In Axioms for Reading the Landscape I enjoyed Pierce K Lewis’s point that we can unravel a landscape as if it were a book. Also, that there is no hierarchy to the details we draw information from: that the mundane parking lot is as important as the inspiring scenic route.

I’m still in the observational state, I haven’t spent time with this west to delve deep into its ‘nonacademic literature’, its mechanics, its history. However, thinking of Lewis, I jotted some notes down during the car ride to Santa Fe.

Flashes of rainbow formed in the mist under long arching bodies of irrigation systems, roving cloud-shadows mapping their way across rolling hills backed by snow capped mountains, sun bleached skin, short green shrubs indicative of an arid landscape, a man so horse I thought he was a woman before I saw his winked face, an imitation native american dwelling offered up for travelers to stay in, the walls filled out with cement trapping the stale air inside, the rattling of the car as we surge forward, the bouncing of the luggage bags behind me, some of them losing their bearings and slipping forward onto my seat.

Dirt Roads that seem to lead to the middle of nowhere, things declare themselves in this landscape making minuet statements against the short shrubbery: trees, stacked hay bails, cars, scattered wooden homes with the occasional adobe thrown in the fray, abandoned and deteriorating structure set sometime right against residential homes, recalling the individuals who tried to make it and failed against those still struggling to live here.

The shadow of the car races us to the finish point, as our dashboard sprit-animal-guardians gaze to our path ahead, as the road risks away underneath, the tires bearing witness the history of the road, the patches forming their own motion picture of dashes, squiggles, and dots.