“A little garden in which to walk, and immensity in which to dream.”
So this is a test of sorts. I had given up the idea of continuing on with WordPress after I discovered that I could no longer do my writing in MS Word and then copy it over into WordPress. Well, I was visiting a friends’ WordPress blog tonight and I decided to check in on mine, since I haven’t had time to find a new blog site yet. And when I checked the “New Entry” screen I discovered a new “disclaimer / link” that said, “if you prefer the ‘classic’ view, press this”, and so I did and now I think it is reverted back to what it once was. Perhaps sufficient numbers of people complained about the changes so that they decided to give us the option of reverting back to the way it was, which worked just fine. I just don’t understand the need to change things just for the sake of change.
Ok, so all that being said, what is this thing, immensity? Well, Since I haven’t written all summer long on my blog (I’ve been writing up a storm elsewhere), I will preface this by saying that I took two significant trips this summer – a July trip out to Oregon for five days to meet people that I’ve known for 19 years and had never met in person before. And the second trip was a two-week adventure in August out in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The photo above was taken, I believe, on Rt. 76, somewhere a bit north of Chimayo and heading up towards Truchas, NM. This is about the time it really struck me that I was not in Kansas (or in my case, Massachusetts) anymore. And this photo absolutely does not do the vista justice. Here’s a little excerpt from my journal, written that night, upon my return to my base of operations:
I was totally unprepared for the immensity of the New Mexican landscape. And I do mean immense. It is just insanely, unimaginably immense and right now that’s the only word I can come up with. I am still trying to wrap my head around it all. What I can easily say is that the coolest part of the trip was driving to what felt like the top of the world – a place called Truchas – and meeting two quietly remarkable people. I’ll get back to that in a little bit.
And I stand by those words. I had never been to the Southwest before so I had no real notion of what to expect. Actually, I expected a desert of sand and rocks with no vegetation but that’s not what you get in New Mexico – at least, not in the Santa Fe area which is actually considered “high desert” and at an altitude of 7,000, yeah, it is high. In fact, it took me a good 5 days or so to adjust to the altitude so that I felt ok and had all of my energy. Before that, a few hours of walking around and I was done for the day just from fatigue, which was really the worst symptom that I experienced. I may have had a mild headache for the first day or two, but overall that was fairly manageable.
It wasn’t until I drove out of Santa Fe, heading north with a destination of Taos in mind (a destination that I never made), that I began to get an inkling of this immensity thing. I mean, in a way, even where I was staying, I got some small sense of it. I’d be driving down this highway from my place in Lamy, towards Eldorado, and I’d see the stop light and think, “oh, I’ll be there in a minute” because back home, I would be. But even though you could see the stop light, it was still a good five miles away and would actually take you a while to get to it. But it didn’t really sink in until I cruised north of Santa Fe along 84/285 into the Tesuque area (which isn’t far outside of Santa Fe at all) that I began to see a kind of different landscape, where the land just falls away from the roads and that is a much different perceptual experience as compared to driving in New England where you are constantly surrounded by trees. It creates a different sense and sensation and at times I felt like I might simply drive off the road and off the world which gave me this kind of hollow roller-coaster sensation in my stomach.
As for this particular day trip, well, I made it to Truchas, which was about half-up to Taos, and then I found a gallery and I ended up hanging out there for a few hours and by the time I emerged, I decided that I didn’t need to continue up to Taos so I turned around and drove back to Santa Fe, stopping at the trading post in Nambe to pick up a few more beautiful items. All in all, it was quite a day that day.