Somewhere Special

monoprint, 1996, 22″ x 30″

Last evening another fire broke out near Santa Fe.

Actually, this one is so close to Los Alamos Lab that they began evacuating voluntarily.

“Been here. Done this… ” they must be thinking.

A wildfire came dangerously close to the Lab a few years ago.

Last evening brought all eyes to the sky

As we saw ourselves smack in the middle of fires burning all around us.

30,000 foot plumes of smoke

From our precious

And now toasted


And a small patch of blue

Just above Santa Fe.

One could almost smell the panic

Beginning to grab hold

Of Santa Feans used to basking

In the sweet fantasy

That we live in a ‘protected’ place here in central New Mexico.

By ‘protected’ I mean: “Nothing can hurt us because this is a SPECIAL place.”

Honestly… I am not sure there is room for the idea of ‘specialness’ anymore.

By way of this shared experience of

The impossibly blue skies of Santa Fe

Rendered sooty and roiling with smoke,

We begin to feel not so special after all…

As we stand there in the middle of the dirt road

With neighbors we’d never met

A sense of connection arrives

And we are surprised

At the gift of it.


2 Responses to “Somewhere Special”

  1. gerry harty on June 27th, 2011

    I was there in 2000 and I remember everyone constantly watching the sky.I lost my innocense about Santa Fe during that fire! So now I’m back home in Massachusetts and about a month ago I was talking to someone about how safe it seems here in the Pioneer Valley rather free from any natural disasters..and then June 1 came and a F3 tornado struck my hometown about 1/2 mile from my home and totally destroyed so many neighborhoods!!! So there is no such thing as total safeness anywhere and I think one of the reasons these things happen is to bring us together…the connection your talking about.Pretty soon the smoke will clear and the rain will come and that wonderful blue sky will be back!!! Stay safe!!!

  2. Laura Hegfield on June 28th, 2011

    It is amazing the way a shared emergency can bring strangers together into community. I will be thinking of you and all of the people, creatures and plants around you, praying for safety and rebirth after the ashes have cooled and the skies have cleared again.

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