Okay, you got me

It’s late. It’s late. It’s late for a very important date.

Namely, this one, where I’m supposed to already have written a post today.

And I haven’t, and you know it, and if you didn’t then you know it now, and that makes me a horrible, horrible, truly bad person.

Or, at the very least, late.

What I am (Sam I am) (Popeye the Sailor Man) instead is enjoying all the various amenities of the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference, which means, as is usual for conferences, eating, reading, writing, and drinking. Sure, sure, you can do all those things on your own time at home, but then you have to worry about a job as well, or washing your clothes, or clothing your cat, or catting your tails, or tailing your neighbors, or being arrested for stalking. You know how it is.

In revision: Taos, at least, is not as barren as I claimed. It rained the other day, and the water woke up the greenery. Still dry and dust-ridden, but when you look at the mountains there are enough trees dotting their sides that you can almost believe in a full blanket of greenery, vegetation rampant.

In further revision: Beauty here is a measure of distance. From the hotel’s parking lot, you can see the mountains that surround us on two sides. You can see the valley that stretches out below us and, via the plastic surgery of distance, also appears green and loving and open-armed.

In non-revision: Still, there’s a barrenness. The slopes of the mountains are green, but wrinkles of khaki show through. Below that greenery is a soil parched. Is a soil slippery with rocks. Is a soil that says to you, “Lay down, and soon enough we will be married. I will never leave you.”

In re-revision: The sky has a height here more apparent than anywhere else that I’ve been. Maybe it’s because the mountains scrape the bottoms off the clouds, but looking up I can’t help but be aware of all the open space above me, another barrenness. And when the rain clouds come in, they glower like an angry parent, they stoop, they loom.

But then, in the midst of all this openness, all this wild blue and brown yonder, I see two tiny chipmunks dart through the greenery siding the road and everything is tamed through perspective.

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