Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Weaver Poet

Every once in a while you meet a stranger who is as familiar to you as an old friend. It's those moments that make me believe in reincarnation and rebirth.

My thinking is that there are people out there who aren't opposites. Who aren't the same. They are flip. So like you yet so unlike you that the two of you seem to be like two sides of the same coin. That was how it was when I met Erin. I was conscious of running into my flip side. It's a very rare thing.

Erin lives at 9,000 feet in the Sangre de Christo Mountains of New Mexico in an old adobe house with no plumbing. She raises sheep. She weaves. She spins. She writes poetry. She has a sordid past that I hope she will tell us more about one day.

Her poetry is deep, visceral, political and filled with powerful physical memories. I don't much care for poetry in general unless it is really exceptional. Hers is. I can hear the wind crashing through those high mountain passes when I read her blog.

and here i am gifted with these voices drumming
relieving tears feeding some thirsty need
for normality thats not bloodshed
or a million stories of military might
stored away deep in my bones so that just getting up in the morning can make some sense
some drought stricken belief that privileged people care about changing
Read more of Erin's poetry on her old blog, The Real Dirt. The poem she wrote for Amnesty International, Violence and Women, concerning the women of Juarez is brutal, hard-hitting and should be required reading in feminist circles.

I consider Erin to be further up the foodchain than myself in the artist category. She's an amazingly talented fiber artist, spinner and weaver. Her rugs are soft and densely woven. She hand dyes each color. Her work is shown in some galleries in Santa Fe. She can tell you the names of the sheep whose wool was woven into them.

She sells the yarn she spins to knitters and craftspeople on ebay. She tells me that knitters are picky about their yarns.

But Erin truly suffers for her art. Her lifestyle is much more ascetic than mine. We share the disability thing. Poverty is is the ever present shadow. But I sit here in my cozy cabin drinking cocoa that I made on my stove and knowing my shower with hot steaming water is just across the hall, I know she is made from sterner stuff than I. She goes weeks without seeing a soul. I worry about her sometimes. Just because that is in my nature.

Of course, I have a big ole crush on her. Don't be jealous...I seem to have an unlimited number of crushes to go around. But any woman who can make a sheep smile like that...well, that's just something special. hands smell of sheep grease and my face is warm from a still and sunny morning.
my feet are firmly on the ground.
the root cellar at
The Poetic Overthrow


  1. erin ambrose said...
    wooooooow....i had no idea you'd be so elaborate and start wielding that southern charm all over the place.
    and....seems we've a mutual crush, ain't that somethin'? must be in the stars.
    Jbeeky said...
    Sign me up as part of the "Erin And Her Magical Sheep" fanclub. I just found both of your blogs and really love peeking into your worlds. Thanks for blogging. I am also in love with her work and well, maybe a teensy crush as well.
    Great cheekbone on her, no?
    BBC said...
    She sounds really cool..

    I have to take a nap but I will check her out more later.

    Maybe even go meet her.

    I live without running water also.

    But I live without a lot of things that others think they need.

    Great writing, it balances God being cranky, have a great day.
    BBC said...

    I see that differently. I see it, at least me, as being omnipresent.

    "We share the disability thing. Poverty is is the ever present shadow."

    Hum, I really don't have a disability. I managed to work to retirement, the last eight years on part time jobs.

    So all I have is a little SS each month. I consider it enough though. I feel so gifted when I know that many on this planet don't even have a roof over their heads, or anything to eat.

    I would like a shower here, I should make one someday being as I'm so handy. I can make one that recycles a half gallon of water for as long as I want to shower.

    A nice rinsing off just perks a person up and makes the whole day brighter.

    Well, off to have a look at her blog.
    Erica said...
    Anyone who lives like that, and works like that, writes like that, I'd say is very have-a-crush-on-able.

    There's no greater excitement, for me, than to love someone entirely for their virtues and amazingness.

    Great post, Rosie.
    Hayden said...
    thank you for posting and pointing us to her blog. She's an amazing writer and I'm looking forward to reading backwards.
    Mallow said...
    I am also happy to have found Erin's blog via yours.. The region she lives in is just beautiful and I enjoy the photographs, reading her stories and poetry. Hey! Why am I telling you this.. I should post this comment to Erin's page as well. :)

    The smiling sheep photograph is GREAT.
    bluemountainmama said...
    i have visited there from yours before, after seeing her link on your site. i romanticize that type of life, but don't think i could ever do it. my uncle and aunt have lived that way in colorado for about 30-40 years. they just recently put in running water, maybe within the past 5 years. but they are very hard-working and creative individuals. i admire anyone who lives that kind of life.

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