The Wind

Years ago I read a cultural interpretation of the words el duende. It was while working on world music book and CD that I was titled El Duende while I still worked in the music biz. The cultural interpretation was, "the wind that blows the soul into the faces of listeners." I liked them enough to remember them.

Yesterday the wind in New Mexico whipped and lashed upon us relentlessly. I drove down from Albuquerque in it pushing hard against it while it kicked in the opposite direction that my Beetle was traveling. I was rushing home to meet guests soon to arrive. The car's aerodynamic shape meant little to it as I watched the fuel dial move from full to less. It was frustrating and I came home cranky. When I got here Mikey was cranky too, from the wind. Everyone I talked to since yesterday has been cranky. "The wind!" they said. "I know!" I replied.

This morning we woke and took Sesame on a walk to the river as we always do. The wind was calmer but not gone. A small man with a plump face and open eyes appeared as if waiting for us. "How are you?" he said, "The wind, its crazy!" I said as I hoped he was not a local drunk. We got close enough that I could see his dark skin and toothless smile full of sweetness as though he had a secret he could hardly hold back. "We need the wind," he said "It's cleaning. It blows the germs out of the crevices. After it there will be clear sky. My people know these things." The Apache man then turned so that he stood with his back to the rising east sun. He leaned into his walking stick and told us many things about the earth, life, the wind, and people. All of my anxiety about the wind fell away and all that was left was my memory of el duende, "the wind that blows the soul into the faces of listeners." 


faith said...

we get it here too and man cranky is putting it mildly. I could not help to reply to this post as I love the chance encounter with a person of wisdom no matter the duration. You are lucky to receive this and I am lucky you have the means and the desire to pass it along. We got rain after that wind so we had two fold blessing and our bird population was soooooo loud it was delightful hearing them all so happy. can't be cranky with that music playing. thanks Faith

Burkbum said...

Ahh that New Mexico wind! When I was little and we lived in the West Mesa part of Albuquerque, we'd lose portions of our fence in the spring. Years later, I helped my grandfather install a sprinkler system into his yard in TorC in a relentless spring wind -- it was so windy that we didn't even notice the heat and sunburns until much later that night. Your Apache friend was right though -- there's never a clearer New Mexico sky than after a few days of high desert winds!