Two Months of Writing Prompts: Day Six
August 20, 2013 Leave a comment
I’m just going to get right down to the nitty gritty and get this out. Day six writing prompt: What is your favorite city and why? Describe it as though the reader had never been there.
Unfortunately there isn’t any one city that I’ve been to that has made me fall in love. No one place has really left it’s stamp on my heart or left me with an unquenchable desire to return.
I’ve been through the early morning smog in the mountains guarding Los Angeles, drove through Las Vegas in the breath-stealing heat of the midday sun. I lived in Wichita and it’s surrounding towns for two thirds of my life, could smell the canal route in my sleep. There are many people there that I love, and places I remember fondly, but there are too many bad memories left there to love my hometown. I was briefly in the Minneapolis and it’s twin, and have visited both sides of Kansas City, though I mostly just drive through, and have visited Sioux City and South Sioux City twice. Any major city I’ve been in has been brief, or didn’t inspire me to want to come back. None have wowed me.
There has been places that have inspired me, but they aren’t necessarily cities. In fact, one in particular did capture my heart in the brief time I was there. I was only there for a few hours before being ripped away because my friend took pictures where she shouldn’t have, and forced us to leave. It isn’t necessarily a city, but it is a community and a people I found quite beautiful. If only I’d ever found a way to get back, to visit, make friends, build on the love that had planted a seed in my soul. I wish I could’ve been able to stay, that I’d had the money to purchase something handmade out of the adobe shops.
The town outside of the Taos Pueblo, had murals painted on the sides of the adobe buildings. I remember one painted to look like a man sitting watch on a wall, I even took a picture of it. However, the real beauty is in the Pueblo itself. The homes and shops are stacked upon each other like red clay blocks placed neatly by a giant. There are no steps leading up to the higher entrances, but ladders that can easily be pulled in, in case of a threat. A modest church with an elegantly simple arch in the yard, yielded a beautiful interior that gleamed in the light of the sun. I didn’t dare take pictures inside because the plaque on the outside expressly stated not to. Outside of the main office which sits facing the side of the church, had a beautiful dreamcatcher a hundred times larger than phoney store-bought replicas.
One of the homes near the office was used as a pottery shop. The detail of each piece was intricate, plied with an expert’s hand. It broke my heart that I was there only by the grace of my friend, and that had no money of my own in order to help contribute to the livelihood of the woman who had obviously put her heart into each red earthenware jar. I asked, as politely as my awkward thirteen year old self could manage, if it was okay to take a picture of her work. She asked that I not use my flash, and without protest I complied. I treasure the dim photographs of her work, and still have them to this day. Certainly, it doesn’t do them justice. I also managed a picture of the Pueblo from the highway, one of the dreamcatcher, and one of the outside of the church. They are all I have to go along with the memory of my short visit.
You see, it was after I asked for permission to take the photo of the pottery, that my friend asked me why I had done so. That is when I explained both the paper we were asked to sign, and the plaque outside the church prohibited certain pictures from being taken. She panicked since she had apparently taken a few where she shouldn’t have, and rushed us out of the Pueblo post haste.
It saddened me to be taken so soon. As the years have gone by, I’ve often thought of Taos as one would a dear but brief friend, wishing to visit again one day, this time longer, and maybe even be able to show my appreciation in some way. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance, but maybe someday I will.