Tuesday, July 28, 2009

free dog kisses

or so the sign reads.   Quite obviously, we weren't going any closer to find out whether these barking guardians were actually going to reach their pink tongues through the seriously taut wire fence and lick us lovingly.   We were in Corrales, just north of Albuquerque, on a hunt for the house that Alice lived in around 1974-5.   Only - especially in a village without house numbers, and where one small adobe house in a cluster of adobe houses some way back from the main street looks much like another small adobe house, it's not an easy a task as one might think.   She believes that this may well be the one - but the Cerberus types didn't make it somewhere to hang around.

It's also a good example of the arbitrary lining up of meaning, memory, association and the photographic record.   Of course if this is the actual house, it has a quite different set of memories and associations and significances that can be attached to it than if it's just another adobe dwelling in northern New Mexico - here's documentary proof of some kind, even if it doesn't much point to anything beyond the gap between now and then.   And yet - it's also typical modern not-very-well-off NM: the adobe and the blue paint, the dirt yard, the hand-lettered sign, the rolled-up carpet, the green plastic garden chairs, the possibly redundant bicycle, the red geranium in a terra-cotta pot, the sort of wooden shrine hanging on the fence, the strange thing stuffed through it, like a stuffed felted pig's head, the arbitrary lump of rock on a little table, and, in the foreground, holding the fence in place, perhaps, an old style piece of Hispanic wood carving - a corbel, or other piece of ceiling work? - lending the whole ensemble a local touch that makes it instantly identifiable as New Mexico.

1 comment:

  1. Good call. Not sure I'd want to kiss those dogs either, even for free. They look like pretty tough hombres to this old dog!