Happy Awkward Easter!

Because you didn’t ask, I decided to provide a blast from the past.

Easter, April 8, 1976 from our backyard in Albuquerque:

I’m only sorry I had to drag my siblings into this.

I’m the shortest one. You know, the one with a deathgrip on my Easter basket.

Man, I loved that dress. It had a sash and everything.

We’d been to Easter Mass that morning.

Mom had sung “Jeeeesus Chriiiiist is riiiiiisen todaaaaaay!” loudly along with the congregation and the church organ (man, she loved that song. Something about all the allelujahs.)

Ham was in the oven and the backyard Easter egg hunt was soon to begin.

I always did love Easter. A new dress. New white sandals. A basket full of candy. Yeah baby!

Anyhow, Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!


Oh, also, because no one asked, on the next page of that same photo album….

Here’s what the 1976 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta looked like:

Seriously old school

Technologically speaking, I seem to be regressing.

Been using my high end Canon camera with all the whizz bang features and fancy lenses for a while.

And then I go and buy some cheapie plastic cameras and start having fun with 35mm film again.

This weekend I went one step farther back to luddite-ville. I went to Cyanotype. Known to the real world as Sunlight Prints.

Billed as a toy for kids, I’m having a heck of a lot of fun. I bought a kit off a sale table at Barnes & Noble a while back and used up (and ruined most of) the paper. Then I bought a paper refill at a toy store and kept trying. My technique is improving.

The whole thing is a chemical process kicked off by ultraviolet light from the sun.

So you get this light blue piece of paper with the right stuff chemical on it, compose your arrangement of items (in the shade), expose to the sun, then rinse it off with water and voila!

This is the same stuff that original blueprints were made from.

I guess Cyanotype isn’t so out of style, though, because in one of the buildings where I work, they have a huge art installation of sunlight prints on slabs of wood showing a variety of ferns. It’s gorgeous! Maybe I should peddle my prints for a buck to the powers that be at work, eh? *grin*

Anyhow, here I am, rocking it 1842 style! With a little help from a blooming rose bush in my front yard and a sunny April Saturday afternoon.

(These scans don’t do the Prussian blue any sort of justice. Also, where you see a double image, that’s because the wind was blowing my compositions around….)


: slurp, smack, much, bite, slurp, smack, smack :

Happy Easter, ya’ll

Oh, Happy First Day of Spring too!

Well whaddya know?!?

My favorite source of material to lambaste has managed to write herself a decent article in today’s ABQjournal. Ms. Polly Summar wrote a nice (and for her, shockingly respectful) article regarding the Penitentes who worship in their particular ways during this Holy Week leading up to Easter. Some folks make treks to places like Santuario de Chimayo. Others worship in their moradas as they remember the origin of the Easter holiday.

It is an annual tradition dating back centuries. I remember as a kid listening to the newscasts each year telling about the people making the long trek to Chimayo, sometimes flagellating themselves or inflicting other self-pain. It is a long Catholic tradition with some renewed interest since the popular success of both the book and the movie “The DaVinci Code”.

I refuse to get into any religious discussions here because I feel every person needs to figure out for themselves what they believe and how to be ok with that. What I’m here to talk about is a New Mexico tradition that has memory and meaning for me.

I was pleased to see yesterday that the state has taken steps to make those that travel on the highways and roads a bit more safe (for both pilgrim and general traveler). I know in past years there’s been tribulations around this on both sides. Here’s to a workable solution.

Hearing of the New Mexico Penitentes puts me into the Easter spirit. It’s how I know the holiday is nigh. It’s been years since I attended Mass, but Easter to my memory was always a nice day. Not only did they throw the dark purple cloaks off the statues at church but we all got to get back whatever we gave up for Lent…which usually makes folks glad.

Then there was the singing of joyous songs. My mom particularly loved “Jesus Christ is Risen Today”(mind your volume if you click that link) and sang it in full voice all day long.

The aaaaaaahhhhhleeeeeeeluuuuuuujahs really got to her…and to me after several hours…..she loved them almost as much as the In Excelcius Deo’s from Christmas.

The weather in New Mexico was usually wonderful so it was great to be out in the sun. My mom always got both my sister and I a new dress to wear to Mass. Usually new white shoes too. My mom was, of course, a traditionalist, and so no white shoes and no sandals before Easter, so breaking out the white sandals was a new sense of freedom. Toes got to come OUT in the flip flops! Summer was near! My birthday was less than a month away! And I got to wear a new dress!

AND THERE WAS CANDY! And eggs hidden in the backyard. Easter is usually pretty good memories for me, and that’s saying a lot. I think as the years go by, I’ll hang on to the good memories like Easter. Seems healthier that way.

So this year, however you choose to enjoy your holiday, either by meditating, worshipping in your own way or eating ham with potato salad that looks like you dropped confetti in it from the colored eggs, do please have a safe and wondrous day (especially YOU, Polly).