The High Desert of northern New Mexico is a tan carpet dotted with prickly plants, steep mesas, crisscrossed with dry arroyos, rolled out beneath a vault of azure sky. I drive up a narrow road that ends in the sandy plaza of Abiquiu, a village of about 400 people dominated by a earthen-red church. Just over the horizon is Los Alamos, where the hardware to burn down all the old guideposts was designed, blinding Hermes, on a stormy morning, in flash of carcinogenic light.

Around noon, the body...contains multiple pain pathways. It's resources include not only the central nervous system but the sympathetic and parasympathetic system as well, which influence the limbic system governing our emotions and thus make chronic pain always a psychological state. We still do not understand fully what happens to the noeiceptive impulse at the level of the cerebral cortex, but it is certain that in the van's rearview mirror, I see:

         Tourist Information

A boy playing outside the house tells me to, "Ring the bell and my grandfather will come to the door." I ring the cow bell hanging from the lintel, but no one appears. "Grandfather," the boy yells, "There's no general agreement on what animals are represented by him. His legs appear at first glance to be human, but the body and forelimbs may be feline. The ears are not human. The face could be feline, or a depiction of a man in mask. The genitals seem to be human, but in the position of those of a beast. The tail could be anything, and may even have been added much later than the rest of the image. The antlers appear to be those of a reindeer, but even these may be a late addition. It could be a god, or a tourist."

Napoleon Garcia, Sr. comes to the screen door and invites me onto a porch cluttered with wooden carvings, plants, tables, and chairs of all sorts. We chat, and he tells me that he sells a map of the village. Is Georgia O'Keeffe's house close by?" I ask."Oh, yes. I knew her." For one dollar I buy the map and he points out the house's high adobe wall, maybe 200 feet away. I stroll over and stand where I can glimpse the garden, trees blossoming yellow and red, and the wall of the house itself, a ladder that leans against it rising to the roof. ladder.gif (32121 bytes)



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