13- Taking our Time at Ranchos de Taos, D H Lawrence, Howard Zinn

Great anxiety on a clear day. How am I going to keep my readers’interest? I risk of becoming all that I detest in literature: self-absorbed. The contrary of the spirit that inspired the American literature. The challenge is to continue, on and on, like the heroe in the film by Tony Richardson, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner with Tom Courtenay. Last the distance, isn’t it what life is all about, most of the time.

Later on, I leave towards the south, to Ranchos de Taos, where, on arriving from Albuquerque, I had glimpsed the striking church captured by so many photographers, among others magnificently by Debra Bloomfield, Plossu, Paul Strand. I walk around the church, what peace. It looks very large in a village which was only a trading post, a place to meet at the saloon, with exchanges of all kinds and which keeps traces of its nomadic life, till looking like a transitory place where one does not stay.

After the church, walking a bit further, a vista between two roads opens out onto an immense field closed by a mesa, like a stage on the horizon.
I continue walking away from the Route 68 and I discover handsome houses restored with woodwork, salvaged doors, windows, probably secondary homes, as they look empty. Mixed in with very simple houses, their chimneys smoking and pickup truck parked. The drivers who pass all seem surprised to see a pedestrian. Indians, old hippies, mother who is bringing her children home look at me, smiling and say hello to which I respond. All seem to have time to spare. Lovely walk with the sun setting now.
The night falls quickly and I return home to have my hour of French conversation with George.

After the dinner, resume in bizarre parallel, The Plumed Serpent and A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. A bit later I watch some extracts of “The People Speak” (2009) which is a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans. The film gives voice to those who, by insisting on equality and justice, spoke up for social change throughout U.S. history and also illustrates the relevance of this to today’s society.

At the same time I devour a packet of chips and drink a tea before it had to be reheated. I have adapted to this milieu.

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