|northern New Mexico, 2011|
In June 2010, three months after a PET scan showed no cancerous activity in my body, The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico awarded me with my first artist residency. Then, on January 27, 2011, bulky luggage in hand, a guitar bag strapped around my shoulder, snowflakes fluttering through the night sky, I set foot in Taos for a six-week residency. I was living in San Francisco at the time, sharing a flat with three roommates. After ridding my body of Hodgkin lymphoma with over half a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, it was my first adventure away from the city where my body had manifested a blood cancer.
The Wurlitzer Foundation provided me with a home: Casita 9n on quiet Burch Street. The tiny adobe home was nestled beneath cottonwood trees. The casita’s backdoor opened to a snow-covered field. Every day, scores of crows and magpies squawked and flew about the trees that had sprouted from this land. Albeit fleeting, it was the first home of my own. I was thirty-one years old.