Friday, July 29, 2005

Blogging

Well I'm new to blogging. Most of what I've done is copy Guru Mustuk's style. One point that Guru Jot Singh made to me yesterday was that I'm posting so many pictures at once that I'll run out of stuff to post. I've really posted a lot of pictures! If you've only glanced at this blog, but like what's on here, I would suggest looking closer at what's here. I'm sure I'll get pictures this weekend, but I don't know if I'll get anything up until Monday. Until then, enjoy what's here!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Irony



Guru Mustuk taking This picture.

On second thought...

I actually did get some photos on the way home yesterday.
This picture does have some pink clouds but not they are not quite hot pink like some of the others that I saw later.

Yesterday

I don't want to turn this into a 'talking' blog. I definitely don't want to make a political blog, that would contribute nothing, since all my political viewpoints are spread out on other people's blog somewhere already. But I don't have any new pictures. I certainly will get many more pictures in the future and from the past. I thought I might describe my drive home yesterday rather than show pictures of it. I stayed in Los Alamos late because I play ultimate frisbee on Wednesday night. I left frisbee early though because I did squats in the gym before hand. I never did it before, so I wanted to see if what I thought was true actually was true. I found out what I already thought, you cannot play sports after doing (heavy) squats in the gym. I was hurting out on the field. I wasn't nearly as fast as I usually am, and I had a lot less energy.
Anyway, yesterdays sunset was pretty cool. We got every color in the spectrum, red, orange, yellow, blue, white. At one point some of the clouds were reflecting a lot of light and seemed to be a hot pink color. It reminded me of the 80's and then me and Balwinder got into a discussion about 'what were people thinking in the 70's and 80's?' Balwinder summarized things very well when he said much of what was popular in the 80's was gaudy. But definitely a hot pink sunset looked pretty cool. Hot pink spandex is a whole other story.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Mexico

I love Española. I'm not in love with a Spanish woman (the meaning of Española) but the town. There is so much beauty here. Too many people see the worst of Española and make judgements on that, but I see the best. Outside the Sikh community, you will find problems with drugs and alcohol and abuse and poverty, just like any where else. Many of my former classmates are dead or in jail, and many more are involved in the activities that put the others in those places, but still I do not lose hope of a better world. There are still others who did well for themselves. If anybody comes to me for help, then I give it. I do not attempt to interfere with people who are on drugs. This is not safe, but those who ask for your help are looking for it. Some people ask me to pray. In this case they don't care that I'm a Sikh and they're Catholic, they believe in prayer.
Real estate in Española is outrageous. You can't get anything nice for under $250K. So I went to a place that wasn't that nice and tried to make it nice and continue to make it nice. I certainly won't live there for ever, but it works for now. I'm used to being the only Sikh around. Though I must say getting a roommate was great. God did not make me to live alone, it was not something I enjoyed at all. My rommate Balwinder Singh is like a saint, it is so easy to live with him and get along with him.
Anyway, enough about me and my neighborhood. A lot of New Mexico is desert. The desert in Northern New Mexico is called 'High Desert' because it is at such a high elevation. I find much beauty in the desert. The desert here is full of life! We have many desert flowers, sometimes you may find just one flower and it stands out so royally, when surrounded by dirt and dry grasses. There are also many lizards and jack rabbits and really colorful beetles. One of the beautiful principles of the desert is that people may believe that it is harsh and or a waste land, but it is really so delicate and harmonious. If you change one thing, like the climate or the amount of water, life will be disrupted or destroyed.
This desert valley is supported by the Rio Grande. It does not look much like the desert when you get near the river. Also the native grasses in the desert can become real green when we get a lot of rain. Monsoon season is in July. Though we've been getting many clouds lately (as evidenced by the pictures), until last night we haven't got much significant rain. Last night it rained pretty heavy. The rain was loud, the thunder was loud and the lightening was bright. This morning it was really cool. I saw people wearing jackets!
Because it is such a high elevation, it still gets cool at night in the summer. Also we never reach temperatures above about 95, and the normal for June/July is around 90. It is cold, cool, or warm here way more often than it is hot.
If you live in Española you will no doubt hear people complain. People complain that it is not green enough and that they don't like New Mexico because it is desert. I always think these people have lost all senses. In Española you can leave the desert for the forrested mountains by driving 1/2 hour in any direction! Furthermore New Mexico is the 5th largest state, you cannot say that it is not green or it is all desert when we have so many mountains from the North to the South and East to the West. It is the space in between the mountains that is considered desert.
Also you will hear people complain about the local people and/or the problems with crime. I take offense to that because I'm local. Española has more of certain kinds of problems than Santa Fe or Los Alamos, but these kinds of problems are found everywhere that poverty is found.
To summarize my point, you can see beauty or you can see disgust in Española. We have the best of humanity (those who are living in a spiritual community, not just the Sikh community, in an attempt to better themselves and the world) and you can see the worst of humanity (those who are involved in all sorts of criminal activities and depravity, just like any where else in the world). You can see the most beautiful mountain scenes and desert scenes, or you can see dirt. You can care to get to know your neighbors, or you can hate them for their differences. You can condem all people with drug problems or you can see their suffering and have compassion for them. You can complain or you can uplift.
Those people who see my blog and/or Guru Mustuk's blog will see so much beauty, they may be surprised to see Española if they visit here. What we are doing is sharing the beauty that we are constantly surrounded by, and you can choose to see this if you want. If you visit, you will no doubt see things that are ugly, such is the world. However, you can choose to live in beauty and see the truth of this beautiful place.

Driving home from work yesterday

I'm continually amazed at how well some pictures come out, even though I'm driving. I took some of these and Balwinder Bhaiji took a few as well. It's not that safe to be taking pictures while driving. You pretty much just have to hold the camera and push the button and hope that you got something good. Otherwise you'd have to take your eyes off the road (not a good idea).
I took this picture by sticking my hand out the window and aiming the camera backwards.
Same technique.
One more time.




I wanted to get this one central ray of sunshine which came through.



The rays of sunshine are quite visible in this picture.


View through the windshield of the valley on the way home from work.
A view of the valley on the way home from work. Coming down the mountain. This view never looks the same. Always something about the time of day, the clouds in the sky, the rain or snow, or lack of moisture, anything and everything, makes this expansive view different every day. I cannot drive home from work without thinking of God's beautiful creation.


A view of the San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblo lands, with Black Mesa in the center.


Black Mesa, this feature has a lot of history to it. Originally it was formed thousands of years ago when lava from the Valle Grande (A huge, I think second largest in the world, volcano which lies dormant) up in the Jemez mountains. It has also played a part in the history of the local Tewa people.
Black Mesa in the foreground and the Sangre's in the background.
A view of the Sangre De Cristo mountains from the Santa Clara Pueblo.
A view of the sky as we approach Española
Crossing the Rio Grande in Española. There are three bridges in town.
This road is right off the main street in Española, I don't know why they don't pave it. Off of this road is another dirt road which I live on.
To the right of this road is the Santa Cruz River, a tributary to the Rio Grande. I grew up walking along this river and swimming in its waters. I also grew up using water from this river for irrigating.

Sunday's reception

Cutting the Cake.
Mr. Sikhnet always in action (thus the blurry picture).

Girls dressed as Punjabi Munday doing a dance at the reception.
Real Punjabi Munday (most of them spent more time in Punjab than here) doing a dance at the reception.
Using an interesting feature of the camera to capture part of the bhangra dance.
More of the dance.

Driving back from Albuquerque on Sunday

A view of part of Albuquerque and the Sandia mountains through the windshield.
Approaching Santa Fe, the view through the windshield (Every car in New Mexico has at least one crack in its windshield).
A view when leaving Santa Fe for Española.
The sky to the west.
I've shown so many pictures of the mountains in the East (Sangre de Cristo), but I've shown few pictures of the mountains in the west (the Jemez mountains).

The sky above the Jemez.
Another view of the Jemez mountains and sky above.
Sometimes one of the local tribes (a tribe without a Casino) has buffalo grazing in this area.
At this point I was almost home. This is the view to my right.
This is the view to my left.
A picture taken from my roof.
A view from my roof.

More pictures from Sunday

After discussing his Spiderman shoes, Siri Avtar starting shooting webs.
Siri Avtar Singh.
From where I sat in the Gurdwara this was my view.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Can you hear me now?

Well I was trying to look serious, but it's hard when you're joking about being serious.
Siri Dyal Kaur from Mexico. She's not really making a call, can you tell?
Sopurkh Singh. I'm going to find out Snatam Kaur's email and then I'm sending this picture straight to her.
Balwinder Singh. Bhaiji as I call him.