The circle begins with a ride up Taos Canyon. No longer desert, we’re back in the land of evergreens. There are log cabins mixed in now with adobe as well. Of note are some residences with old VW’s parked in a field or on the side of a garage. Weeds have grown around them as the years since their arrival and eventual abandonment have passed.
Over the Palo Flechado Pass, eastward the road leads down to Angel Fire, a thriving ski resort. You can smell the industry of real estate here. Another reminder of the Sixties is here as well, the DAV Vietnam Veterans National Memorial, built by a father for his son who was killed in the war. There’s a chapel and a museum and even a helicopter on the lawn.
While there I watch a film on the Tet Offensive, and I’m surprised at my reaction. It’s not that I make use of the box of Kleenex next to my seat, but the sense of tragedy is pervasive. It’s not the politics of right or wrong; it’s the surprising youth of the soldiers being interviewed. And it’s not the grievous losses nor the years that have passed, but the utter normalcy of it all.
We live in a culture of madness, where wars are fought for peace and the cause of peace is called the good fight. On every side, there’s strong commitment to belief itself. But truth can never choose a side; it’s way beyond the passion play of our duality. There’s no right or wrong, no up or down, not even east or west. There’s only the pass, in mystery and wonder.
Once you make your mind up, start traveling an actual direction, you’re just going down (not that there's anything wrong with that).