Thursday, September 10, 2009

Temple Time

So after arriving at the Durango airport, I had no clue who was picking me up. Just as I was reaching towards the ATM to grab some cash a girl named Lis said "Are you Penny?". She jumped up and down when I said yes and we rolled out to her car.

When I saw the Illinois plates I asked her where she was from. Chicago it seemed and she ended up out here after leaving the city for a road trip in search of a new home. Hmm, that sounds familiar.

As we got to talking I found out she worked for the Modern Contemporary Art museum in Chicago. This was a place I desperately tried to get a job from while I was there. As I thought about it, her name and voice sounded really familiar. I'm pretty sure I talked to her sometime in the job search process. I loved this one photography exhibit I saw there that summer and found out that she hung it and got to know the artist well. She told me if I ever wanted a job she could help get me one but now I'm just happy right where I am.

So we drive on and stop at the Pagosa Springs Safeway for some supplies. In this case, meat. Lis is craving it and says at a point tells me the veggie diet doesn't totally cut it. Oh Thank God! I find out that many of the residents at Tara Mandala go into town for burgers, beers and occasionally a trip to the hot springs where Tuesday is "local nite".

The lama is out of town right now but will be back on Tuesday. It seems everyone needed a break after this big celebration they had last week. Lis and I will be prepping the altar for the painting design the Lama will put on it. He'll meditate on what it should be and then start drawing.

Already, I'm learning how he does this as Lis describes the stenciling that takes place with powder and how some of the dimensional pieces are done with woodfiller through a contraption that consists of a pencil and rubberband. Today we're making Rabbit Skin glue which is a Tibetan gesso of sorts used for the mineral paints. This Lama has a school in Santa Fe and has been described as really funny. Can't wait to meet him.

The altitude has been affecting my brain or maybe it's the overload of visiting the past. I'm a bit fuzzy the day I arrive but I do note the "Pavement Ends" sign on the way into the region I'm calling home for the next few weeks. It feels in many ways, so true as I close my eyes right as we run out of road.

I'm not sure what to make of this place except the people are really nice. There's a floating mix of people who just decided to come here. There are all different types and most have done some really cool things. Lis found this place while stopping in Pagosa for a meal. She's been here two months now and may open a painting business with the Lama in Santa Fe.

In my haze yesterday, something really cool happened. At the end of our day while we were prepping the altar doors, a couple monks came in and started practicing in the room. The chanting while we worked on things to paint was amazing. Exactly what I wanted and it all finally made sense.

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