Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico is an extraordinary place; it contains the distilled remains of an entire civilization which ceased to exist about 700 years ago. There are many obvious reasons and rewards for visiting Chaco.
One of the things I find interesting and enjoyable about Chaco is the opportunity it provides to play with the idea of Time. The pictures and words which follow this page are partly about that idea. My intent with them is, first, to show a small sample of what exisits on the ground at the canyon in regard to natural features and cultural remains. The other part is to convey a state of mind that the place creates for me and, I am sure, for many others as well.
My proposition is that our conceptualization of Time and Space is a cultural construct which has developed and evolved over time. We do not live our lives by the rules of physicists, astronomers or mathematicians, but rather by patterns of thought that have been instilled by tradition. Because of the time that has elapsed since Chaco flourished and the great differences in how we go about our daily lives compared to that time in the past, I think there can be little doubt that the Chacoan ideas of Time and Space and the place of those people in it were very different from our own.
In constructing the following pages I have tried to put together pieces of the past and the present side by side to illuminate some of the differences between the distant past and the present. I do not pretend to understand the essence of the Chacoan concept of Time, but I hope that the contrasts between the magnificent cultural remains and the banalities of present-day life portrayed will at least hint at the possibilities.
The photos and text first presented on each page provide my impressions of what I experienced at Chaco. Clicking on an image will bring up a text box which provides some additional context for what is pictured.