Memories From the Mullet Latitudes

“When time is reduced to linear progress, it is emptied of presence.” ~ John O’Donohue

“The only difference between a young person at the height of their exuberance and a very old person who is frail and physically wasted is time.” ~ John O’Donohue

“You are each born with the conscious knowledge of what has come before. Your brain is far from an empty slate, waiting for the first imprint of experience; it is already equipped with complete “equations”, telling you who you are and where you have come from. Nor do you wipe that slate clean, symbolically speaking, before you write your life upon it. Instead, you draw upon what has gone before: the experiences of your ancestors, back through time immemorial.” ~ Jane Roberts

The blasted heat of the sub-tropical Sun eventually grew tiresome, or, at least, I just became jaded. Likely this feeling crystalized during the days after Hurricane Andrew, back in 1992. Four days without power or phone service. And just plain hot. That’s what is here, in the high mountain desert at the southern tip of the San Luis Valley, that appeals to me: seasons. One of my favorite writers back in the last millennium, Al Burt of the Miami Herald, in his book “Becalmed in the Mullet Latitudes”, put it best when he wrote that Springtime in South Florida lasts for about two hours on a Tuesday afternoon sometime in April. I paraphrase, but it’s pretty darned close. The Mullet Latitudes is a nearly alternate reality where Old Florida still exists amidst the ravages of the new world. We have that here as well. The old world is not at all hard to find here, especially considering that Taos Pueblo has been here for a good 1000 years or more. Succinctly put: I do not miss the heat and humidity. And I cherish the seasons. I mention all of this because of yesterday’s lovely snow storm. Just a few short hours can totally transform the landscape, including the inner landscape we all share. Hurricane Andrew did that too, but in a way spawned of meteorological violence. I got out early, headed on into Taos for some food shopping, and returned home before it all got too bad. Comfort food, nap, that kind of thing. Dammit – it’s what the late great novelist and semiotician, Umberto Eco, called “hyperreality” – what mystery novelist (very funny man!), and Miami Herald columnist, Carl Hiassen, called the Disney-ification of America. Facsimile. Cultural patina. Ya jest git yerself all caught up in the Red Bull, wifi, text message, Siri-advised world. But a healthy snow storm chills all that out for a while. At least that is what it did, does, whatever, for me. You’d have to drag me kicking and screaming back into the parrot-head, Margaritaville saturated continuum of the islands. Dag nab it, Jimmy Buffet, have you no idea what you hath wrought, dude?! Ya went with the facsimile, dude. Just sayin. Anyway . . . it’s time to prep for work. Gotta go out to the car to see what level of sweeping and scraping needs to be done on the windows. Then a quick shower. The past two days have been profoundly restful. The usual morning trepidation about going into Taos for a workday is running low. Lucky me. Yeh, I’m just riffing here this morning. But I’ve had fun with it. But don’t get me started on Buffet, that friggin Cheeseburger in Paradise dude. Send me a good snow storm any day. There I go.

All is well. Goof gloriously.

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