Thursday, August 25, 2016

sometimes the high altitude gets to you. it's usually at the end of my walk back up to the house, which is on a ridge, slightly above the center of town. the center of town is 8700, i think, and our little drive is 8707, according to a car we drove in that told the altitude. tomorrow a football team comes to town. i wonder if it will matter. matters to me...

published my book of quaker plays, and it was kind of a mini-hit on facebook, with two friends saying they'd actually bought it. i saw no record of that, though, in the createspace place where it should record sales. i think maybe they wait until they actually print and send it, and it can take days. i'm a little aggrieved that i've been putting out books for years and get maybe a buck here, a buck there, if i'm lucky. i have to admit, though, i've enjoyed the luxury of not having to worry about it. what do you do when you actually need sales? i have no idea. keep cranking out books, maybe. turn to novels, maybe, which might have a higher price tag. i don't know.

then there's the banjo; i've picked it up again. it's harmonic ringing goes well with a 8707-foot, piney wet cloudy clime, and my back porch kind of has a little alleyway pathway to the center of town, so that i feel like i'm playing, sometimes, to a main street that hears the echo, maybe, better than the music itself. it's a kind of scottish place, cloudcroft, with the clouds sometimes coming down and literally hugging the place. or, from the back porch, we watch them roll in and collide with each other. it's a late-summer thing that some of them actually have water in them, and dump it on us quick while they're in the high mountains; surely they're the only raining clouds in the entire southwest. we go down to el paso, alamo, or maybe las cruces, and they've had none, none at all. we dry out for a while then turn back around, go back up the hill to our little aerie in the clouds.

in such an environment, i try to turn myself into a writer, or perhaps a musician, but mostly i make lots of cups of navajo tea and sit on that back porch and just watch the white sands go through their various different glows as the sun hits them differently. tonight i swear, i saw rain way out there, or i thought i did, though it's hard to tell how far away the rain is, and it's possible it was just an illusion. it does actually rain out there occasionally, especially this time of year, when anything can happen, and all the neon newts and gilas go scurrying around trying to catch their one opportunity of the year, or one of the few, at least. i think, probably, there are places drier than the tularosa basin, but not many of them. in alamo i'm sure they feel like they can climb the hill any time and catch some water, some rain, maybe a mountain hike or a cloud or two, but they very rarely do; more often, the hikers we meet are from germany, or the netherlands maybe, and speak with a european lilt but who knows where they live.

there's a steady display of hummingbirds right off the front porch, and they occasionally come right up to me, even when i'm playing the banjo. they especially like pink stuff, i think, so when the girlies bring a barbie out to the porch they're likely to fly right up and see what the pink is all about. they like to hover. in fact, i'm kind of fascinated by that idea of hovering - it's an advantage, i'm sure, that they use in many ways but i'm not sure they can actually escape danger with it. it's great to watch though. they just kind of hang in the air, moving slightly one direction or the other, or back and forth, their wings flapping furiously. seems they have big wings and not much body, so that's possible. and also that neon desert-kind of glow, that doesn't hurt either. it's their social life - hovering over our garden, white sands behind them, checking out the exotic bushes and the barbies.

and one other thing - they're living in the high mountains. they could have it sunny, warm, dry, like everyone else, but they don't. they're like us - they like it here - though who knows, when the snow packs in, they might be long gone. i'll try to get some pictures, but, they're pretty hard to catch with the phone i've got.


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