Plaza in the Sun

Taos Plaza

The pavement, how it thrills

There are places where there is no mud, and this is one of them. Taos Plaza, where Kit Carson and a group of fellow patriots protected the flag from Confederate sympathizers around the clock and did it for a long, long time. If I recall correctly, a post-Civil War decree or law is why the U.S. flag is never lowered here, supposedly the only place in America that has such dispensation. Normally one lowers the flag at sunset. If displayed at night, it has to be illuminated. The next time I’m on the Plaza after dark, I’d better take a look.

On the day I took this photo, the river of filthy slush in the shady street beyond reminded me of other places I was happy not to be, although I might as well have been, so huh. The day before we’d sat down in a coffee shop just off the Hotel La Fonda lobby [bottom right in photo] and had a lovely time. It was mostly very quiet. The double latte I gulped down spun the shiny gears inside my head while we watched the snow come tumbling down. A few tourists moved along the sidewalk, either much too fast or less than confidently. People often dress a certain way to come to Taos, no matter what the season, and you can always recognize them. Long gone native now, I’m spottable myself. In a few stores around the Plaza, I can get a discount just by walking in if there’s a local at the register.

It’s all too easy, and it’s all too hard. I feel at home here, but we haven’t really got one. Something like a metaphor for earthly life, eh?—so I should just relax and have another empanada with my latte. I’ll let you know about the flag.

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

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