Yesterday I drove over to Taos for the first time in a long time. I was going to meet with
my friend, *Jonathan Warm Day Coming but first I went to a small Asian restaurant that has great food and no TVs [thankfully!]. People were having lunch and actually talking to each other–I think I might have only seen one cell phone come out the whole time I was there and in my fortune cookie [I believe in fortune cookies], was my fortune which said
It was a blue sky day and I drove on to the Taos Inn to meet with Jonathan.
I had brought him some fresh eggs and we sat on the big leather couches in the lobby and talked and then we walked out to his car and he showed me 2 of his most recent paintings… ..he was getting ready for a show this coming weekend.
I loved both of the paintings he showed me but one has stayed with me. He calls it The Dream I Had and he told me that twice he had dreamed that it was night and he had walked out of his little house on the pueblo and climbed up a ladder and when he looked down, there was nothing but empty space.
Mystical, sacred and beautiful, far beyond this ugly world we’re living in, there’s another world out there that will always remain pure and untouched by humans……. that’s how I felt this image.
And I thought if I had this painting, I would hang it in the very center of everything so I could remember…..that other world.
After Jonathan left, I walked over to the gallery where his paintings are displayed along with a few other artists. Sometimes it’s hard for me to walk into new places….shyness left over from childhood and then these days, people aren’t especially welcoming or friendly.. Just the week before, I had a couple of unfriendly and unwelcoming experiences so I was feeling kind of fragile.
But Jonathan had told me how happy he was to be in this new gallery so I went on. The Jones Walker Gallery is in a 250 year old adobe house in Taos Plaza and.the door was open….. As I walked through the door, I heard Willy Nelson’s song, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me when I Die and I laughed and felt filled with sunlight and happiness. Then out from another room, came Tony Walker, co-owner of Jones Walker. He and his partner, Max Jones had owned a very successful furniture design business in Dallas, but for years they had wanted to move to Taos. They had recently sold their design business and this gallery came up for sale at about the same time.
Tony was so welcoming and friendly …he filled the gallery with happiness and I thought to myself, people will come here not just for the art but to feel happy, to feel welcomed.
And I remembered a story I once read about the Iroquois medicine man, Mad Bear Anderson. Mad Bear’s special ‘medicine’ was his happiness and humor which he used to bring people together, remind them of their connection..one to another. On one occasion several Native people were selling their beautiful, turquoise jewelry at an open market…. the sun was shining and the jewelry was extraordinary but no one was buying anything and everyone was feeling sad and discouraged. Until Mad Bear walked in and in his special, life giving way, started talking with customers and the ones who were selling…and in a very short time, every piece of jewelry was sold….happiness had returned.
So this was my day in Taos: Jonathan’s painting showing me a glimpse of the world beyond and Tony’s welcoming presence bringing happiness to this world we live in. [Willy Nelson does this also on a larger scale…video clip below]
Maybe it seems I’m making too much of small things..like kindness, happiness, listening, creativity etc but it is so much what the world needs now. cp
*Jonathan Warm Day Coming
Renowned Taos Pueblo artist, storyteller and writer, Jonathan Warm Day is known for his colorful acrylic paintings, which provide a visual narrative of the daily experiences and spiritual life drawn from his many childhood memories at the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. His earthy paintings illustrate the graceful and enduring lifestyle of the Taos Pueblo people and their respect for nature.
Jonathan is committed to preserving the memories of the now vanishing pastoral lifestyle and rich cultural heritage of the Taos Pueblo through his paintings. His work depicts scenes of daily life there throughout the four seasons and illustrates the traditions and customs that are part of the heritage of Taos Pueblo. His paintings also depict the surrounding landscape, animals and nature.
~ Mel Fenson Colorado Magazine Onlne
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