From Thursday, October 15th, 2020…
As I was returning home from taking my daughter to school this morning, I tuned in to one of my local radio stations, KSFR Radio, to catch up on a little of the happenings around town. The usual discussions around 8:30am or so generally give me a sense of what I could be looking at in one of the local newspapers, the Santa Fe New Mexican.
For a few years now New Mexico has recognized Christopher Columbus Day as ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ with the aim of correcting many wrongs that have been cast on indigenous people in this state, as well as being observed in many other states across this country. I had been aware that there would have been an observation of this day perhaps taking place on the plaza, as has been done in the years gone by, it was to my surprise the reporter on KSFR to announce that an obelisk that commemorates the plaza had been toppled. I told myself that on my bicycle commute into the shop I would make a detour and visit the scene.
Quietness crept through the air along some along some animated discussions as I approached the plaza from a main road leading into it, much of the subdued atmosphere due to COVID-19 and folks staying home. I could also guess that part of the somewhat silence was what residents and visitors alike were witnessing, the nonexistence of the obelisk as it had been knocked down.
My intentions during my visit there were whole, wanting just to say a prayer and lend my mind to the energy here at the Santa Fe Plaza. I am sure this space has bared witness to many situations in the years gone by, but I can only relate to what I have seen since October 2001, my arrival to the Land of Enchantment.
While there will be much pointing by many fingers as to who is responsible, why was it not protected, why was it up there for the longest time with its inscriptions in the first place, perhaps the folks who erected such a monument would have known that such a day would arrive.
Residents and visitors who come to the plaza, take time and converse with a stranger on one of the benches, relax and enjoy a meal on one of the many restaurants that surround the plaza, enjoy a snack from one of the many street vendors, one may wander over to such a monument as an obelisk and read what is on it. When such an inscription is on at the capital of the New Mexico, describing its inception with harmful words to picture a people who occupy a space just beyond it selling there wears, one may ask the question, “Is this how the oldest capital in this country commemorates its plaza founding…?”.
I would urge folks to do a little research into the inscription on the now defunct Santa Fe Plaza Obelisk as I would not like to transpose them onto this webpage as this goes in to the ethers of the interweb. These are just a few thoughts that I had upon leaving the plaza on my way to work, wondering what the future holds for such an enigmatic and enduring landscape in the southwest, the place I now call home. A place that has been kind and generous throughout these years, certainly not a reflection of the words chiseled on the