I'm spending some solitary time at Coyote Ridge, our New Mexico cabin. We're on the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, looking out over a quiet valley rimmed on the north by a snow-covered ridge that rises to about 8500 feet. It's still summer in Texas: in the 70s yesterday. Here: 12 degrees this morning, with bright blue skies.
My writing studio here is in the loft, with a view up the mountain. No dogs on this trip: Molly stayed home to take care of Bill and the chickens and warn the deer out of her yard. No television, so I'm spared the D.C. train wreck.
My project for this time alone: research/reading on Gertrude Bell. Wikipedia describes her as "an English writer, traveler, political officer, administrator, spy and archaeologist who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her knowledge and contacts, built up through extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped support the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan as well as in Iraq." I have a stack of books, including her unpublished diaries of her 1913-1914 journey through unexplored, unmapped central Arabia, rich in political intrigue. I also have her letters to her lover, Charles Doughty-Wylie. It's a fascinating project that is taking me into new (for me) territory--a place I love to go!
Reading note: All the earth is seamed with roads, and all the sea is furrowed with the tracks of ships, and over all the roads and all the waters a continuous stream of people passes up and down - traveling, as they say, for their pleasure. What is it, I wonder, that they go out to see?--Gertrude Bell