Durango Skirts

Dana prepares.

Dana not only created an enticing concert hall and stage

Rug and Chairs: our Durango stage

out of her multi-stepped back yard, but provided a turkey, cold cuts and crudité, fresh baguettes and wonderful cheeses, and plenteous beverages.                                                                                   Guests  began to arrive at 7:00, as the beautiful day segued into an evening that sustained a lingering warmth.

A lovely, generous, vivacious scene. O Joy Divine of Friends.


Break between sets

Maggie and I have found a rhythm and tempo together, and not only inside the music (which is its own huge satisfaction), but also in the segues between songs, stories, anecdotes.


Many of the audiences on this tour have never experienced a house concert, and there is something in the intimacy—the proximity of the performers —that to some can seem a bit intimidating.  Yet we notice with pleasure that a number of those who hang back in the first set return after the break and draw their chairs close.And so it was in Durango.

Maggie’s lovely tune, “When the Sun Goes Down in the Sky”

As night fell, someone placed a kerosene lantern between us; a few minutes later others were added.

Such magic lies in the weaving of word and music and the attentive listener. Many have commented on it as we’ve played.

Long after the concert ended, guests lingered. About 1:00 a.m., after we’d bid everyone adieu and done a bit of cleanup, Dana said, “Let’s walk the dogs.” She, her good friend Betsy, who’d been helping all day, Maggie and I set out for what we thought might be a brief sail around the block with Oso, Black, Sochi, and Betsy’s dog, Sassy.  But Dana led us up the mesa behind her house, on a path lit by only by distant twinkling stars and the flashlight that she held with one hand against the small of her back (she didn’t appear to need a light to find her way). Up and up we scrambled—Maggie in flip-flops, I in heeled cowboy boots, both of us in the long skirts we’d donned for the concert. Betsy, at one point walking behind us, said she felt she’d been transported back 100 years, watching us stride up a mountain in those skirts and thinking about all that women managed to accomplish while wearing them. I felt it too, under those glimmering stars: connected to women who over the centuries may have felt (and do feel) encumbered by all that fabric swishing around their legs, but empowered by it, too.

Again my sleeping quarters were Dana’s fabulous camper.

Interior, Dana’s Camper







There are no photographs of that scramble up and down the dirt and scree, but this one, taken the next morning, tells a bit of the tale.

Evidence of the midnight hike

Next: Carbondale.

About Sands

Writer, musician, teacher, theater artist. Books include the novel CATCHING HEAVEN, a book of essays and exercises, TOOLS OF THE WRITERS CRAFT, and, forthcoming, FLUNK.START: Reclaiming my Decade Lost in Scientology. A CD of my songs is called RUSTLER'S MOON.
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3 Responses to Durango Skirts

  1. diane fetterly says:

    Well this certainly gives me an idea of what could be created for our concert on the 17th. Whoopee, aye oh, kie aye! Diane

  2. Sands says:

    Thank you, darling Diane!!! It’s been a busy two days but I’ll call soon. Much much love!

  3. I didn’t think I could be anymore excited about the 17th… I was wrong!

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