The Journey Getting There
Two inadvertent detours were made on our trip to Cabinetlandia. A couple of miles to the east of the dairy farm was a pool of water, a veritable oasis in the appalling heat, that at first glance had the appearance of black flamingos feeding at dusk, but were actually automobile tires. More animals could be seen at the Dairy Farm, one of the last signs of civilization before reaching Cabinetlandia. The Dairy Farm has all the markings of a Feed Lot in which the entire process of cramming hay into cows, to produce the requisite marbling in supermarket meat, was all too evident. As can be seen from the photograph, the housing of the veal-in-waiting baby cows is woefully inadequate, and the plaintive mooing from the separated mother confirmed this.
Observations of the County
Once we arrived at Cabinetlandia, we spent time touring, and realized that a flood, of Biblical proportions, had swept through the land. Much of the country seems to be a watercourse (suggested by the oasis of black flamingos a half-mile distant), Within the burial plot are small islands of raised tufts of plant matter that had the appearance of natural stools, but they may be the inadvertent remains of rushing waters. The flood has greatly compromised the Cabinetlandia Library installed last year. There are signs that the water came up into the archival quality plastic cases holding the back issues of Cabinet magazine, for they are all stuck together, and there is a tell-tale brown water line on each magazine. Cordelia, the long time Registrar at the Smithsonian's Museum of Design in New York, suggested that the individual plastic envelopes be turned upside-down so that any wastewater would drain quickly from the envelopes to prevent mildew accumulating.
Whilst the hope might have been that Cabinetlandia would be a super dry archive, akin to the Desert Boneyard at Tucson's Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, or even the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Depository, it seems that it is anything but that. Perhaps the priority for Cabinetlandia is to raise taxes to produce funds to have a full and complete geological survey, paying particular attention to the hydrography, so as to determine a plan of action to prevent further flooding. It would be prudent to begin raise the entire level of the country by at least three meters, or build a wall and install generators and pumping equipment for back up. On the other hand it may be that Cabinetlandia is a holyland and that recent flood needed to happen to flush away its former trials and tribulations (Gen 8:21), but I wouldn't count on it.
The Grave Yard
Unphased by the inclement geography, we set to work marking out a graveyard for the creatures of Cabinetlandia. Departing from biblical tradition, we decided that all living things, from homo sapiens to moths, would have an equal right to a decent burial. To this end a pair of spiral lines, formed from river stones from adjacent New Mexico (AKA The Land of Enchantment), was positioned on the ground to contrive a formal graveyard. One line of stones is made of angular red granite rocks and the other line is composed of smooth egg-shaped limestone boulders, a pallid representation of fire & water and life & death. Now that the cemetery is built, Cabinet Landians can send animal remains in a Jiffy Bag to: email@example.com who will give instructions for the commencement of the funeral arrangements. Cordelia will pass the remains to Beth Menczer, a Glenwood NM artist who has made a number of animal reincarnations with the ashes of her deceased friends (It's legal: see http://beth.menczer.com/). Beth will cremate the moth (etc.), mix the ashes in clay, and then make a re-substantiation that will perch upon a rock in the linked spirals. The 'monumettes', recalling the Flood, could be formally dedicated at an annual July 1st memorial service.
The Water Closet
Feeling an urge for a pee, we set about creating a water closet in the designated area of Cabinetlandia. A bas relief analog drawing of a toilet was laid out in the W/C zone at the end of the burial plot. It's a unisex toilet and we both used it. Once we had done our business, ants and flies immediately set to work to make use of our excrement. We realized that we had inadvertently designed a green toilet, that would be part of the integrated cycle at Cabinetlandia. We scoured the terrain for animal fumets and placed a quantity of horse shit in the toilet: the flies and ants soon got to work on these too, so it seems that they will make an adequate substitute for a conventional flushing system.
On our way back into Cordelia's home adjacent to the Gila Wilderness, we stopped nearby at the Faywood Hot Springs, a delightful place to swim in the desert, and where clothing is optional - as if Cabinet Lindians would need to be reminded.