I've been thinking about The Great North Road off and on for about sixteen years.
In the Northwestern part of New Mexico, not far from where I went to college, lies a dry, beautiful red-tinged landscape of mesas and valleys. In this part of the world is an old, old road, constructed around 1,000 AD. It goes north from Chaco Canyon. It's a wide road, as wide as a two lane highway at least, even though the people who built it, the Chaco people, didn't use carts or anything that would warrant a wide road. It also has, in parts, perfectly parallel roads alongside it. In places where it was too steep for a road, when a bluff was in the way of due north, they carved steps into the sides of cliffs. The road had to be north. It could not vary from its course.
There weren't really any big towns along the Great North Road. It was a road that didn't go anywhere.
Or did it?
That's what I've been thinking about. Where did it really lead? Why did they build it?
A lot of people say that Heaven, for the Chaco people, was a place on Earth, just up north a bit. They had to build a road. It was important.
Also, I think about this: Why do people do anything, really?
The Great North Road is a symbol for That Which Cannot Be Explained.
Although there are legends...
...of people who returned from the dead once in a while to visit their relatives, and eat some of their food, and then they took the long North Road back home again.
Read it all here.