When in the middle of nowhere we see this imposing building---apparantly abandoned---of course we want the story----and cross some barriers to get here.
Obviously a structure of style and elegance--this was the central room.
And the walls call forth the artistic impulses of a graffitist.
We conclude this was a resort lodge---Stone Lake Resort---with lots of large guest rooms----and this is the view of Stone Lake. We later learned that it has a prominent place in Indian Mythology. From out of this lake---the story goes---emerged the Jimez tribe. I wondered if the tribe tells the story to the young as a myth or as the truth. I'm suddenly curious how Indian tribes in general present their mythology to the kids---do they really grow up believing all that stuff about humanity emerging from a hole in the ground or a lake etc---about coyote as a trickster and about Hopi Kachinas being able to make it rain and so forth. I once asked some Hopi kids if they believed that Kachinas really lived in the San Francisco peaks near Flagstaff. They said yes---of course! My mother and community "laid a myth" on me and I was 27 before I was able to shake it.
But I digress----continuing on I saw about a hundred of these curious structures scattered across a huge meadow. I just gotta know why.
Saw this guy working on one----stopped and asked---aaahh what a story---prepare yourself.
Meet Mr. Wainright, a very friendly and informed Jacarilla Apache Indian. The thing he is building is a family shelter and dining place for an upcoming celebration called Harvest feast. All Jacarillas will come to this meadow on September 15th ---and cluster in family groups AND in CLANS. There are two Jacarilla clans--the RED----descendents of a mountain tribe and the WHITE---descendents of a plains tribe. They all gather on this day primarily to say thanks to the creator for the plants and animals that sustain them AND to engage in a ceremonial foot race. Afterwards, they paint themselves and gather in a grand council to pray and bond and recount their history.
I quiz him further--taking notes: There are about 3,600 Jacarilla total---most live in the City of Dulce.
Their reservation is huge---about 50 miles by 25 miles (perhaps overgenerous as reservations go) Larger tribes have much smaller areas) He explained that the Stone Lake Lodge was a gift from the OEO (office of economic opportunity) and that when it failed, their shaman investigated and determined that it was because it was built on rattlesnake ground.
We moved on to the city of Dulce---Walked around.
Has a GREAT super market---a spectacular mural covers three walls.
Then we left the reservation---driving back to Chama---been a great day!
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: This is what I did with my freedom---on this day. What would you do with yours? I hope to illustrate for my readers that deep freedom is possible and to share with them my particular slant on filling time. (generating meaning) I'm open to suggestions on WHAT---REALLY---IS WORTH DOING.