow. Today, that little orange pecos diamond was medicine for both the giver and the receiver.

I will be back at this post in July. Best Wishes.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Old West in Music, Books and Gold

Every spring in little drips come those email feelers from my Western friends. Never a question as to whether I'm coming out there to the great deserts and mountains but just hints as to what I've been missing the rest of the year living down here in the swamps.
A couple of weeks ago, I found out that Blue Star and his friend are getting into gold prospecting, an obvious intriguing possibility for this rockhound who has never done it.
"Hey, can I come out there with you guys?"
"Sure, you can!"
I was praying for that answer. I love the feel of Wyoming and getting into Blue Star's mountains at Wind River should be a special treat, even if we find nothing.

It's been such a long time rockhounding now that you would think the thrill would be tempered and seasoned by years of doing the same, but just give me a visual of rocky mountain terrain or the cracked desert floor and the imagination takes flight. A special joy is an email from Blue Star or Jeannie or Kate or Charlie because they belong to that terrain and I can picture them in beauty there, hiking old forests and mesas, taking in New Mexico sunsets,selling Dineh silver. And there was an added serendipitous thrill-a photo of me smack dab in my element, seeking out pecos diamonds in the Roswell hills, right on the contributor page of Ocean Drive Espanol magazine. Yes, that was really me in my Royal Robbins trail vest and flannel shirt gracing the glamour pages of Ocean Drive!

To update you on one grand success I previously predicted(no "I told you so" here-Not my nature!):

Robert Mirabal's CD "Pueblo Christmas" has been nominated for 5 Nammys. Added to this, his brand new CD "In the Blood", his biggest rocker since "Mirabal",(watch this prediction)will be the most talked about album of his career.The CD cover by itself is a masterpiece. It will be released on May 15th. Robert's manager Drew emailed requesting that I get friends and family to put in a vote for Robert in the categories of flutist, historical, male singer, record of the year and producer. Easy to do since there is no better Native performer anyway. Please check in at and cast your vote for Robert!

For copies of the "In the Blood" CD and info about Robert's tour, please email me at