Under Santa Fe Skies

by Susan Tungate

Just Dance

This last week, I have heard stories of many people struggling here under Santa Fe skies, struggling with paying their bills, with health issues, with relationships, with loneliness. This rainbow and the words of Rumi are for you. I hope this week meets you with ease.

Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of the fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance when you’re perfectly free.

Snow Poems Project

A candle burns
upside down
break: light turns.
by Lauren Whitehurst

Months ago, I noticed a poem pop up on the window of a local coffee shop. The poem is stenciled in temporary spray snow. Then another one popped up on yet another business. And another one. And another one, all over Santa Fe.   I got curious. 

Seems “Snow Poem 2013 in Santa Fe” is a community art project sponsored by Cut+Paste and the Santa Fe Art Institute. These are original poems written by locals in Snow Poems workshops, in schools, and from open submissions to the Snow Poems website.

Today, February 22, is the closing ceremony for the project called Night of Illumination. The event, from 6-8 P.M. at the Santa Fe Community Gallery on 201 W. Marcy Street, will include walking tours, refreshments and Snow Poem Hear Here Choir with Molly Sturges.

“The poems will be washed away as light begins to signal spring at the end of February,” according to the brochure. We are approaching the end of February, so go to the website www.snowpoemsproject.com, copy the map and wander around Santa Fe to enjoy the poems written by Santa Feans for your enjoyment.

Floating from
the heavens
wildly dancing ’round.
by Mateo Martinez

are the morals
of the feud.
by Jesse Wood


This is the day that decides by itself to be beautiful.
The field is a bride. How are we to say goodbye?
by Henry Shukman

Slurp in a heart of foam.
by Teresita Gonzales

Santa Fe Events: Restaurant Week and ArtFeast

We have reached the end of February. As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, that means it is time for Santa Fe Restaurant Week and ArtFeast.

During Santa Fe Restaurant Week from February 24 to March 3, you can enjoy a three course meal at discounted prices. The prices range from dinner for 2 for $25 to meals ranging from $25-$40 per person. A slew of restaurants sign up to participate. I have heard La Boca, Bistrro, Coyote Cafe, Jinja Bar and Restaurant Martin, to name a few, are on board. You can find the complete list at santafe.nmrestaurantweek.com.

You can also indulge in a feast for both your eyes and your stomach while supporting art programs for the youth of Santa Fe during ArtFeast weekend February 22-24. As they say on their website: ” Now in its 16th season, ArtFeast is heralded as one of the most inspired reasons for a getaway. The weekend of festivities celebrates the City Different’s world-class chefs and restaurants, an international array of vintners, original designer fashions and unique homes, along with nationally and regionally prominent artists represented by Santa Fe galleries. All of this fun and food helps young people develop the skills needed to creatively respond to life.” For information, contact info@artfeast.com or call 505.603.4643.

So come on out and support our local restaurants and a good cause.


February 14: One Billion Rising

Thursday is the day of One Billion Rising. One out of three women will be the victim of sexual assault. Worldwide that means one billion women will be the victim of sexual assault in their life times.

On February 14, women across the planet and the men who love them will rise and dance and stand in solidarity to stop the violence. Events are planned in over 200 countries. Here in Santa Fe, from 9 A.M. to 10 A.M. at the Roundhouse, there will be testimonials and speeches in support of ending violence against women. Starting at noon outside the Roundhouse, people will gather for the One Billion Rising flash mob. At 12:45 P.M. the parade from the Roundhouse to the Farmers’ Market at the Railyard begins. At the Railyard during the afternoon, video from  One Billion Rising events from all over the world will be shown. So join us. I RISE BECAUSE no woman or man should be the victim of sexual violence.

Sunday Smiles

A few smiles this Sunday. First up, my nephew attempting one last snow angel before all the flakes melt. He is our little optimist.

Next, a video featuring a toddler, a puddle and a dog. Click here.

Last but not least, Queso the Cat hiding in his person’s purse: I Can’t See You, So You Can’t See Me, Right?

Beth Anna’s Queso the Cat

355 E. Palace Avenue

In 2003, I received my last paycheck from CNN, took and passed the New Mexico bar exam, then rented a tiny space at 355 E. Palace Avenue for my law office.  The historic  Francisca Hinojos House built in the 1800′s was my dream space with its red tin roof, thick adobe walls, portals, hard wood floors with high ceilings and fireplaces. The bonus: the kind and warm and funny Bill and Maureen (Sam) Field owned the place. The house had been in Bill’s family forever.

As I was decorating my office and trying to make it the most user friendly, lovely law office I could,  it occurred to me that my inner Francophile had taken over. The space  was looking a bit like a French salon. Since I was in the City Different, I decided to go with that. What would be unseemly in Atlanta is applauded as creative individuality in Santa Fe.


I filled an armoire and a buffet with my collection of vintage French sheets,  textiles and pillows. From Monday through Friday, I was Susan Tungate, Attorney at Law, LLC. On Saturdays and Sundays, I threw open the doors, pulled out my textiles,  and planted my red and white Tulipe Antiques sign in the front yard of the building.

People came. Eventually I rented a larger space. Tulipe became a place where people purchased my beautiful textiles, yes, but they stayed for a cup of tea, or to hear a short story a writer was working on or to  listen to a young musician so appreciative to have her first audience. My friends knew where to find me and visit. The space at 355 E. Palace Ave. became a gathering place. It was a sad day when I decided the recession was not a good time to either rent the space or sell antiques.

It was a sadder day today when I read that last night at 8 p.m., 355 E. Palace was engulfed in flames.  I drove over just to see for myself. The thick adobe walls outside held firm, but the red roof undulates, parts are burned out. As I was standing there looking at the ruins, Sam and Bill arrived. So sad. I heard the fireman tell them the place was destroyed, currently listed as condemned.

I don’t know what will happen next. I do know that for a few wonderful years my space at 355 E. Palace Ave. was a home, a home for beginnings, transitions and hope. Bill and Sam, thank you. I am so sorry.



Let Your Inner Muse Run Free!

True confession: I have slacked off  writing my posts for Under Santa Fe Skies as I complete my manuscript for Macon: A Memoir, A Murder.  I have never written a bucket list of things I want to accomplish before I pass into the great beyond, but if I did, the only material project on the list would be “finish and publish Macon.” People, it is time. 

For  those of you living in Santa Fe or visiting soon, I present to you today two opportunities to bring forth your very own inner muse in a relaxed, never competitive, always supportive environment. 

First up is my new memoir writing class which begins Wednesday, February 13.  Writing Your Memoir: One Vivid Story at A Time will meet from 3-4:30 for 6 consecutive Wednesdays. Each class has its own personality. This one, so far, has a professional photographer, a bestselling author and a man who has been scribbling down ideas for years and is finally ready to write the book. I have vetted the group and can assure you each has a sense of humor. Please contact me via Contact Susan if you would like to join our merry group starting a week from today. There is still room at the table. 

The second opportunity is a workshop titled “A Pilgrimage Home” which will be held February 26 from 6-8 pm at the O’Keeffe Museum’s Museum Education Annex located on 123 Grant Ave. in Santa Fe. The workshop is offered in conjunction with the new exhibit of Annie Leibowitz photographs from her book Pilgrimage that opens February 15. 

During a challenging time in her life, Annie Leibowitz embarked on her own personal pilgrimage, focusing her camera on objects, rooms, and landscapes which held meaning for her. The resulting collection of photographs in Pilgrimage offer, in her own words,  ”a meditation on how to live.” 

In this workshop you will gain insight into your own vision of the meaning of home and a life well lived. Through writing prompts, art examples, and demonstrations, you will be guided on your own personal pilgrimage to create both a written reflection and a collage-and-mixed-media work of art on panel board. I will co-lead the workshop with Catherine Trapani, visual artist, printmaker, and teacher. The workshop is part of the Museum’s Art & Leadership for Adults. I should add, the workshop is free! To learn more, please click here.

Silence your inner critic. Join a class. Let your little muse run free.