CORNER WINDOW by Jeff Hartzer
#024, December 2008
In June 2004, I wrote my first column for this paper called, The Poet’s Corner. We held a poetry contest and developed a series of poetry readings at the AirDance ArtSpace, held in a literal corner of the theater. I revised my concept for this column into Corner Window, when I realized that living in South Broadway and working in the South Valley gave me a metaphorical window looking out on both the city and the valley.
It occurs to me that if you very carefully close your window curtains, so that not even a speck of light comes in, the window itself is still there. After writing 32 Poet’s Corner articles and 24 Corner Window columns for the South Valley Ink, I am closing the curtains. It has been a good ride through Raven Country for me; hopefully, for readers as well. All 56 of my columns can still be seen online at www.CornerWindow.org.
One-time Albuquerque resident, James Douglas Morrison, perhaps most famously coined the term, “THE END,” in his song of the same name, which was used in the movie Apocalypse Now. December always marks the end of the harvest season and the year itself. This year many things have reached The End. As the first eight years of the New Millennium come to a close, our country is in a major flux on many levels. Nothing begins without something coming to the end.
The Bush administration is ending. The Iraq War may be closer to ending. Prosperity may be over for many. We’ll see. Some claim it is the end of newspapers. Pluto is definitely no longer a “planet.” The end of videotapes is here, but not of regular DVDs, no matter what anyone says about Blu-Ray or High Def. Could be the end of free TV. (Have you bought your DTV converter yet?) Zombies are out; vampires are in. Tis the end of Star Wars, but Star Trek is as "hip" as ever. Puppy mills are slowly ending, along with the #7 plastics, and it may be the end of our raging denials about global warming. We wish it was the end of DWI, poverty, hunger and crime, but ...
The South Valley is changing, too. With each acre of farm land turning into structures and concrete comes the end of Rio Bravo as we’ve known it. Years of improvements to Isleta Boulevard have ended. Intense growth of Mesa Del Sol is underway. The New Mexico Rail Runner will take us to Santa Fe and back this month. The end of wide open mesas and fields of alfalfa may mark the end of burrowing owls and all that room for migrating sandhill cranes. Is it the end of a rural agrarian life? We hope not.
In the Chinese Zodiac, January 25th marks the end of the Year of the Rat and the coming of the Year of the Ox. An ancient Chinese proverb states, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Here’s a toast to our first baby steps in the new year. May our endings give birth to beginnings. Happy trails to you and yours.
Jeff Hartzer © 2008