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Monday, June 27, 2011

Up Bear Creek / 23jun50011

Rafting with the Best on the San Miguel

TELLURIDE OUTSIDE … I’m such a slow learner … It took me three years to learn how to swim as a child. It took me until two years ago to start really learning how to ski downhill (now I love it). And it’s taken me until two weeks ago to finally raft down the San Miguel … What was I thinking? Two action-packed hours of thrills and excitement. A non-stop natural roller-coaster -- swinging, swaying and sashaying down the rapids … Guess I somehow thought the steep, fast-paced, narrow serpentine of the San Miguel’s riverbed would somehow be a bad thing. Wrong! … My son, who rafted down the San Juan, said that sluggish flow was mostly “boring” (now, of course, he’s a middle-schooler, and everything but sheer terror is boring for him). But imagine long slow stretches of barely moving mud-brown water. The San Miguel is just the opposite. There’s hardly a bend to catch a breath. Water spills and splashes. River raft skipper Kris Knackendoffel smoothly guided us around submerged rocks and away from log traps. And he barked orders to paddle (when he wasn’t telling great stories). Maneuvering us into position to take the standing waves head-on, rocking and rolling … Why am I not doing this every day the water’s at peak? The river was high – about 1,300 cfs. If you haven’t taken a turn at paddling a raft from Species to Beaver Creek, do it now, while the water’s still raging. I can’t wait to go again!

LACHAPELLES … Friends of Dolores LaChapelle assembled in Silverton this last weekend to say goodbye to the LaChapelle home in Silverton, which David LaChapelle’s widow Ananda Foley is selling, so she can move on with her life. David passed just over a year ago, and his parents Ed and Dolores a year or so before him. All three LaChapelles were leaders in their respective fields and had assembled a huge cache of books, treasures and personal belongings … The books, especially those of Dolores, were kept together -- the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies will house her collection at its historic Toklat building near the end of the Castle Creek Road, under the direction of Jody and Tom Cardamone – a decision that pleased everyone. Tom drove the two tons worth of books to Toklat, while Jody assembled a Friends of Dolores group she’s planning to turn into a council to help with the job of carrying on Dolores’ legacy as an international leader of the Deep Ecology movement. I was honored to be part of that group … Sunday, after a Saturday garage sale that saw many of Dolores’ items auctioned or sold to benefit the local Silverton Ski Team, there was a moving memorial ceremony honoring all three LaChapelles at LaChapelle Park on a bench above the town (a site originally planned for their family home, but deeded and dedicated to the Town of Silverton) … Even though the house that Dolores lived in (and which I spent many a time visiting her) will change hands, the spirits of all three amazing people – Dolores, Ed, David – still remain with us in Silverton and in the San Juan Mountains.

JUDYTH HILL … One of the legendary wild women of Santa Fe (& beyond!), Judyth currently makes her home in Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende. Her poetry throws me into fits of tantric awe. I feel like a ping-pong eyeball in the Louvre of the Lyric Divine … She’s also one of the most gifted poetry teachers I know. And I hate poetry workshops (usually). But Judyth is one of the exceptions that prove the rule. She’s brilliant and she pulls incredible work out of one’s own experience by giving you amazing tools and access to the full world of the lyric valuables with a seductive process of opening one’s mind and heart … She’s coming to Telluride’s Ah Haa School at the end of July, and if you’re at all interested in writing poetry or in invigorating your prose with juicy, dazzling inspiration, I would sign up for her class fast, before it fills up. And expect to laugh a lot … Judyth first came to Telluride back in 1989 as one of the Wild Women of Santa Fe and performed in the Sheridan Opera House for the first Talking Gourds poetry festival, and became a performance regular at subsequent Talking Gourds – including hosting her own in New Mexico and now in Mexico … But if you miss the Ah Haa gig, all’s not lost … She’s also offering a Tuscany Wild Writing Adventure (“A Taste of the Divine”) this fall (Sept. 24-Oct. 1) through Culinary Adventures <> … Stay at il Bareto a 17-century restored farmhouse outside of Siena. Spend a week focusing on writing, and the seasonal Tuscan cuisine, exploring ancient villages and the local markets Siena, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Penza. Expand the boundaries of your writing while enjoying wine tastings, cooking classes, fabulous meals, historic castles, mushroom hunting, and more … Either here in town or in Italy, don’t miss the Judyth Hill experience. Highly recommended.


Full Moon in a Dry Summer

The full moon rises
with a reddish tint
from the smoke
of the forests burning.

In the drought, the waters
she would lift
grow scarce
as the salmon in the streams.

Her color, it would seem,
is that of the disquiet
in our blood.

Luna plena en verano de sequía

La luna plena se eleva
con un tinte rojizo
del humo
de los bosques encendidos.

En la sequía las aguas
que levantaría
se escasean
como el salmón en los ríos.

Su color, al aparecer,
es ese del perturbo
en la sangre.

© Rafael Jesús González

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