in downtown santa fe, i spoke to a man wearing a bolo tie with a red clasp who had stunning cerulean eyes which were only matched for noticability by his thick white beard. he manned the entrance to one of santa fe’s hundreds of art galleries and recommended a mexican restaurant and the bookstore i’d gone to an hour before. he told me about a jealous man who threw away his briefcase with a decade’s worth of his writing work in it when he learned that i was a writing major and explained that what he liked about santa fe was the mix of cultures, the nearness of the outdoors, and the art scene when i asked. we talked about my weird hair and whether my old bosses liked it. they didn’t; he wasn’t surprised – we’re both from central illinois, so he gets it. he shook my hand and introduced himself as steven.
at mcdonalds, i listened to a group of men agree with the one among them who preached about god’s love and the attention he pays to small rescues and the burning that waits for some of us. i find myself unconvinced that those two ideas can coexist. next, he’s talking about hitler and his murders. there’s no segue. but i guess he didn’t need one because then he’s back to evangelism, although his audience seems already won. he talks about being stared at while he walks down the street, too. “have these people never seen a white man?” oh honey. oh darling. his audience isn’t white. i’m unsure of all things.
i was in two churches today, which is more than i’ve been in in the past year, if not three. i walked into the loretto chapel and nearly cried, facing a statue of christ whom i love. i would have cried, in fact, if other people hadn’t been in the room. it’s a beautiful church with a miracle staircase, said to have been built by a mysterious carpenter who just showed up to do the work when the sisters needed it done. the staircase doesn’t have the supports it should as it spirals to the second floor and yet it still spirals.
i’m…completely down to compare myself to a staircase, especially one in a building that moves me to tears.
the other church was less emotionally moving – or it was until i started walking around outside it. i wandered across a mosiac of the risen christ on the side of the building next door and was almost too stunned to actually look at it, so compelled was i to take as many pictures as possible to keep this sight with me. it was colorful and gorgeous and portrayed christ as a man of color, which is probably my favorite thing since he wasn’t, y’know, white. i hope that someday every portrayal of him as white gets stomped the fuck out.
(i love yeshua a whole lot you guys. my beautiful, radical, revolutionary, loving, take no shit god-on-earth. it feels like falling in love to get to craft and embrace and live my faith in the way that is true to the sound of god inside me. i tried to shake jesus but i just couldn’t and now he’s mine mine mine. and as the best bonus ever, this time i got mary magdalene, too.)
santa fe is very beautiful and very full of art. i can definitely appreciate why steven likes it here. the high altitude is kind of giving me a headache, but that’d pass given time. the view from this mcdonald’s is even good, a thing unheard of in my experience. i can see the mountains from here, situated just outside of Tourist Central, on the main drag through town: st. francis drive, named for the city’s patron saint. there’s a lot of catholicism here and a lot of budha and i even saw a really big ganesh statue. though i find myself particularly drawn to jesus, i, too, love this mix of cultures and religions. i live for the day when we’re all equally well-treated by this country and each other.