Stan's truck, with wheelchair, near Farmington, N.M.

840 miles, two radio interviews, three readings (four if you count the fact we read twice in Santa Fe), 23,685 french fries, one narrowly missed goat (which ran out on the road near Farmington, N.M. in front of Stanford’s truck in the photo to the right) one hawk that dove in front of my car outside of Del Norte, Colorado, (also narrowly missed), one coyote eating something on the side of I-25 near Pueblo, another trotting off into the sage near Santa Fe, a sweat lodge, three households thrown open to the needs of nine travelers….. after all that, we’re all basically collapsed at my house. Today, we recuperate; tomorrow, we part.

The readings — in Santa Fe, N.M., and in Colorado in Durango and Salida — were great. People really liked the stories and pretty much melted around Stanford. A cowboy who runs a therapeutic horsemanship program for veterans came; so did two old pals of mine from Manual High School in Denver…There was a lot of chile (thanks Erich!), a great sweat lodge at Angelique and David Midthunder’s house, late night music, a couple of too-early mornings, coffee, coffee, coffee. Oh, and the radio interviews (the afterglow of our first one can be seen below), and a third one done over the phone with me days before we arrived can be listened to here: http://www.santaferadiocafe.org/podcasts/?p=678.

Driving the last leg through South Park, Colorado yesterday afternoon was absolutely magical. Fall in the light and the air, and the feeling of being done done done done. Yum.

at-the-radio-station

at Teresa Neptune's gallery in Santa Fe last Saturday

at Teresa Neptune's gallery in Santa Fe last Saturday

Three-woman show: Photographer Teresa Neptune, documentary filmmaker Angelique Midthunder, Stanford, and me, all in Santa Fe on Saturday

Three-woman show: Photographer Teresa Neptune, documentary filmmaker Angelique Midthunder, Stanford, and me, all in Santa Fe on Saturday

Marshall is tired

Marshall is tired

Dear friends,

My living room is full of sleeping Arapahos — Stanford on the nice
foamy pad, and Daniel, Shiloh, Marshall and JR variously on couches or
on the floor on camping pads. They arrived last night, for a
restorative dinner of bratwurst and root beer floats. Soon I will shoe
horn then out of bed and we will pack up and start our Southwestern
tour. Like a rock band. But instead of a big black bus we’ll convoy in
a large Dodge pickup with new hubs and Wyoming plates, a Honda Insight
the color of a margarita, (my husband’s pride and joy — he’s coming!
yay!), and an Audi containing our pals Peter Heller and Kim Yan. It’s
gonna be a party.

Here’s our schedule. Come on down if you’re in the area, or please let
any friends who live nearby know about these readings. Thanks!

August 22, 4-7 p.m.
Teresa Neptune Studio/Gallery
616 1/2 A Canyon Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

This is a collaborative event with photographer Teresa Neptune and
documentary film director Angelique Midthunder
The event will be held during Indian Market.

For full details, go here: http://www.teresaneptune.com/CurrentExhibit2.html

THEN,

Monday, August 24, 6:30 p.m.
Maria’s Bookshop
960 Main Avenue
Durango, Colorado
www.mariasbookshop.com
970.247.1438

Tuesday, August 25, 2-4 p.m.
Salida Regional Library
405 E. St.
Salida, Colorado 81201
(719) 539-4826

Now I make a very large pot of coffee. Bye for now,

Hey y’all, an excerpt of BROKEN has been posted in Killing the Buddha, a great blog I just heard about this summer. You can find it here.

heller-sweat-lodge

I’ve lifted this explanation of the blog from its own manifesto: Killing the Buddha is a religion magazine for people made anxious by churches, people embarrassed to be caught in the “spirituality” section of a bookstore, people both hostile and drawn to talk of God. It is for people who somehow want to be religious, who want to know what it means to know the divine, but for good reasons are not and do not. If the religious have come to own religious discourse it is because they alone have had places where religious language could be spoken and understood. Now there is a forum for the supposedly non-religious to think and talk about what religion is, is not and might be. Killing the Buddha is it.

The idea of “killing the Buddha” comes from a famous Zen line, the context of which is easy to imagine: After years on his cushion, a monk has what he believes is a breakthrough: a glimpse of nirvana, the Buddhamind, the big pay-off. Reporting the experience to his master, however, he is informed that what has happened is par for the course, nothing special, maybe even damaging to his pursuit. And then the master gives the student dismaying advice: If you meet the Buddha, he says, kill him.

Why kill the Buddha? Because the Buddha you meet is not the true Buddha, but an expression of your longing. If this Buddha is not killed he will only stand in your way.

daniel-me-and-stan-in-lander-at-the-july-29-2009-reading2

Here’s a picture of Stanford’s son Daniel and me at a reading last week at the Lander (Wyoming) Public Library. Daniel is inspecting the April 27 issue of High Country News with a cover of him dressed in traditional Native dress at a pow wow.

It was great to to read from BROKEN in Stanford’s backyard (he lives about 20 miles from Lander.) The library was packed with, as a local pal of mine put it, “cowboys and Indians and Democrats,” plus a big-hearted sheriff’s deputy who has escorted some of the younger Addisons into and out of jail (and is an awesome cowboy poet.) I read Stanford’s life story and the beginnings of his spiritual life, in a effort to introduce the larger community to this amazing man. I often choke up after reading about the car crash that paralyzed him, and I did this time too, but due to poor acoustics I had to pretty much yell for the entire reading, and it felt really good to have to keep yelling the ups and downs of this remarkable tale to this very receptive audience.

When I was done and Stanford and co. joined me up front to answer questions, an older lady raised her hand and said, STAN, CAN YOU GET MY HORSE TO STOP WALKING INTO CATTLE GUARDS? Which gave me the giggles. Wyoming. The library reading was the second of the evening; we started with a smaller, more intimate reading a few blocks away at the Noble Hotel — headquarters of the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Then I spent a day at Stanford’s, ending with a sweat lodge so intense that I was sick for about 18 hours. But I started recovering during the drive home with my nice new friend Ciska and her three-year-old daughter Isela (who was like a cartoon princess, all braids and bouncing up to the horses at Stanford’s and shouting up at their noses ARE YOU HUNGRY???) which was lovely. We went from milkshake to milkshake all the way home as those were pretty much the only things I could swallow.

Stanford looked a little under the weather when we arrived, but after two readings, one sweat lodge, some protein and some vitamin powder my mom sent up with me with a stern and maternal note, he looked much better by the time we left. He’s going to be bedridden until his next doctor’s appointment in mid-August, and we’re all hoping he can come to the reading in Santa Fe, NM on Aug. 22 (plus Durango and Salida, CO on the days after. See the TOUR page of this blog for details.)