This set of blog posts was from a lovely time when I was helping to run a coffee and tea bar in a circular room with a sculptured stone fountain in the center in an art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We served up warm drinks and snacks, and very often stories, music, and great company. Hillside’s Oasis has closed, but know that wherever you are, if the “water” bubbles up from the earth; if the air invites beautiful sounds; if the fires of spirit burn brightly: there is the Oasis. Please check out the main blog posts on this website for my latest musings and stories.
Hillside is Humming and so is the Earth!
February is the month when the hard grip of winter begins to loosen, when the days begin to be noticeably longer, and when “The sap begins to rise.” First stirrings toward Spring. Rejoice!
I’ve been away for several months and I am back, checking out what is going one here at the Hillside. I came over the other evening to say HI and walked in on a fabulous event catered by Chef Fernando Olea: a Staff Appreciation Dinner for the Eldorado School. Candle lit tables, gorgeous food cooked in the new kitchen, and 50+ very happy people. The restaurant is going to open for lunches on Valentine’s Day. We’ve already got reservations!
We held the monthly Open Mic last week and a dozen people came to read and listen to poems, sections of novels, and stories. Once again I saw what a terrific location the Hillside is for gatherings, both large and intimate. And this Thursday, Feb. 6th I’ll be co-hosting the StorySwap with Tori Young. Our theme is LOVE. I’m planning to tell the story of the birth of the Hindu God of Love, Kama. Join us for some great Love Stories. (6-7:30 PM).
Come and celebrate February with us… for the Valentine’s lunch at the restaurant, at the Love Stories Swap, or to pick up a little something for someone you love. It’s that time of year. Everything is Humming. Celebrate!
It has been a year since 30 adults and children gathered in the Café for what I envisioned as “warm and fuzzy” for the holiday season. Story and Cider Sunday, we had named it. I planned to tell the great Christmas story of love and self sacrifice, The Gift of the Magi by O.Henry. I did, in fact, tell it. And then I told another favorite, “I’m Tipingee, She’s Tipingee, We’re Tipingee Too, “ a Haitian tale of love and community, for that Sunday was 2 days after the Sandy Hook shootings. The “warm and fuzzy” became a communal meditation on love, self-sacrifice, and on children and community. The disparate group that arrived in the café, all of us torn up by the news from CT, became a community whose hearts were soothed and minds re-focused on the messages of this season: love, and light. We’ve been telling stories in the Café ever since. Hillside holds the Community well.
~Blessings and love and light to you all from Regina
On this gorgeous early fall day, writing practice teacher Natalie Goldberg “Talked Writing” in our courtyard. Invited by Memoir teacher Pamela Boyd, Natalie gave great advice, answered questions, and reminded us to drop down, dig in and connect to the places that bring our lives alive for us. Thirty-five+ people answered the call and showed up to hear her. Show up. Find the “opening,” the “angle” and write. It was a joyful afternoon here at Hillside. Thanks, September, you were a terrific month.
Glass artist Lynn Parish Hathaway stopped by for a visit today. I had just returned from a week of work in NYC (wearing my storyteller “hat”) and the first person I saw was Lynn. We sat right down by the fountain and had a great conversation…her gorgeous “Tears of the Mountains” suspended above Greg Robertson’s soothing fountain. Sometimes just being in a beautiful place surrounded by beautiful things soothes the soul and calms the spirit. It is really great to be back in Santa Fe, at The Hillside hanging out with funny, funky, brilliant artists. Pretty cool! Tonight we are hosting a Writers Read Open Mic; tomorrow is a “Meet the Editor” workshop and Last Friday on the Hillside artist opening; we host writing guru Natalie Goldberg on Monday at 3 (free!) and on Wednesday there is a class on making fresh salsa by Chef Fernando Olea; on THursday I’m hosting a StorySwap for October…..”Experiencing the Crack Between the Worlds.”…. Got any ghost stories, or encounters with the Divine, floating orbs, or other non-ordinary reality experiences. Come on over on Thursday evening. In fact, come on over any day. There is always something happening here. And for sure there is always the fountain, the art, and soon some really great food. Not to mention a good, strong WiFi signal! The Hillside is a great place to be. Here is Lynn Parish Hathaway’s website. Check it out. http://lynnparrishhathaway.com/
This past weekend our Cafe was buzzing. On Friday our South African tea specialist Bill Zunkel .. with the help of Chef Fernando Olea…whipped up some divine chicken curry with chutney from Cape Town and other side dishes…a recipe he learned while living in South Africa.
A group of us gathered and feasted, washing it down with cups of the Tea Chileño, a perfectly balanced blend of rooibus and chile that Bill has created. The event was called A Taste of South Africa…and it was good fun and good eating! Then on Saturday evening we hosted the Storytellers of New Mexico for a concert of Peace Tales. Juba Addison was here from Las Cruces, Bob Kanegis, Sarah Malone, and Elaine Muray were here from Albuquerque, Terry Foxx came in from Los Alamos, and Mary Ellen Gonzales and I represented Santa Fe. The tales told included both traditional and personal stories from Iroquois Confederacy history, the Maori of New Zealand, the Sufi, Jerusalem, a Zen story, Africa’s Wangari Maathai, and a church in Los Alamos. The Cafe is a great place for storytelling.
Our next StorySwap will be on Thursday, Oct. 3rd…with a pre Halloween theme of Experiencing the ‘Crack Between the Worlds.’ Have you ever encountered a ghost? Experienced the mysterious sensation of another dimension? Come on over at 6 Pm and tell us about it.
When storyteller Elaine Muray was visiting the Hillside in August, she reminded me that the Storytellers of New Mexico are holding their Board meeting here in Santa Fe on September 14th. We decided to invite members of the Board to give a concert here at the Hillside. This being the week of the anniversary of 9/11, and a time when war and peace are very much in the news, we decided to bring a program of stories for peace. Joining Elaine and me will be storytellers from Albuquerque, Corrales, Las Cruces, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe. We are hoping that you will join us too. Our stories will be serious, humorous, fiction and fact. They will all speak to what is good in the human heart. (Saturday, September 14, 6:00 PM, at the Hillside Market, 86 Old Las Vegas Highway, Santa Fe, NM)
I have been chatting with the folks who come into the cafe about what they’d like to tell/hear stories about. September seems to bring up memories of school So… This Thursday, Sept. 5th, at 6:00 PM we’ll be hosting a School Daze StorySwap. It should be great fun. Here is the description:
Heading back to school or not, we’ve all got stories …. best teachers/worst teachers; first daze or last look; ghastly gym uniforms or prom preening; a moment, teacher or class that changed our lives. Or a story we learned that has stuck with us.
Come and share your story with this group of supportive listeners. We gather in the Cafe, 7 minute time-limit please.
if you’ve got a school story…and who doesn’t??….come on over to the Hillside. Or just come to listen. We storytellers can’t tell our stories if no one is listening…if feels too weird!
WOW! Look What Mar Wrote About Hillside!
We have a “regular” here, Mar Reddy-Hjelmfelt, who has The Red Elm, a technology and communications consultancy with a fabulous on-line presence, http://theredelm.wordpress.com/ Mar spends time here at Hillside a couple times a week working on wild fire emergency management social media coordination. She wrote this beautiful blog. Thank you Mar!!
I have mentioned Hillside Market and its cafe in one of my Stuff in the News posts and hadn’t gotten around to blogging about it. Yesterday, I was catching up on some social media stuff in what I refer to as “my office” there.
Alcove at Hillside Market
Regina Ress happened in for her shift as barista in the café, when I was in yesterday.
Regina Ress at Hillside’s Café
If you haven’t met Regina, you ought to (all the ladies over there are wonderful, though). She is a storyteller from Lower Manhattan and here in Santa Fe. She does storytelling events at Hillside and has a CD of stories available there (or online), as well. She was also kind enough to mention me in a blog post the other day, and came over to tell me about it. Fun to see VOSTing mentioned in a totally out of the ordinary context:
Our “children’s corner” has morphed into a comfortable table-for-two semi-private space. As I write this, a woman who volunteers coordinating information for firefighters is bent over her laptop in there, working with teams dealing with the many wild fires in the region. She said to me that the café is a real “refuge.”
It is true – the café is a refuge. It’s pretty quiet, with an indoor fountain and a lovely courtyard outside.
Courtyard at Hillside Market
If you live in the Santa Fe area or are passing through for a visit, it’s a great place to stop and have a cup of coffee (regular or snobby available) and do some shopping for items by local artists. Pretty much all the stuff you see in the pictures is for sale. There’s also a greenhouse, where they are going to grow local food and Oasis Café is soon to be Hillside Café with restaurant food.
Also be sure to check out the events calendar, that has yoga classes, writing workshops, and other happenings. And they don’t mind if you just hang out and have coffee. This place actually WANTS to be a community hub. This is what the 285 corridor needs. I’m rooting for them. I hope you will, too!