Film: Nasario Remembers the Río Puerco
Thursday, February 22 7 pm
A new documentary follows celebrated folklorist Nasario García doing what he loves: wandering through landscape and memory amid the ghost towns of New Mexico’s Río Puerco valley, reviving recuerdos (memories) of his youth when the ranching villages thrived and viejitos (elders) told stories beside a river that once ran. Through interviews with Dr. García, oral histories, archival photos, and footage of the landscape, Nasario Remembers the Río Puerco poses the question: do ruins remember us? Presented as part of the Bank of America Free Thursday Film Series.
Filmmaker Shebana Coelho and folklorist and author Nasario García will be present at the screenings of the film to discuss it with the audience.
2017; Shebana Coelho; English; 60 minutes; not rated.
Free ticketed event; tickets available one hour before show
Bank of American Theatre
National Hispanic Cultural Center
1701 4th Street SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Main: (505) 246-2261
Ursula K. Le Guin
21 October 1992 - 22 January 2018
Ursula Le Guin passed away yesterday. Somewhere she is flying on the other wind.
I want to say that, for me, her stories are weaving – I see the loom in them, the threads, the deliberate careful movements of the artisan making a shape manifest. I see how the conflicts the characters live are first and foremost within, and I see the core story is the discovery of your own path. There is such tenderness between her characters; they are unafraid to love and lose and love even more.
For some reason, it took me a while to start A Wizard of Earthsea; I kept starting and stopping. But then, one summer in 2014, before I went to Palestine, I began it again. And that was that. I remember saying to Omar on the bus returning to Ramallah – I remember saying to him, how you can feel the incantations that her wizards speak working on you; I mean, the care they take, and how the spells are woven, how they require such thought and feeling and precision and a kind of touch too. The laying on of hands. How I felt at peace reading them and afterwards, my thoughts followed that rhythm and I sought to be kind to myself and others.
It was the summer that the assault on Gaza began; when Mohammed Abu-Khdeir, the young Palestinian boy was killed and I went to his funeral in East Jerusalem; that summer in Palestine, the heat, the bombs, the walls, the military hand thrust in the car window asking for your passport, that was my first summer of Earthsea. I remember it now as healing.
There are raids and fighting at the start of the first Earthsea novel, but in most of her books, war does not serve the story. Not does it serve her characters. (does it ever serve ours).
I feel she calls out the oldest truths. Something spoke through her and she let it and grew it and nurtured it and served it profoundly.
These past two weeks, I had been re-reading her books, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, The Other Wind and had just begun A Wizard of Earthsea again last night.
And woke to read of her passing this morning.
Somewhere she is flying on the other wind. somewhere….
Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky
-- The Creation of Ea
(from A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin)
Farther west than west
beyond the land
my people are dancing
on the other wind
-- the Song of the Woman of Kemay
(from The Other Wind, by Urusula Le Guin)
WHEN TO TRUST THE SKY
by Shebana Coelho
Reena watched the wind carry leaves over the tracks. She felt she was with them, falling into the slats and disappearing under them into the dark. Meanwhile, Salim was speaking about doubt. He paced up and down the tracks, his thin frame casting shadows on the cement floor of the platform.
“Doubt ought to be celebrated like faith is,” he was saying.
The four of them were at the train station, waiting for the ten a.m. to Ranpur and wondering if it would come at all. You could never be certain – downed trees or bandits often delayed it. The trees were the result of a haphazard logging operation that the district had approved a year ago without really thinking, and the bandits were the bored wives from the army base. They intercepted the train at the first stop at Mangh, entered the men’s compartment, took watches and briefcases and returned them at the last stop at Ranpur. They had never been arrested because nothing was actually stolen and besides, their husbands were all officers.
No one answered Salim – they were all listening for the train.
READ THE REST ONLINE AT PERMAFROST
I'm so grateful to begin the edit prep and assembly for this film.
More on gratitude here at nasarioremembers.com
We had such a beautiful response to the first We the People workshop that we are doing another, on Saturday, December 10, at 1:30 pm in Santa Fe. The first session of the workshop was in turn inspired by a gathering that preceded it. Who knows what this second workshop will inspire? I trust the mystery of following what calls...
Best to all and Happy December
Our relatives from Canada called on November 8, just as the night began to get fully dark, just as it was becoming clear that a campaign that had fanned intolerance and prejudice and fear, that had lauded its promise to ban Muslims and Mexicans - that campaign, that individual whose name I can't even write now - that campaign, that individual was going to be elected into office as president of the US.
Our relatives from Canada called on November 8 and said, not to expect them in the US anytime soon, being that they were Musli...but they didn't want to say the word out loud over the phone, so one of them joked and started to say Mexi.. instead but then stopped and said, well, we see M's are not going to be welcome in your country.
And I thought M - aMerica - us aMericans....
And I thought, how did we come to this? How could anyone see that such a campaign of intolerance was fit to be validated? How. A litany of Hows. How is this to be borne? How is this happening. How will the world change and contract and implode after this?
And I thought about seeing the people who elected him. How we who didn't vote for him are getting a chance to really see them - these dear neighbors, these fellow human animals, we are seeing what they fear, what they know, what they don't and what they value. How we need to see them - because they are reacting from feeling unseen, unheard, unvalidated.
And I thought also: here is a chance to experience what all other countries have experienced at one time or another, the absolute failure of see yourself and your values represented in the government. Hell, forget other countries. This is what communities within the US have been feeling for years, First Americans, African Americans...and on and on... And we - relatively recent Americans - a family from a middle class enclave in a Indian city of extremes - we are new to this feeling of wanting to see ourselves reflected in government. A sense of relating to politics wasn't part of the culture of our family. Not then...
But now...now Muslim Americans and Mexican Americans, these Ms are populations that are close to me in particular because my family is part Muslim, because Mexico is where I went to study healing, because I am working on a project about oral histories and recuerdos, memories of Hispanic ghosts towns in New Mexico, because New Mexico is home.
All of this, all of this connecting someone from India to all these unwelcome Ms in this nation of We the People.
The grief is strong.
We The People, the desire to heal is strong, to commiserate, to gather in deep silence and deep lyric.
We the people.
My dear friend Larry Littlebird who is from Kewa and Laguna pueblos speaks over and over again of listening. Listening is the greatest respect we can give someone else, he says.
We The People, can we listen.
Not in speeches, no, not those, let our silences find lyric, find song and let us gather..
That's all I can think to do first.
That's the smallest lit step I can see in a dark day.
We the people gathering in a small space, finding a way forward to heal.
We the People..human animals, human spirit. let us not lose the light that has been lit over us, we are really seeing each other, what makes the world, what makes the culture, let us keep seeing and listening and let us honor that, and let us honor each other, we the people, this diverse patchwork, this beautiful whole.
Last fall, right when the feeling of returning to Mongolia was emerging, I was interviewed by Jeanette Öhman about traveling. The occasion was the publication of the book, Gränslös, an anthology of travel essays in Swedish which included my essay, Snow in Mongolia, originally published in Vela.
It's really lovely when you are asked questions thoughtfully, when you are given the chance to meditate and reflect on the all the journeys that took you there and brought you here.
Though the narration is in Swedish, the questions and my answers are in English.
I haven't learned Swedish..yet :)
Jeanette Öhman intervjuar reseförfattaren Shebana Coelho. Sandnejlika Förlag ger ut reseberättelser. Författarna skriver personligt om resor och om vanliga men viktiga saker som händer när vi reser.
This and that about being here and there, faraway and close...