Rachel in Taos

Rachel is spending the June 2009 term in SMU-in-Taos, where the photography courses she is taking will complement her journalism degree.

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Old Blinking Light

015.PEF.jpgDancing in the great outdoors with magical Christmas lights all around, a starlit sky, along with a breathtaking mountainous backdrop, reminds me of the quote from the movie Meet Joe Black: “If food is the prose of a party, then lights are its poetry.”

Monday, June 15

My iPhone alarm goes off for the third time, Bella’s lullaby sounds more annoying than soothing. I groan inwardly, cringing at the thought of getting out from under my blanket to greet the crisp, cold air. I glance at my phone. Great, 5:30 am. Time for me to get up, eat a granola bar, do some homework and workout before my class at 9 am. I am not a happy camper, or should I say, student.

Workouts for me are typically in the mid to late afternoons, after or before class depending on the whim of Professor Hunter. Today is an exception. You see, I need a time frame so that I can use the time I have left as efficiently as possible.

Last night at dinner, Professor Hunter came up to me and told me that we had a full day (on this very day) since we advanced students would not be able to meet that evening due to the fact that we all were going to the Old Blinking Light. Wow, what a name, the OBL. Sounds like a good title for a Nancy Drew mystery novel.

Turns out we had a seven-hour class. Good times. I am so glad I worked out this morning, because I had just enough time to shower and get pretty. Finally! I am so excited to go dancing again! It has been far too long. Two-stepping is fun, although I prefer salsa dancing.

022.PEF.jpg OBL has some awesome Mexican food! I chow down on their chips, salsa, guacamole and queso. Dang! I love really spicy food, but my mouth is literally numb from the pain and on fire to boot! The salsa is so hot that it is like dipping your chips in pure jalapeno juice. This is bad, no amount of Diet Coke is helping the burn. I would know, I am just polishing off my third glass.

055.PEF.jpg Michael Hearne, a semi well-known country musician, plays his guitar and sings as we all spin around the tight confines of the dance floor. I am so frustrated! Why are dance floors always too small?! I keep getting stomped on by high heels. Ouch, ouch, ouch!!! Overall, I am loving it and having the time of my life!

Times like these make me wish for a pair of cowboy boots. I really should invest in a pair since I’ve lived in Texas for only 10 years!

054.PEF.jpgI feel in harmony with all the locals. There are some really intriguing, colorful characters. I almost feel as if the whole night was a movie set; it feels surreal. Some parts of the outdoors take me away to the Shire, in Middle Earth. I pause from dancing to snap of picture of a tree that reminds me of the Party Tree in Fellowship of the Ring.

All good times must come to an end. What a capital evening, indeed! As I lean my head against the headrest of the car I hear Gerard Butler, as Phantom of the Opera, singing, “Softly, gently, music shall caress you. Hear it, feel it, secretly possess you. Open up your mind. Let your fantasies unwind, in this darkness which you know you cannot find: the darkness of the music of the night.”

Peace out, friends!

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