Monday, November 9, 2009


"In Colorado's Paradox Valley there lies a quiet, almost secret, little town [. . .] The small town of Paradox is home to about 250 people. Among this surprisingly diverse group of individuals you will find ranchers, small business owners, artists, farmers, skilled crafters, school teachers, musicians and at least one industrial software designer.

If this list went on it would help to illustrate how our community is both alternative and conventional, conservative yet liberal, intimate yet connected to a modern global society - perhaps even dreamy, but down to earth and simple in a way that is quite humble and very real."

"How quaint the ways of paradox, at common sense she gaily mocks" - Gilbert and Sullivan

In southwestern Colorado, Rob and I stopped in Paradox for a sandwich.

Nothing was open save the Paradox Post Office (81429). From the parking lot there ("the only paved parking lot in Paradox"), I looked out onto an expansive valley (The Paradox Valley) toward a plateau that never seemed to end.

I tried to conjure contradictory thoughts; a dog walked by me with a purpose.

(Click to enlarge. Credit: David Wanczyk/By-ron Photos)

The light was fine in midday Paradox, itself a neighbor of Bedrock. We took photos.

Two boys who should have been in school (Paradox High, home of the Mustangs?) rode by us on a golf cart. This sentence is false.

We went to the antique shop. The town is an antique shop. The town is unincorporated. The town is not a town. The antique-shop town, which is not a town, but is an antique shop, has an antique shop that's out-of-business. The owner moved out of non-town.

(Click to enlarge. Credit: Rob Strong/ Chiron Photos.)

A paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox. Ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, a paradox!

We walked around a nicely-painted red church that had a broken clock (right twice a day). Theism is the belief in one God. Deism is the belief in God, the clockmaker. Dialetheism is the belief in true contradictions. In Paradox, God's house was brand new and ancient.

This sentence is true.

Rob tried to put Paradox into his GPS, couldn't find the roads. If you need to get to Paradox, you can't get to Paradox. But there we were.

Later, both in and out of Paradox, dreamy and down-to-earth, I climbed a crumbling rock-face and lightly twisted my ankle. On the border of Colorado and Utah, in a state of statelessness, I still wanted a sandwich, which, according to another friend of mine, is all anyone really wants.

This statement is true yet false. But, nonetheless, I'm about to eat one.


Rob Strong said...

It wasn't just that the GPS couldn't find the town; when I was physically in the town, none of the roads were in the device's vast databank. It just depicted our avatar, a blue arrowhead, wandering in the desert, with a desperate dotted line reaching to the nearest thoroughfare in its inventory, some mile distant. I mean, I can understand dropping little one-way streets or dirt alleys here and there, but this was an entire town, with a post office! None of it known to the robot navigator.

Joe said...

The best things in life are splendidly paradoxical. Exhibit A: the Grouper Reuben.

Sonja Strong said...

Bad, but very good. Inane, but very thoughtful. Pardon me, but thank you!