Sunday, July 08, 2007

Organic Prop


I am addicted to writing workshops so imagine my surprise when I heard a term yesterday I had never heard before in a workshop - organic prop. Eureka. I was able to use my new tool to breathe life into a piece I had given up for dead. Just goes to show that my grandmama was right. What you are looking for IS always in the last place you look!


Last night John and I took a long, long, long ride looking for a restaurant that wasn't there. It was a beautiful ride - along the high road from Taos to Santa Fe. But we never found the restaurant we were looking for. We doubled back and stopped at Embudo Station on highway 68 about 17 miles south of Taos next to the Rio Grande. I had been there before. Once a few years ago on my way to a workshop with Natalie Goldberg - and long ago in 1971 when I lived there with a small group in what could only generously be called a commune. This wasn’t the kind of commune that is made up of idealistic hippies in geodesic domes, raising their own food and having mudding parties. There were communes like that - New Buffalo and Morning Star – but this was really a collection of cabins inhabited by a bunch of strangers with nothing more in common than empty pockets and a distrust of authority. There were ten of us. Most of the men all carried guns and they were kinder to their dogs than they were to their old ladies. Alan and Frank were the leaders. It took me a few days to get accustomed to the sight of Frank roaming around the grounds with a pistol in his hand. He was tall and wiry with long curly black hair and a beard. Alan was shorter but solid with close cropped blonde hair. He looked like he had just gotten out of prison or the army. Alan assigned us one of the small cabins behind the main house. There were 6 cabins connected to the main house by a wooden walkway. Our cabin had a narrow bed, a table with one chair and a stove made from an oil drum. The cabin was freezing in the morning. Since I woke up first I would get up and start the fire using brush and pinion wood. There was one window. It looked out on the rocky hills behind the commune. I passed the days wandering along the trails that ran behind the commune. On warm days when the sun warmed the rocks I would lie down on them and watch the clouds.

1 comment:

  1. www.hedgecoke.net10:57 PM

    Thanks for naming the workshop's help. I'm glad to see the term assisted you. Any progress on the manuscript?

    Allison Hedge Coke (your summer workshop leader)

    ReplyDelete