Moonbox Notes #9: November 2022

Welcome to my Moonbox: a gathering of musings, learnings, and aspirations held (perhaps, sometimes only briefly) by the many expressions of me, Sarita.

The aspens have dropped all of their leaves.

From the desk:

A poetry exercise:

Word of the Day, Nov 20th: Extirpate

"Extirpate means 'to destroy completely,' and is often—though not exclusively—used in reference to plant and animal populations. It can also be used to mean 'to pull up by the root' and 'to cut out by surgery.'" -- Merriam-Webster.com

How it must be something so intimate and deep
It must mean that it was once tethered
Was once a part
Yet repeated, related
So innate and dearly tied
It must have been hungry
It must have been fed
Was once a whole
Sewn in parts repeating, relative
It must have taken a long time
It must have taken shape
Was once born
Yet intertwined and durable
So relevant, reparative
It must have had weight
It must have really hurt
Was once attached
Yet now destroyed
As in, undone
As in, vacated
As in, abysmal
As in, the vacuum of space
As in, a gravity so large
It swallows everything—
And how common this is
To deaden the world
To be deadened
How easy it is
To leave holes
How fitting then
That they swallow

[Related: Moonbox Notes #8]
A snowy hike in-between storms.

La Vida Mundial:

It already feels like winter has arrived. Temperatures are cold, snow and ice remain on the trails. I officially embraced the off-season for my running this week and am now celebrating the arrival of my more writerly self. Patrick and I are finally under contract to sell our condo. Durango’s only climbing gym will open on November 21st. We attended the soft opening and have already made connections to the community. In general, things are feeling more calm, more positive. We were also recently able to visit family in Albuquerque, which was long overdue.

I signed up for an online writing course with Creative Nonfiction Magazine for January, and I plan to apply for an online course with Orion Magazine for February. While tuition isn’t cheap, I feel very stuck with my Chuckwalla hybrid essay and these courses are (excitingly) specific to hybrid writing and to the use of myths and theology in creative nonfiction, which is exactly what I’m trying to do with this piece. The timing couldn’t be more appropriate and I’m sure these courses will be worth every penny (I just hope that I’m accepted into the Orion one). It feels good to look forward to something rooted in mentorship and creativity.

November is Native American Heritage Month!

The Truth About Thanksgiving: Truthsgiving

Native Cinema Showcase: All films on demand Nov 18th-25th.

Native Voices Anthology: Indigenous American Poetry, Craft, and Conversations. Edited by Cmarie Fuhrman and Dean Rader.

National Park Service spotlights and articles: Staff stories and perspectives, on sharing history and heritage, etc.

Decolonization Theory and Practice: Racial Equity Tools.org

Humor and Commentary on YouTube: Patrick Is A Navajo channel

Thank you for celebrating, learning, and elevating.

A view of the Hogsback ridgeline from Twin Buttes in Durango.

HBD to all November birthdays!

Recent Top Pick Reads:

+ “Running to Heal,” Morgan Tilton, Trail Runner Magazine, The Dirt Annual, Summer 2022. Tilton shares Shaun Martin’s story and journey in the running world, his legacy of leadership, and what running means to him.

+ “The Coffin Trees,” Jessica J. Lee, Orion Magazine, Old Growth, Spring 2022 Anthology. A short essay about history, about a specific tree, and about intersecting the old and the new.

+ “To Observe that Kind of Devotion: A Conversation,” Camille Dungy and Major Jackson, Orion Magazine, Online Articles, April 2022. A conversation about environmentalism, poetry, blackness, and a writer’s duty to be aware.

+ “Saguaro, Free of the Earth,” by Bryce Upholt, Emergence Magazine, March, 31, 2022. A long form essay (with an audio version) about the history, cultural context, and teachings of the saguaro, particularly within the dilemmas of US law, personhood, and border walls.

At the trailhead for La Luz, a ~7.5-mile journey into the Sandia Mountains of Albuquerque.

Books/Mags on the Shelf:

+Thin Places by Jordan Kisner

+Deluge by Leila Chatti

+Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Issue 75 & 76, Spring 2021/Winter 2022

Recent Listens/Watchings:

+ “Saeed Jones,” Thresholds Podcast with Jordan Kisner, November 15, 2022. The confusion and contexts of grief, American culture, and poetry.

+ “The End of Poetry,” The Slowdown Podcast with Ada Limón, Episode 795, October 31, 2022. Limón’s final episode as the podcast host; she shares final words, inspirations, and of course, one of her poems.

+ “The Art of Activism,” Patagonia Working Knowledge story series, Episode 5, 2022. A highlight of Paolo Fanciulli and his longstanding effort to save the seabeds in his local ecosystem from trawlers. The journey brought him to the idea of having artists create sculptures to then drop to the sea floor to prevent the illegal trawling.

+ “Running is Prayer,” Pacers Running and Brooks Running, directed by Hanad Ali and Guarina Lopez, Episode 7, 2022. An ode to what it means to engage in prayer in the space of running and within the context of community organization and advocacy.

A telescoping view from the La Luz trail into the high desert.

Writing/Projects: (updates are highlighted)

+I have two general submissions in the ether. A short prose piece for CNF’s Sunday Short Reads and a short prose piece for Brevity Mag.

+My application for the Artist in Residence program in Death Valley 2023 was declined.

+I’ve applied to attend an online writing course with Orion Magazine, “Writing Resilience through Our Relationship with Wildness,” for February 2023, taught by author and poet, Cmarie Fuhrman. Attendees will be notified early December.

+ “When We Visit,” short creative nonfiction essay for Campfire Stories Volume II anthology: Finished stage. The book is currently due to come out this Spring, 2023.

+The hybrid essay I wrote last year, “Chuckwalla,” still needs some major revision before I consider submitting again. I’ve begun another research phase as well.

+I revisited my Science Fiction short story earlier this year, which has been fun, so I hope I can keep up the progress.

MISC/Brags:

I was interviewed for a PODCAST! On Episode 3 of You Are A Big Deal with Becca Jay, Becca and I briefly discuss the intersections of running, writing, and the power of trying. I enjoyed this opportunity to practice advocating for myself and to practice speaking in general, haha. I hope you enjoy it!

Patrick practices movement on a tough boulder problem at UMound in Albuquerque.

Thanks for tuning in to Sarita’s Moonbox.

Happy Fall!

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