Friday, May 11, 2012

Home Away From Home

Finger Rock Trail Head

After TorC, we spent six hours driving to Tucson for a quick visit with a dear friend and fellow writer, Monica Friedman. There's not much between TorC and Tucson, except for some land and some tourist traps, namely "The Thing? Mystery of the Desert," which M was very intent on seeing. Having been a passive victim of the roadside tourist trap more than once on this trip -- this is a girl that can not turn down the Americana spiced delights of every Cherokee Trading Post in the nation -- I would not deny M "The Thing? Mystery of the Desert."

"The Thing? Mystery of the Desert " just to spoil it for you, is the mummy of a "cowboy?" housed in a "museum?" attached to a gas station in Benson, AZ. It exists in the same building as a car that might have belonged to Hitler as well as some torture porn created by artist Ralph Gallagher. It was only $1 to see, and M paid for it. Also, the gas station was full of the requisite tourist swag I just cannot get enough of, so all in all it was a win for everyone.

Follow these footsteps to "The Thing? Mystery of the Desert."

Anyone who knows me also knows that Tucson, AZ feels like my second home. We weren't there even a full day, just long enough to climb briefly up the Finger Rock Trail head, eat some Sonoran food, catch up and visit the mission of San Xavier del Bac.

St. Xavier Mission

I make a pilgrimage here once or twice a year to get all spiritual and stuff. It's one of my favorite places in the world, and if I have any money when I die, I want to leave it to the Mission San Xavier del Bac for restoration and upkeep of the grounds and art.

St. Xavier covered in milagros

After visiting with St. Xavier, M and I bought candles and lit them in a quiet space outside at the back of the Mission. I kept thinking about all of the milagros, photos, hospital wristbands and notes pinned to St. Xavier. All the things I want in life at the moment are pretty selfish, and I'm lucky that the things I want are exactly what they are. For what it's worth, when I lit the candle, I asked whatever exists out there in the cosmos to pay attention and give all those people the miracles they are looking for.

We climbed up to the grotto above the Mission. Looking at all of the milagros and intentions and tokens left behind, I couldn't help but think of the cemetery in New Orleans and all of the requests and tokens left at the grave of Marie Laveau.

I wonder what they asked for?
Wherever you go, people aren't so different after all.

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