Sunday, December 27, 2020

Pequeño Paso

 “The more you want, the more you lack.” Five decades after hearing the sentence in my freshman college philosophy class, the words have stayed with me. 

And so it is with all my expectations of living in our home in Mexico. They are desires that simply frustrate me. Amy and I are resigned to make progress, “pequeño paso a pequeño paso” —by little steps.

The Mexican government is not processing visa applications because of covid. 

At least our application will be near the top of the pile of requests. We have made our downpayment and the realtor awaits us in Oaxaca to finish the deal. The house is well cared for. We have plenty of time to pack, and make arrangements for moving. 

We took a sojourn last week, driving south in our wonderful state of New Mexico—visiting places I wanted to return to after many years. Amy had never been to Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, or further south to White Sands National Monument

Since the city of Las Cruces is close to White Sands, we went and stayed there with dear art collectors of Amy’s—and took time to wander the campus of New Mexico State University where I spent my first two years of college—some fifty years ago when 18 years old. That’s when I took the philosophy course.

On the way back north, we stopped in a town called Truth Or Consequences, then returned to the Bosque where we witnessed at dawn the mass ascension of migrating snow geese from their nighttime roost on water into surrounding fields to forage.

At one point, while taking deep, wonderful breaths at White Sands, I thought, “how can I leave all this beauty?”

Like the snow geese . . . I will go. 

And return again someday.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Pages of a Passport

 “Home is where your passport is.” – Anonymous

From the time Amy sent her passport off to Philadelphia to be updated with her new name, we have thought about it like two lost children. What can we do without it? Neither north nor south, east or west can we venture beyond the borders of America. My gypsy soul felt convoluted. We are buying a home in Mexico. I have made the downpayment and thought that by now, we would perhaps be living in Oaxaca.

Before moving with our belongings, we must apply for and receive a permanent visa from the Mexican consulate nearby in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The documents required must be consistent, and Amy took a new surname when we married—she is now Amy Córdova y Boone. Her bank statements which are required reflect her new name, but other documents do not.

Passports can take up to three months to process, so we paid extra to have it within six weeks. After the first month, we anxiously searched the mailbox for delivery. 

Meanwhile we packed half our belongings into boxes, selling and giving away more. After another two weeks, last Friday the priority packet arrived with Amy’s passport.

The first stamp for her will be Mexico. 

From the 2nd page of US passports: 
"The secretary of State of the United States of America hereby requests all of whom it may concern to permit the citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection."

You can’t have a narrow mind and a thick passport. – Anonymous
Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport. – Anonymous

Sunday, November 29, 2020

It's Time


“No I am not roaming aimlessly
through the alleys and bazaar
I am a lover searching for his beloved”   —Rumi

For years I have been satisfied with enough money in the bank to travel extensively and not worry about a “home”.  After my oldest daughter died at age nineteen my marriage dissolved. My ex-wife bought my share of our home. Debt free, I realized I had lost my sense of having roots. The world called me to explore. Grabbing my art supplies and camera, I took off wandering.

Sometimes, when returning to live in my hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, I would go to a beautiful home and think, how wonderful to own property. Then I would search my soul to see if I had desire for such ownership. It wasn’t there.

I have been to the Taj Mahal, the Vatican halls, in mountaintop palaces. And I have been rapturously at peace and content sitting on earthen floors in houses of baked mud in Egypt. I have felt at home on the back of camels in Morocco or on elephants in Thailand. 
Then, impressed by somebody’s home and thinking, “do I want this?” the answer came back no; I have more. The grandness of the earth and its glory is my home.
I rented . . . and could come and go.

When a homeowner, I had always cultivated gardens. Afterward, I noticed an apathy about doing anything “rooted.” Might I be depressed? I wondered. Perhaps the loss of my beloved Naomi had torn me. When she left this earth, some part of me went with her.

I have been with Amy now three years.We married two years ago. For the past two years I have made a summer garden. The feeling of wanting to stop and settle, to be content with small things has come back. 

This week I sent money to a bank account in Germany. It is the downpayment on a home in Oaxaca, Mexico. The German woman who built it lost her partner and decided to move back to her native country. Now, Amy and I are moving from our native country to live in that magical Mexican house we found and love. We will own it outright.
It’s time.

“The world is one country and mankind its citizens”  —Baha’u’llah

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Silver Lining


I may be frustrated by the pace of our move, but there is a silver lining—we can be more deliberate in our decisions. I haven’t even decided yet how to get our belongings 1700 miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Oaxaca, Mexico. The border is closed. We have to have a permanent visa first and it is taking far longer than expected, partly because Amy decided to get a new passport with the name she took after we married.  

Antique for sale

What moving company does this sort of trip? I haven’t gone into the details yet since we have extra time I had not planned on.

The house is furnished, so we could go there and wait for normal times 

to return. Meanwhile rent more storage space.

We have been giving away and selling belongings that had meaning in our lives. I gave to my daughter, who lives an hour away, two large sculpted marble vases I bought in Vietnam, and my beloved 40 year old jade plant. We sold a wonderful, hand carved totem figure Amy bought years ago. As I was driving it to the buyer, it was laying on its back in my van and I felt sacred energy in it and thought, why aren’t we taking this with us? 

Amy was going to sell a masterpiece wood carving made by a Hopi artist. I put my foot down and said, no, that comes with us. But, yes, we are selling eight finely engraved holiday dinner plates (she is keeping three of her favorites.)

It goes like this every day. Fortunately we are getting much done before frigid weather strikes.

Mask from Venice, (has sentimental value to me).

But we know it is coming and we will have to move then.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

What Stays, What Goes

Purge. This is what comes to mind frequently these days as Amy and I go through possessions, deciding what stays with us and what goes. Fortunately, we both are veterans of purges from before our marriage a couple years ago. Between the two of us, we have more than we want to take to live in Mexico. So we pack only the most meaningful books, and give away or sell those we may have attachment to but don’t quite reach the highest level of “essential”. This is the same with everything . . . there is some emotional wrenching—like when I just gave away a 40 year old jade plant. It had been with me since before I had children. In fact, it felt like I was giving my child away.

At one point, I gave up expecting certainty about the timeframe for moving. We haven’t bought the home yet, and I expected to have done so by now. But it looks as though this week it will happen. It is not like we are buying a house in our neighborhood. It is in another country. Many things could go wrong. So we have been working carefully with our American realtor who is also a Mexican citizen. His partner is a Mexican lawyer. The owner is a German senior citizen, living in Germany.

We must obtain a permanent residence visa from the Mexican consulate. A lot of paperwork there. Complicating matters is that Amy’s passport has her maiden name, but she changed it after our marriage. So she decided to apply for another passport with her new name.  

Then there is issue of moving our possessions. The border is closed.

I give it all to God.

Spirit comes to me and gives encouragement. That is enough.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Let Go and Trust

I feel as though I am a sailor and the wind is filling the sails of my vessel, taking Amy and I toward a future we do not totally understand, but is our destiny. In many ways I acknowledge divine assistance, and let go and trust—giving thanks. 

Collector from Scottsdale, Arizona

Since Amy and I decided to move to Mexico, we have announced the closing of The Boone Gallery and begun preparing to leave the USA. Many details are as yet to be concluded, but we are assuming in our near future we will be living in our house in Oaxaca.

People from all over the country have been stepping forward to buy my paintings, especially as I have been offering a one-time discount of about 30%. Collectors have been buying oil paintings before they even dry. One couple from Georgia have bought six and now own nine Boones. Another couple from Texas have bought four, and others from Colorado and Arizona have bought two each. A couple from Albuquerque bought two—and so on.

I wonder at all the activity—and think a combination of factors is at work: The pandemic is making people feel homebound. Perhaps in a moribund environment the chance to enliven their homes is welcoming. A fleeting discount for first quality original oil paintings from an established artist is attractive. October is always a top month for art sales. Who knows if I will be painting the scenes in Mexico?

Collector from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Whatever the reasons, it is totally satisfying to be shipping out my paintings. Especially as there is no business on the street coming into the gallery— and everything has to come down from the walls in a couple weeks.

Collector from Dallas, Texas

Meanwhile, Amy has been diligently packing our valuables for the long trip south.

To see available work and make an offer, go to: Steven Boone

Sunday, October 04, 2020

A Last Kiss Goodbye?

These autumn days, wonderful colors, textures and temperatures beckon to be explored and enjoyed. For decades I have gone up into the mountains above Santa Fe to see the aspen trees during their ten days or so of shimmering golden vesture. This year I felt a tinge of bittersweetness as I drove upward with my art supplies and camera early in the morning on the winding ski road. Soon, Amy and I will be living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Might this be a last kiss goodbye to the place I have called home for over 40 years?

I carried my camera and hiked along a popular trail. Already folks were out enjoying nature. I passed a couple tents and came to a mountain stream, then chose to follow it up the slope. Now I was alone. The trees stood tall all around and the ferns were bursting with color. A small trail meandered nearby, but I chose to stay by the stream, stopping often to photograph the fallen leaves, mossy rocks and the gay stream with the play of light and shadow. My foot slipped into rushing water but I was so absorbed with dazzling nature I only laughed and kept climbing. 

Occasionally I fell out of breath—the elevation is over 10,000 feet. But magnetized by beauty and the pure mountain experience, I felt jubilant. A few times, I spotted a landmark up ahead and said, ”that is where I will stop and turn around.” But the forest beckoned me onward. After awhile, I thought of my paints and canvas and went back. On the way, I found a site I thought would be pleasing for a painting composition.

Gathering my art supplies, I set up and began painting. After twenty minutes, while intently working, I felt something run up my back pant leg. Surprised, I turned to see a chipmunk scurry off. This little creature was a sign from spirit and I spoke to him. After a couple minutes it happened again, and when I looked, two chipmunks stood watching me. They stayed around and when a young man and his father hiked past, the boy stopped and pointed out that a chipmunk stood nearby. I said, “Yes, I know.” 

The painting finished, I felt satisfied and drove the winding road back into town.

After posting the result online, the little aspen painting sold immediately—while still wet with paint.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

A Mexican Home

It all seems a dream. About six months ago, I saw a Mexican home listed for sale online. It is on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. The pictures showed a house Amy and I loved. Furthermore, the price is about 1/4th the cost of a similar home in Santa Fe. We both feel the situation in America is getting too weird, and for the same amount of money, we could live much more lavishly somewhere else. 

Now we are in Oaxaca for a week. Our first visit was to see THE HOUSE. It is as described on the website. Three bedrooms, two studios, two bathrooms, chefs kitchen, plenty of nooks, crannies and storage, extensive grounds with exotic plants and drip irrigation . . . we feel it is for us. The house was built by a socially conscious German couple, who hired the same architect that designed for Lila Downs, a world famous Mexican-American singer who has a home in Oaxaca. When the owner's partner died, she returned to Germany and left the house with a caretaker. 

Amy and I both agree that love surrounds this place and is evident in the fabric of its life. The German woman worked passionately to help rural cooperatives get on their feet. An indigenous caretaker is in the house, and is from an agricultural collective a few hours away that grows coffee, vanilla beans and spices. 

The property is perfect for two artists. We need to make big adjustments to leave our home country but in the end it's worth it. The village is called San Pedro Ixtalahuaca—about 1/2 hour drive from Oaxaca. 

Nothing around but a church, school, and a few tiny shops. 

The house and land is ringing our bell. Now to decide.

(Note: Since writing this post, amy and I have bought the home and are preparing to move there.)

Sunday, August 30, 2020


It has been 13 years since I joined Facebook and began sharing my stories, thoughts, artwork and photography. In the beginning, I thought to use social media as a platform to further my art career and share my creativity to a broad audience in cyberspace. I still use Facebook primarily to share my art, photography, and some writing.

I enjoy seeing what other creatives are up to, as well as friends and families spread across the globe. On occasion, I have been in a foreign country and met a FB friend in person for the first time.

I notice since the the last US election, much of Facebook has been commandeered by special interests intent on spreading covert messages in graphic ways. Now, with another election coming up shortly here in America, the garbage being posted by folks is loathsome. People are revealing extreme polarization and prejudice. It most likely has been fomented purposefully.

Often I have been inclined to call out fake news, or correct improprieties. But there is so much of it. In all these years, I almost never unfriended or blocked people. Now I have begun to purge a bit. Not much, because I like to get a big picture of the world, not one that is merely a mirror of my own thoughts and feelings.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Tender Loving Care

Corn is one of the most venerated of plants in the world. Especially, in Native American culture it plays a central role. “Corn, also called Indian corn or maize, is a cereal plant of the grass family (Poaceae) with edible grain. The domesticated crop originated in the Americas and is one of the most widely distributed of the world’s food crops. Corn is used as livestock feed, as human food, as biofuel, and as raw material in industry. In the United States the colorful variegated strains known as Indian corn are traditionally used in autumn harvest decorations.” — 

One of my earliest memories is when as a child of two years, my parents would take a drive out of Chicago on Sunday afternoon. I was in the backseat, peering out the window as they drove into farmlands, through corn fields. For a little child, the corn stood immensely tall, in closely knit rows—plant after plant as far as the eye could see. 

About one year ago, during Santa Fe’s Summer Bandstand, (now cancelled) a Native American artist from Taos performed. Robert Mirabal is well known and well liked. He is a grammy award winning performer, though for the last number of years he has mostly stayed close to home on Taos Pueblo. Anyway, I had a small group of high school friends visiting town and after a social gathering with pizza at the Boone Gallery, we walked out onto the plaza to hear music. 

Usually when Robert plays at the end of August, it rains. Last year was no different, with rain coming midway after the concert started. For us Santa Feans, who live in arid high-desert mountains, rain is a good thing anytime. It is as if Robert brings good fortune with him. He talked about his culture and the world and at one point, stepped into the crowd with a big bowl of native corn kernels, giving them away. Amy and I took a palmful.

This spring, we planted a small garden in our front yard, including our blue corn kernels. Blue corn was developed by Hopi Indians of the American southwest. 

Our plants grew, with tender loving care, and Amy and I marveled, watching the tender green stalks shoot upward and make tassels, that pollinated from its neighbors. Soon we had corn “ears”. 

“We must send Robert pictures”, I commented to Amy one day. 

A small cob Amy made into a bird. 


Sunday, August 16, 2020



This last week has been a whirlwind of happy circumstances. After announcing that Amy and I will be  closing our gallery, our collectors stepped in to buy art. Four paintings are going to Rising Fawn, Georgia, two to Fort Collins, Colorado, one to Glenwood Springs Co., one to Las Cruces New Mexico, and three go to Kerrville, Texas. 

Paintings go to two homes in Santa Fe. Collectors from Albuquerque, NM bought one and a collector from Edmond Oklahoma bought one. 

We are grateful for all the sales during the pandemic. Many businesses have been severely impacted; including our gallery. 

We had planned to close when our rent was scheduled to increase drastically beginning in 2021. Then we decided to quit early, and now we are going month-to-month, with the probability of shuttering by the end of the year.

Now we know we can for sure make virtual sales.