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Friday, January 28, 2011

The Creative Soul Sisterhood of the Traveling Paisley Velvet Pants & Sparkling Skirt

Mabel's at Sunset
photo by Liz Fautch

I’m sharing a few photos and remembrances from my recent trip to Taos, New Mexico partially because I want to keep the luscious memories alive, and partially because I love living vicariously through other people's travelogues and hoped you might too.

The mere fact that I finally went to Taos ranks pretty high on my “hot-damn-this-is-cool-o-meter.” That I went to attend, perform and participate in a Creative Retreat and Salon hosted by Jill Badonsky amped things up to the “has-the-potential-to-be-one-of-the-coolest-trips-ever” status. But what shot the whole eye-opening, breath-taking, awe-inspiring, first-time Taos trip over the desert moon was traveling with my creative soul sister Jane Baldwin. (Pranasalara & The Double J Hacienda & Art Ranch)

Soul Sisters
No matter where we go, time shared tends to be part therapy session, part slumber party, part creative retreat – usually with a dash of wine, delicious food and chocolate sprinkled in for good measure. And so it was this January when we headed for New Mexico – me the Taos/Santa Fe/Chimayo virgin and Jane the enthusiastic, free-spirited, well-versed guide who knew the lay of the land and even came equipped with the CD from “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” which made for the ideal soundtrack for our drive from Albuquerque to Taos.

Thank the travel gods, the night before we left we decided to rent a car rather than take a shuttle. This gave us the sacred space of a car interior on a long stretch of desert highway to catch up, and dream, and share stories from our pasts and plans for our future.  It also granted us the freedom to stop whenever and wherever we wanted. (I LOVE road trips with people who don’t mind that I drink gallons of water and need to pull over at every third gas station.)

Jill at Santuario de Chimayo
photo by Jane Baldwin
Jane suggested we stop to visit El Santuario de Chimayo – a famous holy site nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  I was especially delighted to visit since Doug and I own a wonderful painting by our friend Tori Pendergrass that features the church.

By Tori Webb Pendergrass

After paying our respects, we made a beeline for the Ranchero de Chimayo so Jane could get her red-chili sauce on in proper New Mexico fashion.  Once we'd refueled with a delicious lunch we stopped at the Ranchos de Taos to visit yet another iconic church.

Feeling Blessed at Rancho de Taos
Things turned slightly less holy when stopped at Walgreens for the essentials (bottled water, dark chocolate and wine) before heading to the Mable Dodge Luhan Lodge for the retreat.

The two Jills sing the praises of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching

Chilling wine the Taos way
Paisley Pants
Sparkly Skirt

It would take more space than I have here to share all of the wonderful experiences and inspiring people that infused the next three days. So I’ll share a poem and a few photos and offer this gentle reminder:

Set Free
photo by Laurel Aston
If you’re given the chance to step outside your comfort zone, visit some place new, try on crazy ideas (or clothes), and dance wildly like a whirling dervish with people you’ve never met before – DO IT! I promise your life will be better for it. 

Mabel’s Ghosts
by Jill Allison Bryan

Spirits speak through these old adobe walls
In the pops and crackles of the wood burning the fireplace
In the creaking of the floorboards
In the ghostly black and white photographs from another time
“Feel creativity in your bones” they say
“Make creativity your comfort zone” they say
“Go ahead – pretend like you live here – we don’t mind” they say
“Sink into your creative process like the cushions of this well-worn couch” they say
“Give yourself permission to see aliens, awaken sleeping dragons, make crop circles in your mind, and play all day – it’s okay” they say

So I do

All the best from my creative oasis to yours,

P.S. – Jane and I are hosting a retreat of our own – “Embracing Creative Momentum” –  this summer June 10-12, 2011 at the fabulous Double J Hacienda and Art Ranch. Stay tuned…


Juliana said...

It was amazing meeting you and Jayne and sharing such an incredible experience.
Thanks for this post -- it'll help us carry it with us a little longer. :)

LauraX said...

fantastic Jill!!! so much joy in these photos and your poem is deeply inspiring..and what's NOT to love about that sparkly skirt and paisley pants!!!

(creativeoasiscoach) said...

Juliana - I do want to keep re-living this wonderful trip. Glad you liked the poem, Laura. Stepped out of my comfort zone to write one and post. (even as a songwriter - funny isn't it?)

Vasile Covaciu said...

hi there, congrats for your beautiful blog!
Greetings from Transylvania!

(creativeoasiscoach) said...

Thank you, Vasile. What a treat to hear from someone half a world away. Your portraits are lovely. All the best from my creative oasis to yours,

Rosielynn said...

Jill, I LOVE Taos! My childhood summer vacations were spent in Northern N.M. but as I've traveled there in recent years I've come to appreciate the beauty and spirit of the region. I feel the vibration of all the creative spirits that have dwelt there. Your poem captures the heartfelt emotion that overcomes us while visiting the mountains there. Thank you for sharing it. Talk to you soon,


Jessica Jane Lynch said...

jill! loving you, this post, new mexico, this retreat and all it was for you, seriously considering coming to the one that you and jane are doing in june :)


(creativeoasiscoach) said...

Debby - so glad that you like the poem and thank you for sharing your memories of Taos!

Jessica - would be so energetically awesome to have you at that retreat! :) Please do!