“EVENING”, 10″ x 10″, 2000, m/m

Santa Fe is a pagan place.

Last night was a celebration called ZOZOBRA which marks the beginning of FIESTA for our Hispanic population.

Historically speaking, this land was under the guardianship of the Spanish until the Native Americans got pissed off at the inequity of it all.

Some brave Indian warriors fought the fight in 1692 and it was called the PUEBLO REVOLT.

They took back the city from the Spanish.

Those guys held their ground until 1712 when the Spanish came back w/ canons a’ blazin’ and took the city for their own.

FIESTA celebrates that very changing of the guard.

The celebration of ZOZOBRA is the kick-off event and it happens at night.

Imagine a 50′ marionette stuffed with straw being lit on fire with wild dancers gyrating while a crowd of thousands yells: “BURN HIM!!!!!”

The twisting and turning burning thing represents gloom. OLD MAN GLOOM is his name today.

He used to be called “The Growler” because he makes sick groaning noises as he meets his demise.

The idea is for all the onlookers to give all their gloom, hardship and bad stuff to him and he takes it all down..

(I was not there, in case you were wondering..)

The whole thing is frightening, if you ask me.

But we all need some kind of ritual to make a mark in time.

A place to leave our cares on the doorstep and walk away.

I have talked about my secret (sort of) river that calls me when I have too much confusion in me or my thoughts are too heavy for my shoulders alone.

I go there and I give what I’m ill-equipped to carry to the river.

It is so accepting and patient and seems to have an endless capacity to hold what I can’t.

After all.. I’m just a woman out here trying her best to take up space on the planet in ways that open her heart and others.

It’s no small job, I tell you.

And I can’t / don’t want to do it alone.

And so I get help when I need it.

Do what I need to do to remain a fairly functional part of our human community.

The key here, I think, is knowing we can’t do this life-thing alone.

To know when something is too much to bear and get some help with the weight.

I guess that writhing effigy in the Santa Fe night provides that service for many who don’t even know they need him.


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