Mad In Pursuit Notebook

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Roadtrip: Santa Fe/Madrid NM -- Five Things


1. Jim and I are reading the first part of a manuscript by our friend Merlin, in which Merlin begins his discussion of a decades-long experience of channeling the voice of a supernatural being (or ascended master in some belief systems). We began to talk about what might constitute a "numinous experience" in our own lives. This was before I looked up Rudolf Otto's definition... Our "oh shit" epiphanies seem very earthbound compared to Merlin's -- having to do with wondrous discoveries during research or while hunting-finding spirit-filled curios.

2. The map above shows today's trip down Route 14 (the "Turquoise Trail") to the town of Madrid [the map is a little wonky due to poor cell phone connection to Mother]. The area is the site of ancient turquoise mines. But the town had lapsed into a ghost town till the early 70s, when energetic artists settled there and revived it. Now it's a quirky little arts community that sells everything from folk art to Native pottery to cheap imports to handwoven luxuries and way way too much turquoise jewelry.

Madrid NM

3. I have to say that my old managerial know-how kicked in when it turned out that shops I specifically wanted to see (and checked the guidebook for days/hours of operation) had decided not to open "on Tuesdays." Over lunch I pontificated to Jim about how sole proprieters need some form of cooperative so that they can cover one another's shops to accommodate travelers poised to be enchanted by their goods. I am left wondering if I secretly wished I lived there and could tell people what to do. Mayor of Madrid? I'm up for it! Anyway, I bought two hats made from recycled wool clothing:

4. We saw some other upcycled "collaged" clothing in another shop. The pieces were butt ugly. Sometimes the failures provide us with the best learning. Collaged clothing should look integrated, not like Frankenstein's monster.

5. After lunch in the local faux-mining tavern, we headed back north and stopped at an antique shop on our list. I was drawn to an ancient Mexican rosary made from large wooden beads, but it was $650. Moving on... Next door was another shop. Immediately I was gobsmacked by the large stack of vintage indigo cloth from Mali, Africa. I've had my eye out for this scarce commodity ever since I began my love affair with indigo. I splurged on four pieces, maybe a yard each:

indigo cloth from Mali

Interestingly, one of the books we've been listening to as we drive is Indigo: In search of the Color That Seduced the World by Catherine McKinley. The author describes her journey to west Africa to find the legendary cloth, only to find it had been replaced by cheap multi-color imports. I love finding this bit of history -- thrilled, in fact. A little numinous rush to end our outing. Now... wine.