I drove from Albuquerque to Santa Fe across Highway 14 yesterday, avoiding the broad, straight runway of Interstate 25. A cab driver suggested that the alternative route offered, maybe, ten minutes to the trip, but connected to villages, canyons, and passes that were much more typical of ‘real’ New Mexican landscapes.
It’s an amazing place. The high-contrast saturated colors give a crystalline clarity to the high desert. Towns are weathered and run-down, but decorated with whimsical art and wind-driven mobiles. The fluted red and tan rocks are accented with metal sculptures in primary tones. It’s quiet and still, extending even to the street vendors.
The light, color, air, sounds give a sense of clarity to the place, not only a visual quality, but an almost spiritual undertone.
I wanted to relate this back to some conversations about transparency in health care reform, spurred by late-night conversations over very fine single-malt scotch with research cardiologists. Or maybe to my ‘windshield time’, lost in thought about the future as the road unrolled ahead of me. Or about the sound of a violin concerto in a timeless adobe church whose wooden ceiling was textured to mimic the fluted granite carvings of European cathedrals.
Or maybe not today. I’d rather just keep enjoying a cup of coffee on a cold crisp morning, watching the rising sun wake the colors in the church and the trees across the way, wind sculptures rotating beneath.