Thursday, April 07, 2005

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Taos, The Dark Side

It’s distressing to write about the darker side of Taos: the murder rate among younger people, high school non-graduation rates especially Native Americans, domestic abuse, an epidemic of diabetes, tensions and hostilities between the various cultural groups that make up Northern New Mexico, a school system struggling to measure up, and difficulties transitioning from rule by los primos to a transparent and representative government.

For some, the dark side drives them away. For so many more, we live surrounded by beauty in a truly remarkable community.

The Newer Taosenos

So many of the people drawn to Taos are multi-faceted: professional singer turned healer, satellite dish installer who is a sculptor, plumber who is a skilled flint napper, builder who is an advanced ski instructor, Chicago lawyer doing animal husbandry. What people do to earn a living tells you less about the person than in other parts of the country where we’ve lived. Some gatherings are the Upper West Side in the mountains. Taos is a truly remarkable reservoir of talent and knowledge, home grown and more recent arrivals.