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Magic and Reality/Memory and Forgetting

Updated: Dec 24, 2021


Framed in the style of the Old West, a sign at the little village of Magdalena public library entrance calls for people to wear masks.

On a recent visit, however, I did not find a lot of compliance with either the local librarian’s plea, nor the current State of New Mexico mask mandate. My visit was ostensibly to see a holiday art/craft show held in a beautiful, disused old building with an intriguingly expansive and inclusive original goal: to wholesale EVERYTHING.

I found other evidence of expansiveness and inclusivity, a lot of magic and a little realism.




The critters atop this wall probably date from the early 2000s and depict the then contemporary life in Magdalena, according to a sign at the sidewalk door.

It must have been a pretty magical place.

It does still have a somnolent beauty for those with eyes to see.

In winter sunlight, and under an overarching enamel blue tin drum sky, fading colour, weeds and whimsy still manage to find voice, albeit one close to the end of the trail.

Which place of apparent finality, one finds geographically, if not also metaphorically, at the community park

As a cattle farmer’s daughter, I took close interest in the bovines I found there

The bull has good conformation, a friendly face, nice even curve of horns.

And most importantly, from a breeders perspective, he’s well hung. No ox this.

The cow was harder to assess as she slumbered chewing her cud, indifferent to my approach.

Cowpoke, however, is quite a dandy, though possibly a bit big in the boots.

He does have fine facial features and a truly great mustache atop a good springy growth of beard.

Welcome from the Indian Village, however, is wearing a little thin, breaking down in places, like someone stole their ōm.

After that little, and strangely satisfying, walkabout, I got some truly fine sourdough bread at the craft show, from the partner of an astronomer who recognized my accent (perfect ten to her - not many do) then lunched on a vegan mushroom burger and fries at the Tumbleweed Diner

Yes, in this little village of surprise visions, simultaneously much evidence of a slipping into forgetfulness, there is a restaurant where one can order vegan adaptations to the menu. And they understand. They stock vegan mayo. They have potato flour buns. Do what the sign says: eat there.

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