A Little South of the Big I

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Since I barely kicked this thing off a day ago, probably best for my own mind as much as anything, to jot down where I’m headed with this blog.

This is my first foray into blogging after having read quite a few out there, some good, some downright compelling, and some hardly worth the mouse click. I can’t really say what I think makes some work and others flop. Something interesting to say, perhaps. Frequency of posting helps too. Topical, popular, and hip all make a dent as well.

Can’t say I’m any of that. When asked why I’m starting a blog, the honest answer is that at my heart, I’m a writer. That’s all I want to be when I grow up, a professional writer. A blogger I like (who writes for a local paper in her hometown) mentioned that a blog is a great way for exposure. Now…she’s got quite a hook to her blog, what with being a professional sex worker and all. But I take what she says seriously. She’s got quite a following.

But maybe more than exposure, this has a deeper meaning. Discipline. See, I’m a lazy writer. I tend to write when I’m inspired and languish about when no great ideas hit my mind. That is lazy. Every Learning Annex class on writing and every book on writing and every person doling out advice on writing tell you to write every day. And I don’t. But maybe with a blog, I will.

Then again, once the new wears off, will the posts tail away?

With a shrug, all I can say is…it remains to be seen.

In a brainstorming over coffee with someone who has opinions I respect very much, we kicked around the idea of a blog. I knew I wanted to try it, but didn’t have much to say on any one topic. A blog about my own self, expounding on my own pent up thoughts seemed a bit self-serving. My partner, who is wise beyond belief, suggested I write about New Mexico because he knows how much it means to me to have been raised there. I long for it, feel homesick for it, and speak about it all the time, to anyone will listen.

The more I thought about his idea, the more I knew he was right. If nothing else, this will allow me the space and the freedom to lament and remember and give in to bouts of homesick melancholy. For nothing is ever as grand as you see it in your memories. When I go back home, I love it for about three days then begin see the cracks in the adobe façade. The ristra is just a little bit tattered. There are too many orange barrels for comfort.

And when I leave and come back to my new home…I always lament how fast Californians move, how crowded it is, how the rain leaves me cold. But in my heart, I love New Mexico. And in my way, I love the Bay Area too. So inside, I have the best of them both.

Most of the stuff out there in the press about New Mexico is pretty well focused on Northern New Mexico. From the celebs in Taos to our Governor (and Democratic Presidential Candidate)’s big doin’s in Santa Fe.

Oh, towns south of Santa Fe get the occasional oddball like the stolen baby found in Clovis and the runaway bride found in Albuquerque, but generally, there is no love for the parts of the state south of La Bajada Hill.

Well, there was NMSU’s brief run at the NCAA this year. But even then, the media focus was more about the Hollywood coach than it was about the school.

So this blog aims to look a little bit south of the Big I. We’re talking Albuquerque on south. Oh, sure, will there be an occasional Northern New Mexico entry? Sure. I reserve that right. Hell, I plan to rant about Richardson pretty soon. This will be about my thoughts on current stuff, my memories from growing up and going to school at NMSU, my laments and thoughts and whatever else comes to mind about the great state of New Mexico, what with it being all enchanting and everything…


photo by Karen Fayeth

In the beginning…….

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Oh Fair New Mexico. It starts as a song. Our State Song….

Written by Elizabeth Garrett (daughter of Pat Garrett, the man who took down Billy the Kid) three years after New Mexico became the 47th state in the Union, in 1912…

Set to music by John Philip Sousa. Sing along:
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Under a sky of azure, where balmy breezes blow,
Kissed by the golden sunshine, is Nuevo Mejico.
Land of the Montezuma, with firey hearts aglow,
Land of the deeds historic, is Nuevo Mejico.

Chorus:
Oh! Fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so,
Our hearts with pride o’re flow,
No matter where we go.
Oh! Fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so,
The grandest state we know — NEW MEXICO!

Rugged and high sierras, with deep canyons below,
Dotted with fertile valleys, is Nuevo Mejico.
Fields full of sweet alfalfa, Richest perfumes bestow,
State of apple blossoms, is Nuevo Mejico.

Chorus

Days that are full of heart-dreams, nights when the moon hangs low;
Beaming its benedictions, O’er Nuevo Mejico.
Land with its bright manana, Coming through weal and woe;
State of esperanza, Is Nuevo Mejico

Chorus
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Sort of cheery and exclamation pointy, isn’t it, then?

Skies of azure, sunshine of gold…firey hearts and all that. Sounds pretty good, right?

Like any good “fight song” it sings of something of an ideal. Not reality.

I mean…the NMSU fight song…what with all its drinking to the Aggies winning is only half right, right?

But it says we’re a state of esperanza (hope) and maybe that’s true. A lot of folks move to the state with a hope of something. Peace. Quiet. Cheap land? They don’t bargain for poor infrastructure and some backward thinking. And a blowhard of a governor now running for president.

But the push pull of the state…new vs old, tradition vs progress, is what keeps people on their toes.

And so it begins…the first post in my new blog about my home state. I have a lot of good memories, thoughts and lots of mental stuff to work out on these pages. Figured it best to start out explaining the source for the title of this blog.

And so….

Oh! Fair New Mexico. From green chile to fry bread to cerulean skies…yes, as a matter of fact, we do love you so……..


photo by Karen Fayeth