Living on the Spine: A Woman's Life in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Christina Nealson, Author
Christina Nealson, Author Papier-Mache Press $12.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-57601-003-7
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Paperback - 136 pages - 978-1-56579-471-9
Paperback - 178 pages - 978-1-4826-3549-2
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Driven by her discontentment with ""an amalgam of movements -- from feminism, New Age spirituality, to environmentalism"" Nealson resolved to live alone for a year in the Colorado wilderness, ""seeking a different wisdom."" ""On my fortieth birthday"" she writes, ""I straddled and nailed the many angles of the cabin roof."" Her zealous approach to mid-life crisis is inspiring, but her stay in the Sangre de Christo Mountains--which amounts to five years--unfortunately failed to take her very far from the cliched movements she sought to escape. She is prone to praising goddesses (""`De,' of the sacred delta triangle, female genitalia, vulva of the planet..."") and writing floridly about sunsets and the seasons. She strikes up a romance with a not-so-distant neighbor and takes to wearing a teddy underneath her coveralls (""Eros giggles from inside my red silk and lace.""); they drink Liberty School cabernet together and her solitude goes out the window. Ultimately, her ethos is little more than self-congratulatory. While Nealson's spunk and the sound construction of her cabin may win some admiration, her drafty spiritual notions are recommended only for the faint of heart and mind. (Sept.)
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