On the Way to WorkRichard Soberpaintings

Chopin in Taos

Behind me an elderly woman smooth-talked Chopin on her shiny piano. Her faux golden hair, her absent-minded smile. The Nocturnes glowed in the half-lit room. The woman’s translucent hands seemed disembodied from the enthralled look on her face. I was facing west behind a window of the Taos Country Club. A solitary golfer in a blue windbreaker puttered on the green. I watched rain trying to fall near the Jemez. The sky was purple, green, turquoise, blue, orange. A huge violet cloud moved just above the horizon like an alien spaceship. What a sad place. All this money, all this bad art, no one listening to the crazed woman, the golfer oblivious to the wild sunset. The Rio Grande gorge a few miles away, some people thinking they had escaped a world they couldn’t live in. We manufacture our loneliness if we feel we’ve left it too far behind. James turned to me and said, this isn’t really Taos. I said, sure it is, just another part of it. As I pulled out of town my words were swallowed by the road ahead of me.

RS 2006

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