The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Taos in Snow

Ah, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The soundtrack to this post should be that Clint Eastwood spaghetti-western theme (listen here) which always brings to my mind a sheriff and a gunslinger, facing off at noon in a suddenly emptied street……

The good news? Small things, but still. Blue skies! Magpies flying back and forth outside my window, building their nest-bundle sculptures high in the trees! Local red chile salsa! And a new album by Edie Brickell! Seriously, just this morning I heard a brand new song from E.B. called “PILL” (as in “they got a pill for that”) — the first new song I’ve heard from her since the nineties, when I fell in love with “Shooting rubberbands at the stars” which I loved so much I shredded the audio cassette tape. She’s married to Paul Simon, by the way, whose old song “Hearts and Bones” still tops my private charts:

    traveling together
    In the Sangre de Christo
    The Blood of Christ Mountains
    Of New Mexico
    On the last leg of a journey
    They started a long time ago…

The bad news is bigger: a “disruption event” of some sort, originating in Texas, impacted the supply of natural gas to Northern New Mexico! The town of Taos declared a State of Emergency this morning, which is expected to last “at least 48 hours.” The problem is compounded by our recent sub-zero temps. Last night it was -17. Today has been sunny but crisp, maybe 20 degrees, but temps are expected to drop back down to -6 plus windchill tonight. Most Taos businesses are closed, and Taosenos are dashing in all directions in search of electric space heaters. The Taos electric grid remains online, but Kit Carson Electric Company (yep, that really is the name) is asking residents to unplug all unnecessary devices tonight (just as everyone will be plugging in space heaters….) lest we overload the grid as well. The casitas have been without heat or gas stove since noon, but I’m still cozy, and the Foundation delivered an electric space heater to keep pipes warm in my kitchen/bathroom area. I’ll keep the water dripping tonight, and I’ll be fine — just wish I had a fireplace on a night like this. I hope my husband is curled up with a book by the fireplace in Upper Michigan.

The ugly news, of course, comes to all our ears from Egypt, via NPR and Democracy Now’s radio coverage. The political struggle taking place in Egypt has turned darker. After several days of relatively peaceful pro-Democracy actions, government forces are resorting to brute force as they cling to power, and memories of the massacre in Tiananmen Square come to mind as I hear the live reports of violence in Tahir Square. My heart goes out to civilian protesters and journalists under attack today. I am especially thinking of our dear friend Mohey, who is worried about the fate of his friends and family in Egypt.

“Peacefully, peacefully my friends.”

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