Next week at this time, I should be here among these great cities. Once I marched up the pyramids in Chicken Itza, the Mayan ruins in Mexico.
That visit in Mexico led to an even bigger adventure when I wrote and produced the fifteen chapter Public Radio drama, The Curse of the Red Jaguar. A writer never knows when a person, place or thing will inspire them. Maybe it will be the Anasazi people.
Chaco, a National Park, is located in a very remote area of northern New Mexico near what is called “Four Corners.” A rough dirt road leads into this immense area in efforts to keep people from illegally digging for artifacts. The sole campground offers dry camping, no water or electric available.
There appears to be a spiritual quietness here, a special place where earth and sky touch. Like Mayans they tracked celestial events like the moon’s l8.6 year orbit and the sun’s winter and summer solstices.
There are many who have written stories of about this place:
Stephen Allen Brown, 2006, Shadows of Chaco Canyon, gives his version of this heritage site.
Kathleen and Michael Greer, People of the Silence, 1996. A girl flees her village after a dying Anasazi chief orders she be found and killed. The Greers, who are archaeologists, have written many others. The Visitant, l999, blends the past and present as archeologists uncover a mass grave, while a killer stalks victims in both times.
Others, too, like Barbara Wood and Daughter of the sun, is a tale of an Anasazi woman captured by Toltec raiders and gives a possible answer to why the Anasazi abandoned Chaco Canyon. Ardith Mayhor, tells a story of a young Anasazi man. Judith Redmann Robbins, Coyote Woman, a coming of age story of an Anasazi girl. Linda Lay Shuler, She Who Remembers, is about a woman of the Anasazi.
I promise to take pictures. Will you be waiting?