Monday, May 11, 2009

Santa Fe 3.6.03: Postmodern Santos and Sneaky Coyotes

Kate’s graduation day. I’ve written nothing for a few days because I feel emotionally turbulent. Being in the car with six other people driving to Santa Fe and with five back (Luke flew on Sunday to New Orleans); the two younger boys complaining and sassing as we drove back; simply making conversation and interacting with all these strong and needful personalities: each human contact is like an electric charge that takes power from me.

Santa Fe itself was that way—electric charge and discharge. Not the touristy, kitschy Santa Fe of guidebooks and that oxymoron, art businesses. But the Santa Fe of artists and seekers and that high, arid, dolorous Spanish Catholicism underneath it all: it pulls . . . .

At the flea market on Saturday, a Corsican artist, flaming short red hair, kept looking at me intensely, uncomfortably. I wandered into her booth, not knowing it was hers. Her male partner began to show me her sneaky coyote series. What interested me instead were her icons, which take the santos tradition and ring changes on it that both cheek it and keep it alive in a new and reverent form.

As I looked, she came up and began talking. We talked about the icons and she seemed dumbfounded I got them—observed to her partner that no one else seemed to do so. Maybe she tells all the boys this to make them buy, but . . . .

What was interesting was, she seemed to home right in on people’s true nature. She looked at Patrick and said, “This one is full of fire and passion. He needs to be a soldier to use all that energy.” And Colin: “This one is sharp. He see both sides. He’s a diplomat. Send that one to the army and this one to be a diplomat who will stop the war.”

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