It’s always interesting to visit a place like this during a time like this. The Stable Genius, infected by the virus he claimed was a hoax, is doing laps around Walter Reed while his supporters hunt for gangs of rogue pedophiles. Nope, not making this up. Americans love revisionist history, we really do, and I can’t imagine the revisions that will begin if and when this regime comes to an ugly end.
So, to keep things in perspective I took a short drive over to Pecos National Park, a historical reminder of yet another time when things went bad. Oddly enough, this is the closest national park but one I had yet to visit. Like living in Coney Island and never eating forty hot dogs in eight minutes. It’s just not logical.
Pecos was the site of both major Native American settlements as well as the subsequent Spanish infrastructure built as the invaders began to run roughshod over the local population. This came to a head in 1680 with the Pueblo Revolt. A time of serious payback as the Spanish were driven out of New Mexico. That was the good news. The bad news? Well, then we came along and ROYALLY screwed things up and we are continuing to do so today. How do I know? I have eyes.
“You must be bored out of your mind,” someone said as I walked the manicured path through the ruins. “This is way too touristy for you,” they added. Not really. I made images, wrote in my journal, and wondered what it would have been like to see this place during the time it was booming. There was no Netflix so times were harsh.
On a serious note, it’s interesting to visit failed and destroyed communities. We are seriously close to learning, once again, what happens when things go so far off the rails.
not at all 95 this. enjoyed this short story and the photographs.
I’m wondering if the young will ever experience life beyond the 5X3 of a phone screen. Our eyes will fail to focus beyond that of an arm length. I am British and a Londoner, we have a similar clown running our soggy island. I take solace now from nature in a way I have never before. Somehow, nature takes the high ground like never before.
Five minutes outside and you realize 99% of what happens on these screens means nothing and actually makes us lesser human beings.
That is true….Although, attention deficit will compromise the reward of absorption somewhat. How children, particularly young ones, indulge themselves in the tangible world around them. The instant gratification of internet seeks their gaze, fueled by the adverts and click bait, it is like passing a road accident: One is compelled to look, but then instantly regrets it. How can we rescue the concentration towards reality? During the lockdown here, back in April (although possibly imminent again) I had a feeling that nature had occupied the moral high ground. As I sat in my modest south London garden during this time, I sensed a curiosity from the local birds. I surely felt their subordinate as they looked down on me. It was a moment of reflection, I felt a sense of vulnerability that they had always felt. I’m sure since that moment, I have acquired a much stronger sense respect.
Funny you mention birds. They alone are worthy of our time and attention. Their world is so intelligent. NOt all but most. And so complex. Just the kind of thing we have learned to ignore.
Failed and destroyed communities are extremely interesting and can be a very highly charged topic, such as the Clearances here in the Highlands of Scotland (they also happened in the Lowlands) where the remnants of the cleared settlements litter the landscape. And then there was the community on St Kilda which occupied a small archipelago about 40 miles northwest of the Outer Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland that voluntarily evacuated in 1930 after people living there for millennia. The ruins now sit cheek by jowl with an army base, which ironically has helped ensure the ruins’ survival.
So many great stories about these places. I think at some point, at least here in the US, we will begin to see these failed communities in the middle of our major cities. We are already seeing system failure in places across the country.