Columns » Penny Post by Andrei Codrescu

Santa Fe, New Mexico


The Saturday Religion section of the Santa Fe New Mexican listed the local church news and Thanksgiving services around town, some of which are: 'Tibetan Monks plan Thanksgiving Service," a presentation at the New Mexico School for the Deaf whereby the monks will create a sand mandala and demolish it after offering a special blessing (they also offer to bless houses and animals afterward, including 'the prairie dogs at Frenchy's Field Park"); a New Zen meeting, which is a gentler version of the harsh old Zen, where the master whopped you with a stick if you spaced out; an event to celebrate the return of Lama Do Ngak Choling, who would be preaching on 'The Three Statements of Garab Dorje"; a meeting of Kabbalah Groups that welcomes everyone, including beginners interested in 'esoteric, mesoteric and exoteric levels of mankind"; an Eckancar ('the Religion of the Light and Sound of God") Sunday Service, where Judy Graham will discuss 'Dancing to the Rhythm of Life"; a Sunday meditation service at the Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living; a Yule service (rushing things a bit, aren't we?) at 'Our Lady of the Woods," which will be held at the Unitarian Church in Los Alamos (in case you're wondering, 'Our Lady of the Woods" is 'a church and coven of the Wiccan faith serving Los Alamos, Santa Fe and the Northern Espanola Valley," and it is 'led by Mist, the high priestess); Krishna Das in concert; and a Unitarian 'intergenerational Sunday involving "ethnic bread,' where there will be discussions of "heritage and sharing stories.'" Before you start thinking that Santa Fe is all New Age, please note that the traditional religions are also well represented: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will hold a Sacrament Meeting; Zia United Methodist Church will offer Communion and Fellowship with ASL and Spanish translators available on request, and the Reverend Mother Carol Calvert will preside over Sunday service at the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch-Malabar Rite, speaking on the subject of 'Is the End Near?" Oops. This last announcement also carries the following proviso: 'The church combines the beauty of ancient ritual with progressive dialogue. It is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church." Well, OK.

In the lobby of the beautiful Inn on Los Alamos, an intense woman wearing a multi-culturally colorful garment was typing intently on her laptop. I was waiting for my airport shuttle and I idled the time by writing in the guest book, 'This place is a good refuge from the bees of discontent." A man came up to the typing woman and said that one of their group had been stung by a bee in the eye and his eyeglasses had flown off his face. The stung man himself appeared a few moments later holding an ice-filled towelette over the eye. 'Don't worry," he said, 'I'll be OK. I was stung in the same place by a hornet last summer."

Nobody worried. Help was near, but I felt guilty. Don't ask why.

Andrei Codrescu's latest book is New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writing From the City (Algonquin Books).

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