Friday, September 5, 2008

Churches & Saints

I have passed my time in the local spanish churches. I have hoped to find solace there. Instead I find myself mesmorized by the devotion and rituals of the Mexican people. I have at times in the past found peace, esp. in the churches throughout Mexico. There is normally a great sense of peace and love I feel, but not this time. Taxco is famous for it´s Zocalo Church- Santa Prisca. It has lavish carvings on the inside and out. The inside carvings are painted with gold. And it contains the most disturbing figures of Jesus with matted dreadlock wigs. It is VERY SCARRY. I watched as young and old visited during my time. Each praying to every figure in the church. I know they do this every day. I looked at the figures wondering how the Catholics came about praising souls long after they have left this world. I wondered where the soul of Mother Mary is now. I repeated my Hail Mary´s and Our Fathers´changing the words a little. I could not say ¨pray for us sinners¨especially. It sounded like such a degrading request. Like it was written so we do not forget we are sinners. I don´t think sinners are nice people. How can i feel good about the light of God shining in me and my brothers and sisters if we are all sinners?
For a brief moment I wondered should my grandmother be cast as a saint? I though of how she raised her family during hard times and devoted herself to her religion. I thought how she loved me despite the fact i never married Paul. I thought of all the love she had for all her extended family. 7 children, 20 grandchildren and more than forty great grandchildren and 2 great, great granchildren. She knew all thier names. But I don't think my grandmother is a saint in the church´s world, not even in my world.
My Dad once brought her to visit me in the Caribbean. I took her to my friend Lisa´s house. Lisa is married to an West Indian and has 4 children by him. My grandmother was polite. I remember Lisa had just cleaned her house and was talking how hard it was. She said to my grandmother-"you know", referring to the fact my Grandmother had kept a clean house with 7 children. My grandmother remarked-"oh, but I had 2 black women to help me." I thought maybe my grandmother gave up a bit of her prejudice feelings while visiting the island. That she saw the good in all. Year´s later when i visited her at home in Mississippi, she made a point to tell me how wrong she thought it was that my friend Lisa, married a black man. I still don´t think I was wrong I still beleive for a few moment while in a different place she forgot about black and white.

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