Taos. This is one word that evokes movement inside anyone who has visited or has longed to visit this unique place. It’s a place filled with real-time postcard images that seem to have been enhanced by Photoshop, but they haven’t.
For many years, I’ve had the good fortune to facilitate Intuitive Painting workshops at Mabel Dodge Luhan House (www.mabeldodgeluhan.com) in Taos, New Mexico. This puts me in Taos twice a year for almost two weeks in the spring and two weeks in the fall. With every visit, I learn more about this unique town and the people who were attracted to it. Two immensely creative people who’ve been attracted to Taos were Mabel Dodge Luhan and Dennis Hopper. Why would this pair be on my mind? Mabel created the retreat center 80 plus years ago and Dennis Hopper owned it at one time. The energy of supporting creatives is imbued in the walls.
I find an individual’s creative process fascinating and I wanted to learn more about Dennis Hopper’s, so I started listening to every interview I could find. One of the most interesting comments I remember him saying was, he felt his most creative once he was clear of his addictions. This rang the Truth Bell for me. Why? Because we are naturally immensely creative. We can be awed by this fact once we align with what’s creating vs what we’re creating or the common thought-theme, ‘I’m not creative.’
When I was in Taos this September, on my way back to Mabel’s from the post office, I got an inspiration to visit Dennis Hopper’s resting place. Since I’m here in Taos to support spontaneity, freedom, and following inspiration, with a clear conscience, I couldn’t say no. But you should have heard the sh..t-show of thoughts that flooded my mind about following this inspiration. OMG! The thoughts ranged from reverence to heresy.
As will happen with inspiration, the next step showed up. I went to YouTube and there it was, a driving video to where I was inspired to go. When I arrived, I circled the location a couple of times because I didn’t want to impose on a person who was having a chat with another resident of the cemetery. When the other visitor left, I drove in. What I found was a homage to Mr. Hopper.
It was evident by the adornments to his resting place that he had been impactful to the lives of many. My ‘shame on you thoughts’ for visiting the grave of someone I’d never met changed. A rich feeling of gratitude replaced the spaces in my mind where shame had lived. There was now an abiding respect for all who have followed their inspirations and colored outside the box. I said a prayer of appreciation for all his earthly contributions and how he continues to inspire from where he lives right now.
I would also like to thank all of the creatives who followed their inspiration to come to the Taos September workshop. From the first gathering in the garden to the very last day, this group was filled with fun, collaboration, bursts of creative insights, and truly wonderful people.
Sending smiles,