Moonbox Notes #14: Abril 2023

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

A view of the La Plata mountains from the Smelter ridgeline.

From the desk:

For Poetry month and essentially Earth Month, I've been writing some poems and sharing them on my Instagram. I'd also like to share them here. Pick your favorite chill/hype tunes (or nature-inspiring songs) station on Pandora or Spotify and let's spend some time together:

The snow tumbles downwind
and I scatter up the deer,
frozen mud cracks beneath all our hoofing
as the sun gazes
in and out
as the clouds flush in flakes
and I sometimes slip on the ice
where there are hardened tracks
my feet don’t fit into
such small, soft heartbeats
pressed as little cloves of deer
or dog, or human, or rabbit
or the fallen etches of a wooden limb
and even the pressed grasses
oval upon the earth
a frozen pulse, a slip into remembering
the step by step crackling
of “here I am”
and here we are
pacing a millennia of traces
we do fit into, gazing in and out
from beneath the soft tumble of a storm.

The collared swifts
cackle and glide
as boxelder bugs
basejump sun-warmed
from the sandstone cliff.

The pregnancy of winter has burst
the creeks rush, darken
with the mud of nutrients
and the swifts cut high-speed arcs
and the boxelders leave their winter dens
and the horses neigh from the greening fields
and the roots of kin are ever deepened.

I imagine that
if skipping-stones could laugh
they’d sound like the birds
they’d scatter with sun-tipped wings
they’d slide into the water
that now houses them
sunk with a birthing momentum
into another fabric of weight and light.

Such water neighs toward oblivion
and yet the laughter is all I can hear.

I run along shrub oak and cacti
the wind is loud
within the caverns of my ears
and these voids I can only assume
shape and un-smoothness
lined with little hairs
and I did say oreja
instead of oveja
when guessing an answer to the crossword clue
“Sheep from Spain”
as, to mean one thing but misspeak
is at best a guess anyway
and just like the inner most parts of me
I make guesses all the time
I assume their warm shapes
imagine their blood sounds and my blurry words
and sometimes I wish I knew their totality
as in, heritage
as in, ancestry
as in, origin
as in, all the windy caverns I will never know,
their tongue sounds and heartbeats

But I can only speak the languages of assimilation
of a lost knowing
of ways in which to peel
ear by ear
wool by wool
the bloodiest parts of the earth.
So I run along shrub oak and cacti
and let the wind shape for me
the outlines of our souls.

A still-frozen Vallecito Reservoir during a bike ride with my friend Indigo.

[Related: Moonbox Notes #13]

Life updates: I have been accepted for a 3rd year to be a part of ReNew Earth Running! In previous Moonbox Notes, you may have read my hesitation to reapply, but I am happy that I did. There is a woman and new friend that also lives in Durango who is now a part of the team, and I’m super excited to collaborate with and support her. I hope we’re able to build more community from this! And you should totally follow her on Instagram.

Patrick and I are currently playing the waiting game in terms of looking for a house to buy. The neighborhood we want to buy in has nothing in our price range right now, but we know that houses have sold in our price range in recent months (one example that we LOVED is actually under contract, and we missed our opportunity to make an offer by a freakin’ week!). AH! What a roller coaster. But, we’ve been officially approved by a local non-profit, known as HomesFund, for financial assistance. Their help will ensure affordable monthly payments with more money upfront (basically, this is a down-payment assistance loan). If we ever sell our home or refinance, then the amount they gave us will be paid back plus a share of any appreciation the home has accrued.

The Durango market is unfortunately a millionaire’s market. So, we’re looking at a neighborhood 3o minutes outside of town, where….even there, many houses are now worth over 500k. Basically, we’re looking for something that hasn’t been recently renovated, so the house will be cheaper and we can renovate ourselves. *insert wide-faced smile with closed teeth emoji. Oh the obstacles of colonial/capitalistic adulting.

Finding joy in running once again.

La Vida Mundial:


Some of my favorite posts this month have been from Pattie Gonia, a drag queen with an indomitable fire for environmentalism and community building (she’s amazing year-round by the way, not just for Earth Day stuff). She’s hilarious, witty, and admirably unapologetic, and she puts things into context in a way that we need more of in our day-to-day lives. Her Earth Day video is here, and a great series of memes is here.

When trying to think about memorable brand efforts or news highlights, I honestly came up a little blank. Perhaps the lesson in that is that memorable marketing isn’t what we really need right now. The news has been rather grim, from all the more shootings to the firming realities of climate change:

NPR: A look at the new plan for managing the drought stricken Colorado River, with an audio version of the text, April 2023

CNN: ‘The climate time-bomb is ticking’: The world is running out of time to avoid catastrophe, new UN report warns, with a great overview video, March 2023

But, there are positive things, like local trash pickups, rematriation, or reminders to use less, waste less, buy less:

OutsideOnline: Taking Positive Action for the Planet, with video series, April 2023

ABC News: Indigenous groups fight climate change by getting their ‘land back’, YouTube video, April 2022

Even though the bulk of climate action needs to come from government and economic entities, all of us down on the ground still need to embrace positive action and change as well. In our sharing, in our education, in our adaptability, and importantly, in our ability to forgive, to be flexible, and to prioritize what’s next and what can we all do NOW (like voting! or asking our local governments/businesses to change and step up) versus focusing on what we can’t change from the past. There is no such thing as the perfect climate advocate, we all just need to do our best with what we have and know, and continue to be open-minded.

A clear day for Earth Day. La Plata mountains.

HBD to all April birthdays!

Recent Top Pick Reads:

+ “Slough,” by Ada Limón, Orion Magazine, Poetry, April 20, 2023. A short, beautiful, and eerie poem that speaks to me about the sometimes drawn-out acts of change (physical or otherwise) and how the violence of it can also be seen as freedom.

+ “Those lights aren’t just messing with your sleep. They’re bothering the trees.” by Warren Cornwall, Anthropocene Magazine, Daily Science, July 13, 2022. Light pollution is affecting seasonal cycles in to-be-expected ways, as the increased light has and will inevitably prompt trees (and plants) to alter their habits. Over time, this is shifting the length of seasons or when seasons even begin, which in turn amplifies the effects of global warming in some areas, but might have benefits in others.

+ “Translators of the Past: Inside the work and ceremonies of Mongolian shamans,” by Gabrielle Brady, ” Orion Magazine, Spring 2023, April 18, 2023. A poetic and introspective look at the art of translation and how sometimes translation just isn’t possible, but the essence of it is still a powerful and impactful force of its own.

+ “The Age of Plutonium,” by Natalie Middleton, Orion Magazine, Issue Summer 2022, July 5, 2022. In the aftermath of nuclear testing, Middleton discusses the true and long-lasting effects on the earth and its inhabitants, as radioactive remnants from the blast can be found everywhere, even in coral reefs and in our bones, revealing a layer within geologic time that speaks to “our capacity for unfettered destruction of ourselves, our civilization, and our planet.”

Books/Mags on the Shelf:

+Imaginary Peaks by Katie Ives — I’m 3/4 of the way through and loving it!

+Our Slippery Earth: Nawa Philosophy in the Modern Age by Kurly Tlapoyawa

+Deluge by Leila Chatti

+Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Issue 76, Winter 2022

Our friend Xochi stretches out after a walk.

Recent Listens/Watchings:

+ “Jake Skeets reads his poem ‘Anthropocenic’,” Poem-a-Day, Academy of American Poets, April 17, 2023. Jake Skeets reads his poem and then describes briefly why he wrote the poem and how it seeks to capture living in a dying world. For more from Poem-a-Day, click here.

+ “Reclaiming, reconnecting, and running with Sergio Avila,” Beyond Running: A Podcast By Aire Libre Running, April 25, 2023. In this episode, Avila discusses his path to becoming a biologist, his life dedications, his passions, and his privileges. Topics range from childhood to studying jaguars to the inevitable reconceptualization of time, nature, and science.

+ “Ascend: Forced to flee the Taliban, Afghan women find a home in climbing,” Patagonia Films, YouTube, March 29, 2023. The film discusses the horrific takeover of the Taliban and how it changed the lives and safety of women in the country, particularly those who were practicing sports and engaging in alternative lifestyles. In partnership with Ascend, a non-profit focused on leadership through athletics, several women were successfully relocated to the United States.

+ “Buying corpse tags on eBay: my work as an indigenous artist | Gregg Deal, ” TEDxMileHigh, YouTube, TEDx Talks, March 20, 2023. CONTENT WARNING: death, trauma, racism, genocide. Artist Gregg Deal discusses provocation in his artwork and the histories that are often forgotten, in addition to his examination of Western stereotypes and colonization.

+ “Jordan Marie Whetstone: It Takes a Community, Elevating Voices & Being an Advocate,” You Are A Big Deal with Becca Jay Podcast, Episode 20, March 5, 2023. What is notable about this episode is how Jordan opens up about her pregnancy and birthing experience, which was more traumatic than she thought it would be, let alone in comparison to how people talk about it in general. Becca and Jordan talk about parenting, community presence, and the endless flow of ideas to come.

A little pebble in a potato at the grocery store. Not sure why I found this rather cute.

Writing/Projects: (updates are highlighted)

+I currently have one general submission in the ether. I’ve submitted a previously-published essay to an essay contest (where this is allowed). The purse is $3k! The winner and runners-up will be announced in October.

+ “When We Visit,” a short creative nonfiction essay for Campfire Stories Volume II anthology. The anthology is now available for purchase.

+The hybrid essay I wrote in 2021, “Chuckwalla,” still needs some major revision before I consider submitting again. I’ve begun another research/writing phase as well.

+I’ve begun a new short fiction piece with a temporary title of, “How I Came To Be.”

+My online writing course with Orion Magazine, “Writing Resilience through Our Relationship with Wildness,” has been postponed until September 2023 due to the instructor having a family emergency.

+I have a Science Fiction novella that I’ve been slowly working on since 2017.


  • This section will actually be rather somber and is a mourning of Graeme McCallum, a local Durango runner, sports massage therapist, and friend who recently passed away two weeks ago. I do not know the manner of his passing, but there is a Celebration of Life for him at the Durango Running Company tonight that Patrick and I will attend. He helped me heal an adductor strain last month, so we were definitely becoming more and more acquainted. 💔

Thanks for tuning in to Sarita’s Moonbox.

Happy Spring!


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