Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Scenes from a Journal

In the Plazuela de San Martín in Segovia, a stone fish spouts water into a fountain and a saxophone spouts low notes into an afternoon of geraniums and white-canopied tables on the side of a hill, and two little girls watch the woman I love sketching orange over a yellow heart, the fish that caught both of us in this tiny plazuela in Segovia.

The Mass is ending at Notre Dame. We found la Guadalupana here, resplendent in her own nicho with a jeweled crown on her head and candle offerings with her image stamped on the cup. She's the only Virgin we've seen with her own line of candles. This is how great Paris has been so far. Yesterday I proposed (again) on the Eiffel Tower and today we said vows of love and gratitude to each other during the mass at Notre Dame. Our wedding in California isn't until August, but it feels as though, in another lifetime, we must have sat in this cathedral before, perhaps married each other for the first time in this very spot, the nave filled with the smoke of incense and the voice of an angel singing blessings over our heads. I sit here writing and Alma draws another Virgin in watercolor hues.

8/24/08 (honeymooning in New Mexico)
Now we're at Chimayo where we came to film Marion Martinez for Alma's "Our Lady" DVD that we're going to include in our book. It's so green because of all the rain this summer, and the trees look younger than I've ever seen them, while the santuario looks older, more rickety and worn with age. I find the contrast amazing--the young, fertile trees, the dynamic energy of the water crashing through the acequia, and the old dilapidated church. There's a family of Mexicanos having a picnic out here under the cottonwoods and weeping willows. Mexicanos love their Sunday picnics in the park. A baby cries, a young boy calls out to someone in the parking lot, children laugh and play along the ditch. This is Llorona territory--the ditch, the flowing water, and the children playing too close to the stream. At dusk, la Llorona will come down from the red hill and see if anybody left a child here, or a memento of a child, a doll's head, a baby's shoe, a toy of some kind, and she will gather it up and carry it into the santuario to bless the lives of the children who played there that afternoon.