~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Friday, December 9, 2011


Crooked narrow streets, walls of rock built to hold back the falling, sliding elements on one side, and drop-offs beyond rickety guardrails or fencing or nothing on the other.
Flat upon the ground, erupting from the center, the roots grow upward rather than down and in, the spreading paths of homes tracing a steep journey up, climbing, as if to place themselves in some way beyond the reach of the dragging darkness beneath the historic mining town of Bisbee.
Incongruity of poured concrete steps against the gorgeous stone walls built by hand--artisans, craftsmen, who knew how to create beautiful strength without mortar.
Corrugated tin roofs reflecting the bright sun to catch the vivid colors of little houses determined to cling to the sides of the mountains.
A car snakes its way down the street below, tires a loud whisper upon the worn mix of gravel, deteriorating concrete, and dirt that has escaped down the mountain in spite of the best efforts of man.
A curious town. Lots of character just oozing ambience and history.
Old, weathered buildings, poorly constructed with materials it must have been a struggle to lug up the steep slant of earth and rock.
Colorful houses making a statement of presence and a sort of willfulness rising from them like incense.
Seems most residents just keep slapping on a patch here, bit of paint there, shore it up here...
Structural challenges, a complex interweaving of utilities and plumbing performs its own dance of decoration on the outside where gravity is first defied and then given free rein. 
Newer retaining walls are obvious in their concrete block coats, wearing less personality, yet sometimes spiffed up with brick or stone edging or glass inlay.

Here the bottoms of bottles are popular as decoration and show their thick green and blue bottoms.
A little garden, variety the key with cactus and silver-weed, vines and twisty-limbed trees who aren't tall but make up for it with individuality.
Quirky. High up, nearly to the top, peace and quiet float on the dust motes.
Tiny porch, tiny yard; a tiny house on a hill filled with bright color and sassy bric-a-brac.
A sunny corner holds a lounge chair; the perfect comfy-cozy spot indoors for reading and writing, although outside was better.
A faint odor like burnt coffee drifted up on the air currents regularly; what could it be? My nose would twitch and wrinkle... Way up here, just a quaint and curious puzzle.*

A walk up and down the winding streets delivers new sensations around every corner...
Discomfort rises, I feel my stomach tighten, and it's not just from the steep incline. I recognize my fear as I hear strange dogs bark nearby; our recent attack a few weeks ago still fresh in my memory. Yet the boys don't seem any more bothered by it than from a person walking near.
The buildings old, some dark and forbidding, their frowns warning me that I am not welcome and I don't step into their shadowy alcoves.
Others have painted and primped their faces, giving a come-hither look, beckoning me closer...

A 'secret garden' is where I sit, sun shining, and voices echo back and forth from the mountains, softly bouncing voices and sounds of dogs, people, a rooster crowing, buildings and machinery. 'Voices' of the world in miniature, crowded closely.

Like a child's playground, all the colors and shapes! The textures so varied, like a microcosm filled with diversity as if to compensate for the stricture of the narrow canyon, bursting out at the seams, packing maximum 'bang' into the space allowed.
Porches and decks stick out all over, jutting their chins in defiance.
A concrete park painted with colorful games; an alternative to the barren, rugged earth stripped not only by the mines nearby but also by Gaia Herself as She explored a new landscape, a new and unique way of experiencing Herself in life.

Everywhere is curves, angles, corners and pockets--not sure there is such a thing as a straight line in this wonderful little town. Here is presented a delightful display of non-linear response to all that life has thrown at the people who chose and still choose to make this place their home. A visual imprint of non-control, the ability to adapt.

Prior to making this trip, I read "Going Back To Bisbee" by Richard Shelton. It was a wonderful way to learn a little about the history of the Arizona Southwest so that as I drove the landscape and towns were given meaning other than through my own perception of them.

I only stayed two nights at the Sleepy Dog Guesthouse (which I highly recommend!) but plan on returning for a longer stay and more exploration.

* A Google search revealed the origin of the aroma was indeed coffee from the Bisbee Coffee Co. where they roast the beans fresh on the premises.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fascinating trip. The dogs look so sweet on the little porch. I've never been to Bisbee, but my son recently went there for a field trip for architecture class and showed me his pictures.


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