Spirituality of Place: Chaco

— the shadow of the past cast into the present; an ancient indigenous culture of the Americas —

Art historian Karl Volkmar is travelling in the American Southwest, visiting ancient sacred sites of the indigenous Anasazi people He writes and photographs his experience of pilgrimage through these sites; the "shadow of the past cast into the present". Poetry and photographs by writer & explorer Karl F. Volkmar / June 2018 - with thanks

At the point where the path turns back back upon itself,

the carefully selected, shaped, and ordered stones,

iterating the dis-integrating geometry of the plan of Peñasco Blanco high on the rim of canyon,

disguise, protect the true substance of the wall,

the mixture of irregular natural stone and mud,

stone formed from the mud at the bottom of the primordial ocean of Pangaia,

mud created from eroded granules of stone mixed with the waters of the primordial ocean,

the apparent chaos that gives the wall its strength,

a symbiosis, a synergy of order and chaos eroding over time....

Is not the remains of the ancient, vanished culture

the shadow of the past cast into the present,

like the selfie shadow of the photographer,

captured in a photograph?


Peñasco Blanco ("White Bluff" in Spanish) is an archaeological site located in Chaco Canyon, of the Chacoan Ancestral Puebloan people... in what is now New Mexico.


See more of Karl's photos from these ancient sites on a previous post "The Pathway to Heaven paved with flowers". All photos by Karl F. Volkmar / June 2018 / via his Facebook page

- thank you, Karl!