Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Colors of Enchantment

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

I don't know what it's like now, but when Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall opened in 1982, its architects were loudly criticized for the auditorium, which, to many, was bland and colorless -- a stark contrast to its bold exterior.

The designers countered that its neutral shades were to be a backdrop for the audience.

And it's true. Before the lights dim, the concert hall is itself a symphony of color, with those filling its seats the star attraction.

I thought of this this morning while out for my morning walk in the high-desert foothills behind my house. And I remembered the first time, in 2005, that I drove into New Mexico.

Until that point, the only other place I'd lived in the Southwest had been Sedona, with its thick stands of juniper always green against striking crimson cliffs. When on the wintry January day I first crossed the state line from Arizona, I was shocked by New Mexico's unrelenting dun. "Where's the color?" I cried, determined to hate this place that had pulled me into it so magnetically.

Turns out, they don't call this the Land of Enchantment for nothing. During my next two years of full-time travel, New Mexico was where I spent most of my off-road time. Yes, it was a comfortable driving distance from my daughter, still in Sedona. But there was more: a numinous quality that transcends logic or explanation, a magic that speaks to the soul of anyone open to it.

Today during my walk, yellows, fuschias, magentas, violets and whites spring from the colorless soil, all the more brilliant because of their neutral backdrop. It's as though the land, in a life-imitates-art version of Roy Thomson Hall, has muted itself in order to give its flowers top billing.

I love this place, especially the granite-studded Sandia Mountains that rise up behind my home.

New Mexico lacks the obvious beauty of other places I've lived -- Nova Scotia, Hawaii, Sedona. But, no less than those, it has seduced my spirit and will, no doubt, keep me here until it has had its way with me. And for now, walking among the flowers that always seem such a miracle here in the desert, I pay tribute to the generosity of a land that steps back to allow all that thrives in its dusty soil to be its star attractions.

Photos #1, #3, #4, #5 (c) 2009 Mark David Gerson: Desert flowers, Sandia foothills, Albuquerque, NM; Photo #2 Roy Thomson Hall interior, by Roy Thomson Hall

Be Inspired!

Tuesday, August 11 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

I'm excited and gratified to announce that the response to my 9/11/08 appearance as featured Inspirational Luminary on was so successful and popular that they're repeating it this Friday, August 14.

Once a for-pay site, Inspire Me Today is now free, offering you features that will inspire you not only on August 14, but every day. So when you visit to read my inspirational offerings, I hope you you'll also sign up for the free daily inspiration email and free 44 page eBook Secrets to Soaring.

The site is awesome and I'm proud to now be able to call the woman who created it, Gail Lynne Goodwin, a friend. Please check it out on Friday...and beyond!

Snap a Pic for Me and Promote Yourself - Part II

Monday, August 10, 2009 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

This is a repeat of a piece I posted on my The Voice of Your Muse blog last month, but featuring a whole new gallery of readers! I hope you'll join the fun. Read on to find out how....

Do you have a copy of either of my books? If so, I'd love to include a pic of you reading either The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, The MoonQuest, or both in my Rogues Gallery of Readers Photo Album on Facebook.

And to help you promote your book and/or web site, I'll include in the photo caption not only your name but your promotional info/link. I'll also post a selection of reader pics here in a future blog post.

If you have my email address, simply email me your pic and caption information. If you don't have my email address, contact me via Facebook, Twitter or my web site once you have the photo, and I'll tell you where to send it.

Thanks to Lynn Higgin (top pic, above), Dave Rhodes, Cristina M.R. Norcross, Laurent Delpit, Irene Brodsky and Joanne Allgoewer for their reader pics. I'm looking forward to getting yours!