In this photo by a local Taos artist, C. Lake, the incredible warmth and loveliness of New Mexico in the Winter is captured by her steady vision. I am currently caught up in thinking about last year this time, when I was preparing for my third trip to Taos. That workshop week truly gave a depth to my entire holiday season. I was in a deeper space of silence than I usually am at this time of year when parties, functions, and "to-do" lists reign over my days and nights...not the magical luminarias of Taos. I strolled the plaza and window-shopped art I could never really afford to drop thousands on. I "gifted" myself with a Moonstone necklace I wear almost every day...knowing rightly as I bought it that I'd think of New Mexico each time I latched it up beneath my hair.
Then, it was back to the sit-walk-write with Natalie and the amazing company of writers I was keeping. The snow falling heavily during breakfast--encasing the pueblo and the mountains beyond the fenceline in a shaft of white glare...I tried to step into the bootprints left behind by the one before me. This isn't metaphor--although it could be. I wanted to tread quietly over the earth in this place where I was known as "the writer" not the mother, wife, friend, child, sister, teacher, student, or acquaintance. There is a freedom in invisibility that I couldn't have understood before this. Coming home to my "roles" was like putting on my well-loved, favorite garments...but, I was naked in the mountains of New Mexico--writing my heart out. The surprise was how comfortable I am with both my bare skin and my clothes. One state of being does not exclude the other.
This year, I will not have a holiday in Taos. I will sink deeply here in this familiar plot of frozen ground. But, I still plan to take some spaces for silence and invisibility--even if it's a long solitary walk in the bitter cold...even if it's just in my notebook with a fast-writing pen. Take some risks this holiday season...dare to be exposed in some new way, even if only to yourself.