Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Rose Petals over the Blood

I recently returned to my little family house from a writing conference in Taos, New Mexico where the mountains are the bowl--the lid, the sky. Every cliched turn of phrase you can think of has been used to describe the town. In Taos, you cannot use the word magpie to describe a bird. Even if it is one...(especially if it is one). This is not easy for an East Coast girl who lives in a world where magpies do not exist. Ravens, yes...Robins, blue jays, cardinals, geese, woodpeckers, chickadees, gulls, even great blue heron. We do not have a deficiency of birds by any means--just not magpies.
Until you wake up in your bed (snug within your crimson adobe walls) to the piercing cry of a magpie, indeed, you will not know what you are missing.
Bones...bones are another hackneyed Taos phrase. Not permissible in writing of any kind-- punishable by death. At least, until the locals decide death is too trite itself. Do not write about tumbleweeds, clouds, sage, feral dogs, hippies, Georgia O'Keeffe, or chiles either. Just to be safe.
A resident of New Mexico described how the pain of a book we read cut with the beauty of the writing itself as, "the rose petals over the blood". When the words left her mouth, I wanted them for my own because they so perfectly captured my heart. She had nailed it and I loved her for it...
Unfortunately, though...here in the balmy Mid-Atlantic in late-springtime, the flowers are in full bloom--dizzying with their pure fragrance--dazzling with their vibrant velvet petals. Therefore, it is with more than a little regret that I must report...rose has been stricken from the acceptable canon of fresh and innovative writing words...
But, then again, maybe those of us fortunate enough to be drowning in roses should just try to keep that one to ourselves.


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