Love in the middle of nowhere, Highway 478,
Mesquite, New Mexico, 2016
Where’s the border? Where’d it go? Where did I go? I’ve been cruising out of El Paso and ending myself in Las Cruces, New Mexico, for eleven years now, returning to the border every night. I head back to El Paso in the evenings but the El Paso I know, is slowly, perceptively, emphatically, disappearing from sight.
Juárez is still there. A wave of murder, mayhem and mania smacked it with deep contusions for a few years, but, Juárez survived. Its heart endured. Its people are still vibrant and robust, slightly uncivil, real, delightfully rough and raw, a Mexican city that’s six thousand miles from the USA, 20 yards away.
Just got a very welcome announcement from a Border Blog viewer. He pointed out that the above image is a representation of a pistachio not a pecan.
We don’t have much of a defense, but really, when this was posted on April 24, your Border Blog photographer, Bruce Berman, wasn’t much Bruce Berman either. That’s what happens when one “does what one has got to do as opposed to doing what you do.”
We at Border Blog are pleased to announce that the real Bruce Berman is back, on the border, three blocks from the bridge, in his decaying ruin, tape -metaphorically- over his mouth, no longer talking about photography but living his life, and making images that, hopefully, will do, as we wrote almost a decade ago, stating our intention to (see the “About” tab above), “…cover the news, opinions and culture of the 2000 mile border of Mexico and the United States, concentrating on the epicenter of El Paso and Juarez. The Border Blog is not meant to be a news source as much as it is meant to be a news ‘feel’.”
Thank you MB and thank you Bruce (but tsk tsk on your caption!).
The river with two names: Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte. Depends where you begin and where you end and where you return to. These women are heading north. It was a long time ago. Everything has changed and nothing has changed and I suspect it will continue to change and not change forever.
The river with two names, the R2, is also the place of the personality with two halves.
It is the place of bifurcation. But even that has two sides: twice as much insight.
Where are these women now? Which side happened to them? What happened to me? What happened to Juárez and the U.S.?
What happened to me?
I know this: people will cross going north no matter what and no matter the year. People will cross less, going south, depending on the year.
The river will flow south from Colorado (a Spanish name) to the Gulf of Mexico (an English language name).
And none of it matters to anyone living here except that one government makes it hard for another people to do what they have done for thousands of years and another government makes it necessary.
Who’s confused and who’s doing the confusing?
Las Cruces New Mexico on New Year’s Eve 2009.
Turtle, 17, born and raised in this southern New Mexico town.
Defiant and alive.
It was as good as Times Square.
Just keep looking.
He has been raising these birds since he was a teenager. Fighters are they, he and his birds.
Now, cockfighting is illegal in New Mexico. Outlawed. “Civility,” has come to the funklands. God help us. Now come the thiefs with pens. They been fighting this since Billy the kid.
The rooster man keeps raising his birds. Doesn’t know what else to do.
He speaks of the “Old Man,” and “Ralph,” “Juan Pedro,”and the others. Each has a name. There are hundreds.
When he speaks, he says their names softly, a Lover’s murmur whispering his loves’ names.