This was my passive-solar home in the desert, full-time or part-time from 1994-2006.
Every sunset I spent on the west patio, rarely working after dark. Waking with the sun and living without clocks or calendar except when necessary. I sometimes had to call friends to ask, “Is this Thursday?” to know when to go into town.
I subsisted with only the water I harvested off the roofs. I cooked with a solar oven, heated water with the sun, and added warmth to the house with small fires made from wood of the scrub mesquite trees surrounding the house.
When I was gifted with a teepee, it became my bedroom under the Emory oaks. The years were idyllic in many ways, as my teepee was visited by black bears, vermillion flycatcher, great horned owls, roadrunners, and more.
I wrote a great deal, made art in many genres, was juried into art shows, and left home usually only every other week.
One year, I had a series of experiences with rattlesnakes, including one who was killed by a thoughtless neighbor. I used the snake’s skin, and other snake skin, in artwork, like these handbags and medicine bags.
In other ways, my hermit life was harrowing, as I entered what was called by a friend a shamanic initiation – but I went through it without a teacher-guide.
In 2002, I accepted a request to help with a historically important federal trial, Judi Bari vs. the FBI, in Oakland, CA, during which strange events occurred which seemed to border on spiritual and/or technological harassment – heightening the stress I was already undergoing in my shamanic initiation.
The FBI trial experiences open my memoir, RattleSnake Fire: a memoir of extra-dimensional experiences. The horrific bombing served as a metaphor for the worst sort of evil that exists in the world, and a context within which I accepted the horrific experiences with which I continued to wrestle.
I sold my land in 2006 and moved to Silver City, NM, where I wrote and published my book in 2008.
I often missed my hermit years, but felt called to remain in the community of the small town for ten years and a couple months – when I was suddenly driven from it.
Last photos: Water flowing through the intermittent Rock Creek….