The View South #421, July 2014
Flags are down in Parque Chamizal. Wind must be up and hopefully a little rain. Just a whisper of a season change. Not yet. But not all that far off either. ‘ta bien. The View South. Days come and go. Then years. Then decades. Then…? I turned my back on the past a long time ago. People tell me that’s good. Bible says it too. Do they really mean it?Â I think the idea is to turn your back selectively! No bad past! Keep it bright. Oh yeah, the power of positive thinking. I was told by an old friend that memories are lodged in the appendix. This was a person who also swore LSD should be taken every afternoon to get closer to “primals.” I don’t think that’d work for me. Who knows what works? What d’ya got? I’ve been looking out this window for awhile. The view south: I remember when I first came to this space and realized my only view was to the south, to Mexico, to Nicaragua, to Chile, to Tierra del Fuego. I already had a lot behind me and I thought, “hey, that’s cool, that’s where I want to be. I’ve had enough of ‘back there’.” This view is a tape recorder of my life.
I’ve looked out on this and pondered MexicÃ³ endlessly, I use my camera as a tool of inquiry and self defense and I Â I work my time down there. Used to shoot for the newspaper and anyone else who asked and for myself, too, always trying to “get it.” I get it. And I don’t get it.
Welcome to the border.
I’ve seen pesos fly and dive and sink, down there. I’ve seen middle classes rise strut and flee. I’ve seen unbelievable sincerity and horrid cynicism. JuÃ¡rez has been my North Star. I’m probably in trouble.
Life through The View South.
I guess I’ve seen lifeÂ down there. That’s what I set out to do. It could have been anywhere. It was all there. Good a place as any. Â ‘ta bien. La Bandera will slide up that pole again, sun will come burning back, I’ll scoot down my street and walk over that parking lot of a bridge (about half Â the way up in this image), I’ll keep checking. I’ll whip out my JuÃ¡rez thermometer and take its vitals if I am able, if that crazy heart of Chihuahua yields it up (which somehow it always does).
Memory is a virus down there. Keeping up in the moment is delirious for the good and the bad.
I’ve had my Appendix out and, according to the old acid head friend, there shouldn’t be any memory behind me at all. Maybe you were supposed to eat tofu and wave a crystal over it as you struggle to remember.
Ha! The 60s!
There’s one thing about JuÃ¡rez for sure: It’s sixties was distinctly not psychedelic. More like jet set.
There’s a lot in JuÃ¡rez, right now, after the last few years, that I wish was behind us forever, lost in memory. But too much dust flew. Some things will not ever be forgotten. It’s not all behind us and I say, ‘ta bien. Shadows and memories. Rise and fall. The pulse of La Ciudad beats. I mean beats!
The Flag is down today. It’s “the rainy season (Allegedly. Maybe).” There’s a whisper in the air today. There’s more to come. Another season. More will come. The flag is only down for awhile.
What will View #422 be?