As houses go, Casa Las Artes is flat out extraordinary. A main house and a casita, it boasts six perfectly appointed bedrooms, five fireplaces, three tricked out kitchens, half a dozen cozy indoor spaces, and lots of big, luscious outdoor space.
It’s more than you need for five women, but in some ways that is the idea. I recall a song preaching “wide open spaces…room to make a big mistake” and feel this is something like that. My first visit, it has the air of timelessness, and is so very much the Santa Fe I have heard of.
This is not a vacation of the ordinary sort. We are here to create a “mastermind.” It is a word I don’t understand in this context, and don’t really want to. Can we find another word, right from the start? After all, we are here to find another way.
It seems impossible to find another way in a contemporary world that is all about “been there, done that.” Yet our world is on the brink of so many disasters, with so many social structures and systems failing at once, it would be a fool’s game to attempt anything other than a new way. So here we are, reaching for some kind of wisdom, even if we don’t yet know what kind.
In the words of Seth Godin, we “picked ourselves.” We were not invited to a round table discussion. No one asked us to try to revision a world or even a tiny slice of it. Only a few of us know each other. It sort of just happened, and now here we are.
For sure we can say, flat out, that we don’t know what we are doing. If we did, we wouldn’t need this week together. But we are okay with that. We have to be.
We know there will be good food. There will be a trip to the Georgia O’Keefe museum. Another to Ten Thousand Waves, which we have heard is the spa of all spas. In this, perhaps we will be part of the problem. Luxury for some and not others is surely one of the significant issues of our times. I don’t have an answer to this, but flipping out my credit card, I am aware of it.
We are five women. Each a leader in our own field. Each connected to and through social media. Each having developed a strong voice and body of work. Each ready for something new. Not only new in the “what’s next” personal context (who can avoid that, having a singular life?), but in the “what could be next for our world?” context.
At least that is why I am here. I hope I didn’t get that part wrong. Anything less really is just a vacation.
Books are a part of this. And magazines. And blogs. We are all writers, editors or both. We believe in words. We hold them powerful light sabers, and the greatest luxury that is available to anyone. Even if others do not read you, you can write, and this does good. We hold words holy, each in our own way, and it is our commonality.
Last night, after long travels from five different cities, we had an open-air dinner at the walking-distance Tesuque Cafe, tentatively getting into things, yet holding off on anything that might seem like “work.”
One agreement we came to, which I have been working on as a theory for some time, is the idea that while we are passionate, and while we work hard and long, and even though our work is, by and large, our life, we are not of the stereotypical (and ever pathologized) “Type A” personality variety. There is no word yet for our type. No words for who we are showing up to be at this critical and creative time in our lives. And that is worth talking about.
Today is day one. The coffee is strong, the computers out. These are my first words. I will be back with more.