Meal with Caryn and Marc at Gutiz Restaurant, north of Taos. Caryn asks me a lot of questions about photography, which I answer by drifting away. She tells me that she filmed her daughter when she was between 5 and 12 years old, asking her the same ten questions every year. For some questions, her daughter found new answers and for others, not. It varied from year to year. Meanwhile, she recorded the image of her daughter growing and changing. Marc explains that his four-day beard is in preparation for going camping with friends. They will be playing disc golf and filming for four days in the wilderness.
We talk about Taos, about the wildness of the Southwest, about the idiosyncratic people here, about European charm, and Marc adds that his favorite writer is Montaigne because he is never self-indulgent…
Another farewell, and echoes once again of Gérard Philippe’s voice in Lorenzaccio. We become friends. Will we still communicate when distance separates us?
Adrienne and Leaf told me on Sunday about the hot springs a little further down the Rio Grande. In the late afternoon, I take the long Tune drive they pointed out, then the path that goes down to the river.
I lose the track and find myself in a kind of clutter of rocks with shady and sandy spots. At the bottom, or close to it, I find no hot springs. I go back up; it’s more of a very easy climb than a walk, and I like that. Shifting a little more to the right, I find a path that continues on a gentle slope. The springs are probably much further downstream. If I have time before leaving, I’ll come back one morning.
Soft pink sky for a short walk to say goodbye to the moor and the morada. Heather is returning from it. We talk. She wrote a book about her conversion to Catholicism, thanks to which she quit being an alcoholic. She says again how much she likes these beautiful, solitary places where she often walks.
We say goodbye.
She leaves tomorrow.
I walk in the now familiar scent of sage, pine and juniper trees, familiar as the line of ridges in the background, as Georgia O’Keeffe’s black cross, as the white cross on the Morada, as the straightness of the path, as the folds in the landscape, as the cracked red of the earth. There’s only the wind of this spring evening to soften the nevermore.
The “last times” come thick and fast. It feels weird.
This house is on the road that runs alongside the cemetery. At nightfall, as I was leaving, I could see its light in the night. A woman was reading or walking, obliterating the fire in the fireplace as she went back and forth.
Tonight there is also a man.
Each time I wondered what this woman’s life was like. Did she choose to live so close to the cemetery or was it a family house? Did she live alone? This winter, the smoke added to my impression of a warm house.
I never knocked on the door.
Back home at my casita, I dine alone. Pork with ginger, garlic, soy, and white rice.