My, it's been a long hiatus, and an unannounced one at that. It's death for a new blog not to post frequently, but perhaps the blog is so new, and my readership as yet undeveloped, that I can regain my footing here with few being the wiser. I've been on vacation: an extended roadtrip with my lover before he begins an intense one-year graduate program that will take him away from home during the week. We drove over 4500 miles, as far south as Amarillo, as far west as Santa Fe, and as far north again as Milwaukee. Along the way we visited Adonis's mom in Oklahoma City, dear friends in Denver, and more dear friends, including our goddess-child, who is 18 months, in Milwaukee (I call myself his fairy godmother). Adonis and I both had our first experience of New Mexico, which we loved. And we saw a lot of the U.S. appearing profoundly Christianized, or evangelicalized. It's frightening. When we got to Boulder, we were able to pick up a bumpersticker: Abortion: A woman's right to choose. We don't feel the need to advertise our fanatically pro-choice views where we live; everyone knows us, anyway, and most agree. But driving through the Middle West and West, we were desperate to voice dissent. And that was before Justice O'Conner announced her retirement - a blow we didn't anticipate.
In New Mexico I collected Mexican folk art. I've always loved the skeletons for El Dia de los Muertos. (I love the holiday, too; it's good to acknowledge death as an integral part of life and to keep our beloved dead among us.) I'm drawn to Frida Kahlo iconography. And, of course, I dig the more pagany aspects of Catholicism (not having been raised Catholic myself). So I bought milagros and icons - Mary as the Queen of Heaven, a shrine for Frida, a woman's torso pressed in tin to bring good health. Adonis bought an icon of the black Madonna for himself, not knowing the content of the book I was reading at the time, The Secret Life of Bees, which tells the story of a black Madonna and a family of women in the South circa 1964. (Nearly all the women I met along my trip had read the book already, but if you haven't, allow me to highly recommend it - the first novel by Sue Monk Kidd, who wrote The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, a memoir of her journey from conservative Christianity to the divine feminine.)