"originating or occuring naturally in a particular place"
I've always been drawn to indigenous culture... the ritual, the art, the symbolism, magic and the indefinite extension of family. I've always wanted to feel part of something bigger than myself, to have within my own ontogeny those rituals and symbols that make sense in the most organic of ways... In reality I grew up as a white girl in New York/Ohio who never quite fit into much of anything or "got good with god" as it were.... but then I found New Mexico.
While attending art school at Alfred University in upstate NY, I became good friends with likely the only native american in the entire program... his name was Cavan Gonzales and he was a talented artist and potter. I inquisitively badgered him about his life and upbringing which was so fascinating to me. I learned that he came from a well known family of artists and that his great, great (great?) grandmother was the famous black potter Maria Martinez (above, with husband Julian) whose work resides in the Smithsonian to this day. At the end of my second year at Alfred he invited me to visit him at the San Ildefonso Pueblo near Santa Fe as I was planning on taking a summer train trip from Ohio to California. Of course I said "yes!" and ended up staying there for a week in August on my way back from CA and the mojave desert.
I could go on and on about that trip, which was mind blowing in so many ways... getting to stay on the pueblo with his amazing family of talented artists, going off to sacred places and seeing old ruins and the sky and the desert... essentially I just fell in love with New Mexico - the skies, the landscape, the culture. After returning to Alfred for a semester, I quit school and took off solo for Albuquerque. I knew no one and I really didn't care. It was my first real venture into independence at the ripe old age of nineteen - my first real relationship with a "place".
Places are a lot like people.. you either hit it off right away or they grow on you or you just never quite "get" them. New Mexico was my first love of a place... I'll always love New Mexico.