March 5, 2010
I feel like a kid in a candy store … by "kid" I mean a young child. Yesterday we spent part of the afternoon at the School of Advanced Research, looking at an astonishing collection of Native American pots and baskets. A splendid guide took nine of us around (no feeling like part of a mob on this trip—everything has been arranged so that we feel together and also able to see and learn things as individuals) showing us wonders that I, at least, knew nothing about. That's why I felt like a kid, even a very little child.
I've forgotten what it's like to see something I've never seen before, for which I have no background or context: sort of like going, at the age of five, to a natural history museum and seeing a dinosaur skeleton—totally unlike anything I've ever known! How can I understand it, or even express it? But those experiences were long ago. Now I have contexts for lots of things, and I've lost that earlier sense of astonishment and dislocation.
Or I thought I had until I saw this collection. It was a breathtaking, rejuvenating experience.—That's what this whole expedition has been thus far: new things to see at every turn, new people to talk to, new ways of understanding all kinds of history.
Explaining the Jewish Women's Archive to people who don't know much about it has made me even more loquacious than usual, and even more enthusiastic. Cheers to Gail and Sue Berk for making this happen.
About the Jewish Women's Archive trip to Santa Fe
For 100 years, artists have flocked to Santa Fe, attracted by its arid beauty and the chance to re-create themselves.
The work of those artists who are Jewish incorporates an understanding of their heritage and of themselves as modern Jews – some embrace and redefine it, while others rebel against or reject it – and with resonances that may illuminate a deeper struggle with the past than is obvious on first glance.
On this trip, the Jewish Women's Archive will explore the rich mix that uniquely defines Santa Fe and provide participants with an inside view of this fascinating community.Read original trip prospectus >>