"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Taos, metaphor and magic
Taos Pueblo casts a spell over everyone who visits northern New Mexico, especially artists. I have drawings my Dad did there 70 years ago, and most famous american artists have tried their hand at it. I'm no exception.
Most believe that the pueblo Indians are the descendants of the Anasazi who disappeared about 1,000 years ago from settlements on the Colorado Plateau west of Taos. If so, then they were the first immigrants. The Spanish and the gringos were only the more recent.
These walls saw Coronado in 1540, and Kit Carson 300 years later. I believe the magic of Taos is part of its value as metaphor for the rest of us who in the terms of the old Gospel song, "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through." Taos teaches us how fleeting we are in time, and perhaps by visiting and painting it, we become part of its existence.