471. January 13th…I can smell Spring…or at least…I hope it’s Spring….

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“Porch Walk” 2011

“Benteen, come on, big village, be quick. Bring packs.” – George Armstrong Custer

the word Perfume…comes from a latin word…meaning…”through smoke”…when Tutankhamun was discovered…his tomb was fragrant from jars that had been filled with oil and perfumes…long merged into the still air…

all of my life I have loved the desert…there is something about the vast nature of the place that has always made me stop and close my eyes for a few seconds to hear the wind pass by me…smell the air that is filled with such fragrance…one of my favorite places is an area known as Cabezon…it translates to “Big Head”…and legend has it that Cabezon mountain is the head of a slain giant….his blood was the lava flow that created the Malpais badlands…and when I’m out there…it makes perfect sense…

the desert unlike the forest shows it all…sure some things get covered with sand over time…but many things survive…right where they fell…and I’ve always wondered what the story is behind some of the things I have encountered…

there is a place I go to in Spring along the Rio Puerco…hidden behind a few small hills…where the ground is littered with petrified wood…in some places there are mounds that are black and burned remnants of trees…yet they are stone…a bit further down the road…above a very deep canyon…are some half spheres dug out of the rock…large enough to accommodate 10-12 people…in the canyon a few hundred feet below is another world…at the deepest part of the canyon…I’ve found large fossilized shells that resemble oversized oysters…the earth is layered in deep colors…lines of black run 5 feet thick through the canyon walls…and everything is dead calm….I’ve seen bobcats there…a herd of elk…pottery shards…arrowheads…

and the springtime sun is wonderfully…soothing…the sunsets there are always something spectacular…and often linger for 25 minutes or so…before done…just enough time to figure out what needed figuring out…

I am looking forward to spring this year in New Mexico…I have everything I need to camp comfortably…the air lately is saying spring is not far away…my painting supplies are itching to get outside…and I keep smelling the air…waiting…

“If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.” – Jean Paul Sartre