The Land of Enchantment and Open Skies, New Mexico: draft, Nature’s Secrets

From my experiences thus far, I feel that in all the Southwestern USA, there is no greater gem than the state of New Mexico. 🦇🤠

I'd love to visit there again sometime and experience Taos, Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, the White Sands Desert (and stay overnight for the skies, the views of the white sands & the stars, and maybe some astrophotography)

I went on a solo adventure to New Mexico for about a week in 2009, and it was breathtaking and certainly a land of exploration for the super curious!!

I flew into Albuquerque one night, and rented a car first thing in the morning and drove South. I think that I took this picture along that drive. It was the first time in a long time that I'd been able to soar down an empty stretch of road, and I've never seen skies that looked this way, or that went on forever; they really do.

I remember driving with the window rolled down and with my eyes mostly on the road; by feel of hand, I took a picture of the landscape passing before my eyes and periphery as the car & I sped down the road.

I decided to stay in Roswell and explore the town's museum & research center. 📓📰📝One of the days I drove to Carlsbad to explore the Caverns. At dusk hundreds of Mexican free-tailed bats are known to fly above them! 🦇🦇🦇 And there are other wild animals who inhabit the area!! I was there on quite a rainy day, so I didn't get to see the bats, but the Caverns were incredibly beautiful.

And on the drive back to Roswell later that day, I found a pleasant surprise!! The rain had let up a bit and I realized that I was driving through what seemed to be a ghost town of the old Wild West. 🌵👻

I had to stop the car of course! I parked it somewhere and hopped out, and started walking around. There were a number of store fronts on each side of the street, and I was entranced by this bizarre one-horse town! I went over to one of the shops and looked in by the window. It was kind of dark and no one was in there. I walked down the block and found one of those fortune teller machines outside what might have once been a shop or pizza place of some sort. It was such a curious sight, and a bit creepy in the atmosphere of this place, which turned out to be a zero-horse town.

I noticed a lot of dust had collected over time on the fortune teller machine and on the hand that pops out of it! Quite possibly desert dust. I got some weird vibes, and turned around and noticed a diner or restaurant of some sort across the street. I started crossing over, and that's when I realized there weren't any lights on inside this establishment. It was early evening, and the sun was still shining some through the clouds, so it was possible that's why it wasn't brightly lit. I was about to try the door to the restaurant, when I realized it looked closed; which is when I saw the lone man inside this dimly lit diner, staring out at me from behind the door.

And that's when I crossed the street, took a last glance at the shops, and saw a Native American hand-woven dream catcher in one of the shoppe windows. I found my car parked nearby, and drove back to my hotel in Roswell. Along the way, the rain started pouring again, and the skies that night in Roswell (after supper) were a sight to behold with a dark grey cloud formation like a twister! It was like nothing I've ever seen before or since!!

TO BE CONTINUED . .

© Lisa Ellen Goodman Photography
🍃Nature's Secrets🍃

note to self: rough draft, see if I can find more New Mexico pics from 2009- sky, road, Carlsbad caverns, ghost town, Roswell, dark grey twister clouds after I finished supper at the restaurant near my hotel in Roswell.

Add some more detail about the town of Roswell and their research center; and about the beauty inside the carlsbad caverns; maybe make mention of passing signs on the road for the White Sands Desert, and learning more about it and its history, with reference to the trinity site, 1945. 😱

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Wandered into The Forest: draft for 🍃Nature’s Secrets🍃 storybook


I ventured into Reinhardswald Forest at dusk, after the sun had set. Yes, I'm a little bit nuts, but I didn't go too deep inside because I was warned at the castle that at night one would lose their way.

I might have been the only person in that area of the forest at the time, my heart thumping chills down my spine, yet I felt the peaceful presence and connection with nature all around.

And unlike Hansel or Gretel, (which I found a copy of the little storybook to read at the castle during that evening's supper), I hadn't brought my roll of bread, to drop a trail of breadcrumbs.

I was also told that the wild boars come out after dark, (some of whom had wild piglets that spring) and sadly, local hunters arrive after midnight with their guns, so I headed out of the forest and to my car a bit after 10 o'clock, and arrived safely back at the castle, which was now illuminated with lanterns.

note to self: this photo of the castle lit up is from around dusk, when I was heading to the forest. check through all the pix to see if there are any of the castle illuminated on the night sky, when I returned from the forest later that night.

© Lisa Ellen Goodman Photography

The Mercurial Light bulb

An anecdote from my new blog, The Antidote: zeanecdote.wordpress.com

Truth be told, most of my dreams are too convoluted to hope to write about in a cohesive fashion. But not this one from the other night! I call it, “The Mercurial Light Bulb.”

The dream was as follows . .

I was back in my old neighborhood in South Brooklyn, where I grew up. I was with my childhood friends Paul and Lee. We were sitting in the grass by building one. For whatever reason, Paul had dragged along with him a suitcase on wheels, which was sitting at the far end of the grass. In its little zippered compartment, something was wiggling ferociously to get out.

We had no idea what it could be, and just as we were musing it over, whatever it was broke free of the material and launched 200 meters into the sky. We watched the whole thing, and up, up, up and away it went! I thought to myself, “Holy smokes, what if it hits somebody?” But then figured those chances were unlikely.

Next thing you know, it plunked my friend Lee right on top of his head, bullseye. The thing that hit him, this suitcase monster, turned out to be an iridescent light bulb.  As it bounced on his noggin, it emitted an intense electromagnetic pulse, reverberating through the ground and air, all around us. The iridescence of the light was dazzling. Lee, uninjured but puzzled, rubbed his head, as the light bulb scurried away, bouncing through the grass.

There was a black star chart posted in the grass, illuminated with the twinkly lights of the Universe. I noticed that since this incident occurred, the distance between the orbits of Earth and the planet Mercury had shortened considerably. In fact, the difference was astronomical! Thanks to the suitcase monster, we were now hella close to Mercury, and probably fairly screwed when it went into retrograde!

The End?

Anyhow, a few hours after waking up from this dream I realized how funny the dream connection was between the dangerous light bulb and the planet Mercury, since in “the real world” many light bulbs actually do contain mercury, the heavy metal kind.

Also, I’ve been working on my photography series, Electric Skies (merging characters and storytelling with the photographs), and I could see this dream had a theme of electric skies. Dreams imitating art, imitating life . .

MY NEW BLOG: The Antidote in Words

WELCOME GUYS!

First, I want to thank all of you in this community who support me and keep up with my work. It means the world to me.

I’d like to invite you along for my latest adventure with words, my new blog, The Antidote in Words.

That’s the title, and the webby address where you can follow along with me is,

http://zeanecdote.wordpress.com

The Antidote in Words is a journey in thoughts & feelings, and is the first time I’m really sharing the expression of pieces of the innermost me online. Pieces of me past, present, and ever-evolving.

I chose the title, The Antidote in Words, because I see this as a continuous healing journey, through the therapeutic release and expression of thoughts & feelings in writing. Most of the posts on my new blog will be in anecdotal form, and cornball I am, I also enjoy the play on words with anecdote & antidote. I would love to have your feedback and comments if any of my posts resonate with you.

I will continue posting my ramblings on Ramblings of a Mad Hatter, including excerpts from children’s stories which I am writing, and my photopoetry.

I am also working on a blog called, Adventures in LEGgoLand, which will be a series of vignettes of some of my travels & wacky adventures in life!

To get you acquainted with my new blog,The Antidote in Words, here is my first post from that blog, “FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Paradise.” 

“In the night, the stormy night, she closed her eyes . . 

In the night, the stormy night, away she flies . .” 

The perfect evening. (Not that perfect exists, but you know what I’m saying.) 

Alone, riding my bike in Prospect Park- that oasis of wilderness in the midst of Brooklyn. It was spring, or early summer of 2014. Dusk was setting in, and a slight breeze caressed the air. The birds yipped as the trees grew dark. The perfect evening.

I was about to do something crazy. For the record, I wasn’t trying to commit suicide. If anything, I was trying to commit to life, surrender to the moment and let it be.

Coldplay’s “Paradise” was playing on the headphones that were plugged into my ears. The song used to remind me of my summer days road-tripping through California and the Pacific Northwest, as it was often pumping on the car stereo. Now, however, the feeling was entirely different.

The winter before, I had been falling in love with someone across the ocean. Deeply, profoundly, like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I was forever changed, for the better. Now, I was deeply heartbroken in love, shattered, confusion running rampant in my mind like a bag full of marbles scattering across the floor. I had literally lost my marbles! And how had my insane behavior made her feel?

I was also struggling with internal demons, illness and family matters that were ripping apart my insides. It had been breaking me down for years, and how I was affecting the people I cared for was weighing on me immensely. Every part of me now wanted to fight to get better.

I had slowly biked up Prospect Park’s tremendously long & steep hill, at a snail’s crawl. Downhill awaited riders, right around that corner. If just for a few moments in time, all the weight of the world was about to be lifted.

Soon I was gliding down the tremendously steep hill; whizzing past the ball fields and ice-cream truck. Coldplay was singing along, “When she was just a girl, she expected the world . . but it flew away from her reach and the bullets catch in her teeth . .  Life goes on, it gets so heavy . . the wheel breaks the butterfly . .” Gravity had the bicycle & I descending this hill at a zippity pace! Now here’s the crazy part- I let go.

Hands free, arms wide open, palms turned toward the skies, I was soaring down the hill; the crisp wind at my back. The lyric played, “In the night, the stormy night, she closed her eyes . . In the night, the stormy night, away she flies . .” 

And for a few brief moments I did close my eyes, arms extended out like the wings of a bird- flying, I was flying down the hill, past the lake with the ducks & swans, my soul soaring free.

A treasured moment. As with all of life’s experiences, it can never be replicated, it can never be felt twice. But a year and a half later, ColdPlay’s “Paradise” is playing again, and with the breeze in the night air, I flash back to that time I was flying past the trees, and I smile.

FUN FACT: I see the video for “Paradise” now (I hadn’t before that bike ride), and irony of all ironies, the elephant in the video is riding a bicycle! Then he’s riding a unicycle hands free! Though at the end of the clip, the elephant is carrying the weight of the unicycle on his shoulders, and finally feels free when he tosses it to the ground and frolics off through the grass to play with his elephant band, twirling about.

Love Must Win

I can hear the distant cries

of my baby girl as she enters this world

Ten fingers, ten toes, her cheeks a fresh, radiant rose

My heart swells with a love I’ve never felt before,

as my wife cradles her, eyes aglow, gazing upon our little miracle,

we are all reborn with unconditional love, we are a family.

How could the haters, the judgers, the naysayers, see this blessing as a sin?

Above all else, Love Must Win. 

The years have passed,

with love, with grace, we’ve overcome all the odds

the one battle we couldn’t win in the end was dastardly cancer

You’ve been there by my side, along every step, as I’ve withered away

Making me feel at home in your arms, warm and safe and loved,

Until I was taken to the hospital on my very last day

With tears in your eyes, you tell the nurse that you’re here to see me, to say our goodbyes

“Relation?”, she asks, a wisp of cold lingering in the air . .

You tell her how I’m your life partner, together a golden 50 years.

“I’m sorry, but my hands are tied. If you’re not married or immediate family, you’re not allowed inside.”

My room is only a stone’s throw from the nurses’ station, I overhear the entire conversation.

“Not immediate family? We’ve raised three children together, we’ve shared a home for over 50 years, a home where our grandchildren have spent Christmases and birthdays, and we’ve piggybacked them around the yard after weekend suppers . . ”

Laying on my tiny hospital bed, alone in the room, I could hear my beloved sobbing, out in the hallway,     and I wished on the stars above that she could see how her words have brought me comfort and smiles in these last moments; though it pains my heart that she’ll never know . .

The nurse doesn’t know what to say, and as she offers you a tissue, she says what she’s been required to,

“Again, I’m so sorry, but in the eyes of the law, you are not considered family. There’s really nothing that I can do, I can’t break with protocol, I must follow the rules. Why don’t you have a seat over there in the waiting room, it’s down the hall to the left. And you can keep that box of tissues, I wish I could do more to help.”

Oh God, my love, is this how our life together ends? Unable to speak our hearts, to embrace one last time.

If only I had the chance, hand in hand, I would try to tell you all that you’ve meant to me . . you are the love of my life, my best friend in the world; and screw what the law says, you are and always will be, my wife.

I call out to you, my darling, my love, but my voice is too weak . .

As you’re banished to the waiting room . . so close, yet so far, my final words a whisper,

Love Can’t Wait, Love Must Win. 

#LoveMustWin  Image courtesy of google images

#LoveMustWin
Image courtesy of google images

A beautiful rendition of Live’s They Stood Up For Love

Hillary knows that it's time for Love to Win! #LoveMustWin Image courtesy of google images

Hillary knows that it’s time for Love to Win! #LoveMustWin Image courtesy of google images

Crickets?

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted on here.

Writer’s block has crept up on me since my dad’s passing last month.

This WP space has been so quiet, you might have heard the crickets chirping upon your visit.

Am I back from hiatus? Possibly.

It feels good to be writing these words, and that’s good enough for me.

Here are 3 one-liners I came up with yesterday, they just kinda popped into existence.

And the quote below, I simply adore.

Every flower, unique in its beauty, is meant to soar like the Blue jay. 

Once bitten by the love bug, its delirious poison courses through our veins until the very end of existence. 

I’ve never understood the concept of boredom- curiosity has always been the breadth of my lungs. 

WordPress- Trio- Playing on the Beach- Isaac Newton Quote

Mellow Yellow

“They call her mellow yellow,”  — Lyrics from Donovan, “Mellow Yellow.” 
I made friends with this most unusual caterpillar that day. Watching her trot among the leaves in the grass was nothing short of amazing. We were concerned that she could be squished while going about her afternoon at our campground, especially if we played football or even from people walking around, as our campsite is near the log house with the bathrooms, and some people around the campsite might not look down at their feet when they walk, being as attentive as possible of the little creatures on the ground.

So as not to startle her, I laid in the grass, with my finger a make-shift log, still as could be.. and introduced myself and off we went on this traveling adventure; this little lady or gentleman caterpillar on my finger, until safely delivered to their new home- a sturdy log past the bushes where the chipmunks hang out, near the clearing in the woods.. a little alcove with a tiny stream, where only the forest animals live (and where once that weekend I wandered off to explore at a respectful distance (close enough to feel the enchantment of their world, yet far enough as to not disturb any of the animals or their habitat.)

Anyhow, this caterpillar had a new log house, and has perhaps now transformed into a most magnificent butterfly, spreading her glorious wings and with freedom of flight, hopefully to live out her days in peace and never be squished in the grass! I wonder if she remembers our adventure that day, or any of her time as a caterpillar. The thrill of exploring this curious world, step by step; and the hazards that accompany such a journey. I remember her, and feel inspired to revisit a story I begun to write a few months ago, about a turtle named Gus’ adventures, and now when I write for the character, “Mister Felix” the caterpillar, I will have a cherished inspiration.

— in Roscoe, New York.

This was a narrative which I posted with a facebook photo after camping in Roscoe, New York in August. 

Fuzzy, gentle little caterpillar by the campsite. Photo by: Lisa Ellen Goodman Photography

Fuzzy, gentle little caterpillar by the campsite. Photo by: Lisa Ellen Goodman Photography