Friday, June 18, 2010

rural labor

Ah, hoeing the soil of Northern New Mexico - a timeless sight (etc.) This is Alice (once upon a time, a Gardener Trainee II at UNM, which curiously doesn't figure on her c.v.) practicing her fine-honed skills when it comes to preparing the ground for some Russian Sage, which we are hoping will grow tall and purple against our new-ish wall. She also looks impressively fit: I too am hoping for some kind of a pay-off to my arms after carrying around 50 lb. bags of soil.

The mountains in the background offer an almost straight-across view to Los Alamos, and therefore this - the black and whiteness of this impression of the (relative) hardships when it comes to subsistence in the high desert is by way of homage to Jennet Conant's wonderful history of Robert Oppenheimer and life in Los Alamos whilst they were building the atomic bomb, 109 East Palace, which gives a vividly detailed account of the social tensions in this security-driven, tight-knit, claustrophobic community in a part of the world where few of them (apart from Oppenheimer himself, who had a small ranch up somewhere around Cowles) had ever expected to find themselves. I reckon that since the atomic explosion counts as a big flash, that reading this compelling book is, surely, Work ...

No comments:

Post a Comment