Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day 8: L'TANG* at Lightning Field

*Lara, Trevor, Alys, Noelle and Grif

On the way out of Santa Fe, L’TANG stopped at The Petroglyph National Monument, located outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We took two short hikes through the monument, and took many pictures. The petroglyphs ranged in date from 1000 BC to 1700.

L’TANG was full of excitement as we pulled into the Dia Foundation office in Quemado, New Mexico. We did not have to wait long before our ride to Lightning Field arrived. Kim was a local bad-ass who has taken people out to the field for several years. We rode down identical twisting and turning dirt roads for about 45 minutes before we arrived at the Lightning Field.

The rustic cabin was surprisingly cozy, with a wood burning stove to keep us warm and it had soft comfortable beds. The fridge was fully stocked with home made enchiladas, beans, milk, juice, eggs, and bacon.

We explored the field for several hours before warming up dinner and having a nice family meal together, arranged in a truly minimalist style. After dinner, we sat outside listening to the rain and hoping for lightning. Accepting defeat, we headed inside to craft our gifts for the other group! 

The Flannel Flock's gifts for L'TANG.

 L'TANG's gifts for the Flannel Flock.

After a restful sleep, we awoke at the crack of dawn, wrapped ourselves in our warmest clothes and the biggest blankets we could find and headed into the field to watch the sun rise. The colors were vibrant and reflected off of the poles beautifully. 

We then cooked a delicious breakfast and hurriedly ate so we could continue exploring the field. Each person went off on their own, and had an individual experience. Below is a poem written by Alys Walbridge during her walk on the path that goes around the entire field.

Twenty-Five by Sixteen

I am walking down the path most traveled, but I do not mind. The dirt is hard, the going is easy, and it allows me to unwind.

Pole by pole, foot by foot, I travel the Lightning Field. I cannot explain the feelings I have with so much space to yield.

The sun is bright, and the shadows are long. In this time, nothing is, or ever could, be wrong.

But my time is short and my legs are not long, so I must quicken my pace to see all before we move on.

I am following in the footsteps of those before me, guided by instinct and encouraged by the wind.  It is frightening but invigorating when I look, but do not see the end.

Little dots, one two three, I see the others who have come here with me. Pink, white, blue, and one more, I now notice that the total is four.

Together and apart we explore the space, looks of awe etched on each face. Searching, wondering, hoping to discover, what have we unearthed about each other?

A speck of brown in the distance, I see the old cabin oblivious to my existence. What will change while walking this path? Will those in the future come to know my past?

Look, listen, smell and feel. The sun, mountains, wind, and sand are all so real.

I am surrounded by nature and all of its beauty, the colors and shapes now imprinted on me.

The horizon is stagnant, but ever changing. These mountains are jokesters, tricking my eyes and always laughing.

The way has become tough and the wind is against me. But I do not rest, and I do not falter, for I will have victory.

Step by step, mile by mile, I continue along the path most traveled.

The poles wink at me in the scorching sun. Twinkling, shining, mimicking the sweat now glistening down my brow. How could I ever be anywhere but now?

Scurrying, flapping, and running about, the creatures of the field are alive and out. Palaces, castles, and giant mounts, the red ants run this town.

I stop to admire how far I have come, and consider how many steps I have taken thus far. I do not see the others, and wonder where they now are.

I feel each pole as I walk by, savoring the cool smooth touch of the steel. If they were me and I was them, how would we feel?

The sand is unforgiving; it stings my cheeks and invades my shoes. But I am thankful there is no shelter for me to use.

I glance at the sky as I round a bend, and see the path most traveled is coming to an end.

It all starts where it ends; it is over where it begins. As I reflect on the time that has passed, I wonder if I have changed within.

Each step brings me closer to that smudge of brown. The cabin wears its new roof like a crown.

The sun is hot and my legs are tired, but my eyes are bright, my heart is alive, and my mind is inspired.

Alys Walbridge and Noelle Weigand

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