Thursday, November 08, 2012

Back in Chicago

Yes, there was a reason for my recent blog silence. Given the momentous week this has been for our country, you might think I would wax eloquent on civic matters. I will post some links tomorrow (God willing) to comments I think offer food for faithful thought, but for now, here's what was up with me:

I was in New Mexico for a few much anticipated days of vacation. The only technology I brought was my phone and a camera. Although I tried on day 2 to post something via the phone, it's just too cumbersome for more than tweeting (at least for my clumsy thumbs!). Besides, now I have stories (and pictures) galore to share. All I need now is...time!

Coronado ruins: site of a pueblo (Native village)
along the Rio Grande.
The trip was a treat from a friend who needed a companion for a trip she had long hoped to make. I was delighted that my superiors let me take this opportunity, especially because it meant spending a weekend in Albuquerque, where my good Ursuline friend Sr Sheila lives and works. I met Sister in 1991 when, as editor of My Friend magazine, I received a letter from her suggesting that I publish something in view of the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of the Americas, which was the Catholic take on the Columbus event. I had planned for something along those lines, and took advantage of Sr Sheila's letter to invite her to write the piece she had in mind. She wrote that and many other features for the magazine (which has now morphed into a component of the J-club Catholic bookfair program).

There are two towers the tram cars have to pass
through to complete the three mile trip to the peak.
Sister Sheila proved to be the consummate tour guide, picking us up from the airport and delivering us to the downtown hotel where our rooms had views of the Sandia Mountains. We visited the mountains the next day, taking the 3-mile aerial tram to get to the top. That was after the visit to the Coronado ruins, my introduction to American archaeology. We just approached the reconstructed "kiva" (underground ritual space) when the docent was giving a talk, so I climbed down the wood-and-rope ladder to learn more. The recreated space included wall paintings of the community's mythology of the four seasons combined with the four directions and the people's own history as a migratory tribe who settled into agriculture. You could tell which season was represented by the condition of the corn plant. And the all-important rain was easy to identify. (While we were there, in every Mass there was a prayer for rain to "quench the thirst of the ground.")

Tram workers at shift change have the option
of riding on top of the car 

Toward evening, we went to Old Town, the original city center of Albuquerque, with its plaza facing the Church of San Felipe. (We ducked into Church just as Mass was starting just to take a peek.) Since it was a Saturday and the day after the "Day of the Dead," there was an informal parade of people dressed in skeleton costumes.
It was something like an
encounter with the Addams Family
Some people went all out. The lady (on the left!) carried a
mask that had a mantilla that completely covered her head.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an interesting adventure for you and your friend. Did you always take heights so well?. My thoughts as I viewed the aerial sequence were of your youngest sister and her sensitivity to motion whether plane, train, or bumpy road. We always packed a "bag" for the inevitable. YUK