Here We Are Here. The small town in the desert that Donald Judd put on the map in the middle of Nowhere is the scene of Marfalous Marge’s celebration of Life. Big birthdays are just that but when you invite 18 front and center girlfriends (city slickers) to help you gently transition into old age on a ranch in Texas with little or no cell service, magic happens. But the magic had already begun to happen long ago when we manifested this journey to create meaning and meaningful experiences in this life with effort and grace. The rich in history, Cibolo Creek Ranch, just outside the bustling city of Marfa with one single traffic light, which always blinks yellow, was the perfect backdrop nestled between 30,000 sprawling acres of land surrounded by the Chinati and Cienega Mountains. The renovated 19th Century adobe forts never lost its integrity while adding modern comforts to our lakeside suites. Loved that there were no TV’s, only ATV’s!
Our morning yoga practice was as inspiring as the land itself. 18 mats layered the front of the fort as the sun rose above the big Texas sky while we practiced our downward dogs and opened up our hearts to new and exciting possibilities. For Zach, our very own man of mystery “do I look like a hiking guide?”, it was an opportunity of a lifetime for him to accompany this bevy of beauties up to Monte Rosa, the highest perch on the ranch with spectacular views of the Big Bend, the Fort and the “dry” Cibolo Creek all in good preparation for our birthday girl’s opening talking stick ceremony. Gratitude that filled the friendship circle and bonded this group together forever is how we perceived and intellectualized our next day in the town of Marfa. We were “very busy” as MPK would say as most of the group never heard of Judd, the Chinati foundation and how the town of Marfa has become synonymous with his name.
Like everyone who actually makes the pilgrimage to Marfa, we came away with a transformed understanding of Donald Judd, the foremost American minimalist sculptors. Judd rethought what a work of art could be by using industrial materials (steel, aluminum and concrete) produced with manufacturing methods and displayed on the floor. And to experience it in a specific site in West Marfa, Texas…far from the maddening crowd…was as important as the artwork itself. “It’s hard to get here, but everyone’s welcome” seems to be the Marfa Mantra. And no one says it better than the somewhat of a local hero owner of the famous Food Shark, literally a food truck on the outskirts of town, where we dodged the long lines to indulge in a very local lunch consisting of none other than Marfalafels. Getting the lay of land yet? Marfamania. Marfalicious. Marfa or bust. We even managed to make it to cocktail hour at the newest Marfa hotspot, the St George hotel. Meanwhile back at the ranch where the deer and the buffalo roam and where the days are long and the nights are starry, we all gathered by the campfire breaking out in song while talking about life, death, transcendence and self-reflection. No shallowness with a deep end in this group.
We not only rallied for target shooting (some spectators) but we saddled up for a late afternoon/sunset trial ride up to the mesa (mustaches included) for our last hurrah. Marfa is the absolute opposite of NYC, limited in ways we are accustomed to but the quality of the landscape, the light, the clouds, the moon, the stars is extraordinary. I will miss the horizon. The peacefulness. But more importantly, I will miss this group of extraordinary women that came together as “select” group to assure Marfalous Marge that she doesn’t look her age…and other fairy tales. Let’s keep this Marfaness going and start watching the new series “I love Dick” for new material in preparation for our reunion tour closer to home.
Everyone wears many masks in their lives but for these 4 days, we took off layers of masks and revealed ourselves to this place. Marfa. Good Night Dick.