Desert Hermit

rock creek house

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.

teepee under oaks

I wrote a great deal, made art in many genres, was juried into art shows, and left home usually only every other week.

rattledragon bagsOne 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.

129 Bombed car at scene May 24 1990 - OPD photo copyslide 35mm 2700 C

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….

water near tipi

….and a “bird cloud” at sunset.bird cloud


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