Roadside Mary

Roadside Mary Tepotzlan One of the things I enjoy about living in Mexico is the plethora of Shrines. I am not a religious person, but I am a lover of myth, symbols, and ritual. Altars and shrines seduce me, like shoe stores enthrall others, (ok, I am very fond of shoe stores too).  I also appreciate Mexicans devotion to their personal female deity La virgin De Guadalupe. I know Catholics would dispute that they worship Mary as deity but I think it is impossible not to see Catholicism as more than just a little bit pagan and pantheistic.

I like to call the altars to Mary– Roadside Marys and as a holiday season celebration I will share some of my favorite Marys with you over the next few weeks.

The relationship of opposites is a theme in my search for meaning.  I explore these ponderings frequently in my art work. One of my favored motifs in this vein is the marriage of sacred and profane.

This Mary beautifully represents that idea; she graces our new gas station at the entrance of Tilzapotla. I admire her placement, hovering of the sump pump and mop bucket, and her utilitarian Styrofoam vases. Virgin at the Pemex

May we maintain our personal Sacred in the dust of our daily lives.

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Readers, I am thankful for your time.

Hour of Power

I can see myself as a child of four, kneeling before the glow of a large, faux cherrywood, console television. My hands are held before me in prayer and I have tears running down my cheeks, I am alone in the room. I remember being drawn to that spot, into that position, by an ardent baritone.

I can see the others who joined me that night in accepting Jesus Christ into my heart as my personal savior, filing down the aisles of an enormous sanctuary. I can feel the electric sensation I had, a sensation I believed was the Holy Spirit entering my body. My memory transports me to that place on the floor, where I felt united with hundreds of supplicants, as Billy Graham’s tender assurances washed over us. I was saved. I was forgiven. I was a child of God, and I would always be.

The image of my child self, rapt in front of a television, and the knowledge that this was the first significant spiritual moment of my life, is bizarre and sentimental to me as an adult. Even more curious is the anxiety I developed over the household debate about the validity of the once saved always saved doctrine. Continue reading