A few years ago I signed up for a drawing and documentary class. One of the pre-class assignments was to sketch our experiences and adventures. I took my pad and pencils to a conference in New Mexico. After exhausting most of Albuquerque's weekend and after hour offerings co-worker/friend C and I decided to play hooky and we took the Greyhound to Santa Fe.
We waited for the bus and only got a little nervous when an hour passed. Nerves turned to panic when the station manager told us the bus was canceled and the next route to Albuquerque wouldn't arrive until morning.
Maria's brother drove up in the kind of car you imagine serial killers own. It was the size of a boat, and stuffed so full of kitty litter boxes and other cat oddities (I see a pattern here) that C and I had to squeeze together in the front seat next to the brother, who was suffering from several ailments all of which should have sent him to the hospital but Maria told us he didn't have insurance. Maria made sure he took his proper medications and she worried he hadn't taken them while she worked her weekend job in Santa Fe. We worried also.
C and I stifled our desire to kiss the ground as Maria and her brother deposited us at our hotel. Instead, we sat at the bar until our nerves calmed and we drank in the normalcy of big screen televisions screaming the day's headlines which surprisingly did not include a story about two Minnesotans who played hooky from work and were found dead in the desert.
I've always lived in the moment. Until I started this blog rarely did I pick up a camera to record any part of my life. Revisiting the fading (and rather primitive) penciled sheets brings me back unlike photography ever could. The investment put into each page forced me deep into the experience, while I find that photography takes me out of it. Looking at these old drawings reminds me that angels come into our lives in many different shapes, desperation forces us to look past prejudice, and Santa Fe is magical.