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One of my favorite photographs is one by an excellent early New Mexico photographer, Lee Marmon. It is Girls at Clothesline, 1954. With two girls hanging up laundry on a clothesline, the setting is simple. The tones are breathtaking and the moment is timeless. I never thought it was possible for me to like this photo more. And then I read a poem by Joy Harjo that accompanied the photograph in the book, Pueblo Imagination (a fantastic book of some of Lee’s great New Mexico photos). This poem has haunted me from the moment I read it. It is so perfectly New Mexico, and yet the rythms of life bridge both time and location. Since reading this poem, I have trained my eye to look for those rythms.

In taking this photograph I was moved by the adobe melting back into the earth. I wondered at the lives that had lived in the dusty village of Guadalupe, NM. The bright days of harvest and happinness. Life. Beautiful colors. All of that history has melted and blown away in the fine sand of the Puerco valley. And now it is the dark, moody cycle of decay. It felt so dead. So final.

It is but a moment.

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