Friday, 4 March 2011

Flashback to the future

I go on a weekend journey with my best friend every year, always to somewhere different. Nothing too fancy - just a place away from home.
Mama, BC.
Upon arrival, we climb to the top of some metaphorical mountain and survey the symbolic landscape of our past year together. We imagine what lies over the horizon. We never predict the coming season correctly, but we climb down from the mental mountain feeling brave enough to face it.

Metaphorical molehill. 
Way back towards the beginning of this tradition, we spent a wonderful anniversary weekend in Taos. We got hitched before digital was cool, and spent several years too broke to be digitally cool after that. So these pictures were taken in black and white 35mm on my old SLR Pentax - a wonderful tank of a camera. Come nuclear winter it will be cockroaches, twinkies and my old Pentax running the earth (with the help of WALL-E of course).

Can't hold a flashbulb to Ansel Adams. 
There's an old wrecked 1930s-looking car at the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge in Taos. From the top it looks like no more than a speck, or a gnat. Peering over the suspension bridge, it's a breath-sucking, stomach-cringing eternity of distance to the tumbling river below. When a truck drives over the bridge, it warbles, trembles, and jiggles the feet of anybody brave enough to be walking accross at that moment. It is a terrifying feeling - but also a strangely weightless, invigorating one - and a reminder of the flimsiness of seemingly solid things.

I love that bridge, Taos Pueblo and Taos Mountain. This trip and these dusty old photos sprang to mind instantly when I discovered the Friday Flashback idea over at Cafe Bebe (thank you, a lovely idea).

Home is where you hang your hippie hat.
But this isn't just a look back, it's also a wishful vision of the future. Because when I hit the jackpot I'm moving to Taos. I'm going to take up residence in some sort of hippie adobe. I'm going to dress like a slob on purpose, and intentionally have no hairstyle. I reckon my jackpot winnings will buy some time to write, and when that gets old, I'll learn to paint (which will take a mighty long time to pull off). When that gets boring I'll sit outside and get re-acquainted with the sunshine, the Milky Way and that almighty local army of crickets. Maybe I'll finally figure out how to carry a tune. Seasonally, I'll reconnect my nose/brain apparatus with that magical summer post-rain smell - a scent uncannily similar to that magical new baby smell.
That new rain smell, baby. 
Now I realize that I'm not the first person to notice that Taos is beautiful. And I know I've blathered on about it before. I'll probably do so again - there are good reasons - go there, and you will see.

Old dog, few tricks. 
Funny, how dreams of the future are so often just the re-hashings of the past. Or, as per some old Lutheran bit of wisdom that I just made up: it's all just part of life's rich casserole.

Where grew the tree.


  1. Beutiful Photo's! And Love your dream for the future. Sounds idyllic x

  2. Phenominal! I love your take on the #FlashbackFriday theme. Outstanding images! I hope you and Wall-E enjoy eating Twinkies and taking pictures in the future. Thanks so much for taking part lovely! ;)

    PS- I think I already am at the "intentional, non-hairstyle" this bad?

  3. Wow! What lovely pictures, super camera!

  4. What amazing photos and memories from your trip away. I think it's lovely that you and your friend do this every year. Must be lovely to get away from normal life and relax and have some burly time. Great post x

  5. Superb post, photos and memories. Such a great idea to go away with your friend every year like that...I may have to adopt that!

  6. Thanks guys - such fun to reminisce/project!

    Karin - I reckon peaceful existence at the intentional non-hairstyle stage equals the pinnacle of enlightenment.

  7. I totally get it! Great photos and great memory tour! Black and White is the best. I could never get enough of that shop in the lower level of La Fonda. And I think there may be something spiritual about recapturing time gone by–not sure what, innocence?

  8. How did I miss this post? You sing my heart.

  9. Ah thanks's a toast to Taos and hippie stuff. Maybe see you there someday?