I walk on my land across the earth to the shady reaches of the land grant, banked by its wild arroyo, deep and mysterious, until recently unexplored by me. As I wander out there, alone but for my dogs, my eyes invariably fall from the expanse of sky, the sweep of mountains, to the rock and soil beneath my feet. I am entranced by it—transported back in time to my girlhood. All else falls away. I am alone and of this earth. My hand reaches for a stone, a hunk of crystal, rose-colored granite, micaceous confections, black, tan, green, pink. I hold the earth’s history in my palm. My heart beats slower. All thinking dissipates.
Where I walk, the soil glitters like diamonds. There is so much mica everywhere I look that on sunny days it is something like wandering through a fairyland. I have been so captivated by the soil and rock of my new home that it is only natural it has found its way into my work.
Mica has been used for centuries here, first by the Indians and then the Spanish (see previous post All That Glitters). I wanted to shoot a video of Isabro Ortega gathering the mica he gives me for my pieces, but it is too private and meant to be kept for him. He gives me the mica, but not its ceremony. I understand and appreciate the gift even more.
There is a mysterious thread, something that binds me to this land. I haven’t yet discovered what it is. My mind hasn’t grasped it, but I feel it deeply in my heart. It is ancient, primal, instinctual. And that is enough. That is all I need to know.