Good luck for the home? Do we think of protecting our spaces? Episcopalian priests can do a house blessing, going from room to room to ask for protection and blessing each living area. This art piece is a hand-made piece of art from Peru, meant to be a house blessing. Charming? It is a charm, using symbolism to represent ideas. Flowers for fertility, a cross symbol for the four directions and heavenly blessing, three representing the idea of trinity, a rooster for protection and a heart for love.
A bird nesting by the front entry to a home is supposed to be good luck and bring happiness as well, or so I've been told when I was trying to keep birds from nesting on our porch in Atlanta in the light fixtures. An immigrant from Mexico thought that I should want to keep the nests there and just change my thinking of them from nuisances to good luck indicators. Now we have two separate nests right above our door in Santa Fe.
The idea of protecting our homes is a pulsating idea that crosses many cultures. Think of wreaths and what they symbolize. Many people put wreaths on the door for decoration, not understanding the symbolism but the symbol of the wreath is more for life, the circle of life, rather than a token of luck. The Romans used the wreath as a symbol of pride; the women wore them as symbols of fertility.
The idea of a house blessing as a token is in the sense and symbolism of milagros, physical expressions of hopes for divine intercession, which are amulets and reminders for luck and protection. It can be compared to somewhat to the idea of milagros in the Hispanic culture and the nazar (the evil eye symbol) in Turkey and the Hamsa hand used by Jews and Muslims. As a class, they are called "apotropaic" (Greek for "prophylactic" or "protective", literally: "turns away") talismans, meaning that they turn away or turn back harm.
Not that you needed to know all of this but Americans, in general, haven't used tokens of divine protection for houses. Maybe sayings like "Bless this Mess" are more typical? Now that the Hispanic population through immigration is becoming more influential, perhaps these charms will make a resurgence in our cultural mash-ups. I've seen the cultural creep from South to North in Texas, New Mexico and somewhat in Atlanta....
Today is the my daughter's six month wedding anniversary. After taking a whirl on the dance floor with her new husband, to the song, "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You," she danced with her father to "The Girl Just Loves to Dance." I'm so sappy happy. Ah, to Romance, Love and Celebration!
Michael Hearne, out of Taos, played this song at our event*:
*note: At the time we were in NYC and trying to choose the band for the reception, nothing was up on YouTube. I was excited then, only after the wedding, to find videos of this wonderful musician up.
He played this song at our daughter's wedding and I bet this video is probably one someone took at his annual Barn Dance Weekend in Taos, at the end of last summer. At the wedding he had his band, South by Southwest playing.
A baby gibbon clutches its mother - an award-winning photo by Kim Botelho for National Geographic. Penguins and kangaroos keep their little ones close for quite awhile. Do you think monkies would ever adapt to infant carriers or high chair contraptions?
Instead, we make things that keep kids feeling motion (swings or bouncy chairs),
or use things like the Zaky pillow that gives life-like human hands to make the baby feel secure and will even smell like mom (photo, right).
Disembodied babies. Motherly love at a distance. A very American cultural idea, it seems to me...
Miss Cellania is writing now for the mental_floss blog on occasion and her article on Reindeers caught my eye because I remember reading this book by Robert L. May as a child. I dislike commercialism, but like the study of advertising. Because Santa Claus was actually a real Bishop, I enjoy taht particular tradition. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer was a marketing ploy for Montgomery Wards. Part of our Christmas decorations include old family Christmas books. My children, in order to be able to open one gift on Christmas Eve, had to recite "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
At the 40 year-0ld Santa Fe Farmer's Market, I pick up two chile ristras. The smell of roasting Hatch and Chimayo green chiles fills the air, which is now cool with the change of seasons, and 100 vendors are set up. The crowd is strong.
NYC's Green Market at Union Square and eating NYC rooftop honey was the closest I got in Manhattan to trying to buy and cook local. This week's September issue of the New Yorker has a good article by Adam Gopnik about eating local in New York. It would take a guy who experienced the ways of French eating and cooking to sniff out and cook up a how-to story on this. To bad I've left NYC and am reading his article now.
One of the best things about Northern New Mexico is the local produce. Last weekend the farm tour was held. I carry my breakfast green chile and egg burrito around as I shop, basket over one arm, dahlias in my hand.
Blue garter? Forget it. Honi soit qui mal y pense (shame upon him who thinks evil of it) as they say in the Order of the Garter. The bride will not be wearing a blue garter. This is not about being a Lady of the Garter.
We've decided: she will borrow one of my (new with a touch of blue) hankies, left, that I found on Madison Avenue just for this purpose. We moms have a sense of knowing. I think my daughter is a pretty good judge of what traditions to keep, what ones to toss and I knew, I just knew, that she might figuratively want to toss that garter idea...out now. The hankie will be passed to her sister or daughter, or neice, or whomever, whenever. Tada. A new tradition all our own.
Deciding what to keep, what to toss, what to make our own... you've been there, right?
New is easy, isn't it, it our disposable society? New for the bride - simple. Old is the meaningful part.
My grandmother's pearls have always been promised to her, my oldest daughter, to wear on her wedding day and to have and to hold wear from that day forward and to be hers to hand down. Heirlooms. Those old things. This treasure, these pearls.
Just before she died, my beloved grandmother gave her pearls to me, as she had promised. I wore them to her funeral. She'll be smiling to know that she remains connected to her first great grand-child that she knew and loved.
Pearls of the generations. Something old, renewed.
These are the best of times and the worst of times and this is a blog post, not a novel. Goodbye to my friend who helped me play in NYC, laugh and have fun while preparing to transition out. I think I'm gonna cry from appreciation. We need our times with our friends, we do, we do. What a Godsend. Friends to share the stuff of life. And moving is all about stuff.
Not pictured: the paper flying, the boxing, the chaos. Us corporate wives, we knows how it goes. Pardon the botchisms. I'm a leeetle stresssssssed. Pequeno stressado. Pequito stressito. No amo esta, la movada. Sabe? Everything gets all mixed up and sometimes broken, even my language in thinking about it.