In the Southwest Reading Room at the Santa Fe Public Library, I sit in a heavy straight-backed Mission Style chair on a folded Thermarest I carry with me, my left leg stretched back to open up my hip. Carved wooden beams twenty feet above suspend metal imprinted tin chandeliers. Expansive uncurtained windows divided into forty smaller panes grid a clear turquoise New Mexican sky. Glass-fronted wooden bookshelves against the walls hold old tomes on Santa Fe history, desert gardening, and Wild West stories.
It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving. here where I work at the large scarred wooden table and quiet but for the occasional beat of heels on the scratched parquet floor. Faint odor of unwashed skin wafts over. At the table across from me, a bearded ponytailed man wearing a red and navy plaid wool shirt is embroidering a black and white study, intent on his needle and yellow embroidery hoop.
I come here for solace and space away from the sanctuary of my lovely home. I’ve just ended a six-week local writing course. I wrote fluently and fast in rushes based on prompts from the poet facilitator who led the small group of seven women every Monday evening. Still probing my writing process on themes of love and loss, condensing those expansive raw narratives to tightly edited three-minute multimedia works. Here is the seventeenth story I’ve posted since November, 2016, when I began exploring the digital story form.
In drift, photos and images from a balloon ride in Jo’burg and the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque are juxtaposed in digital space accompanied by devotional music and my narrative voice to remember my brother-in-law Bobby who passed away five years ago.