Friday, September 11, 2009

old man gloom

At this time of the year, the idea of piling all one's negative and gloomy thoughts together and burning them up in one great pyrotechnic flourish is a great idea. This is what happens at the burning of Zozobra, or Old Man Gloom, who gets burned in all his 50' high effigy, surrounded in fireworks, chanted into destruction by people going Burn him! Burn him! Burn him! in Santa Fe the weekend after Labor Day, as part of the Fiestas de Santa Fe (lots of mariachi bands this year, since it's Santa Fe's 400th birthday). He went up in flames last night.

Unfortunately, it's far too dank and wet and - well, gloomy - to attempt anything like that here in NJ, and this is the nearest thing to live flames tonight on our dinner table. The emergence of the dinner table (yes! it was still there!) from under piles and piles of books from LA, and many Displaced Objects (a color photo printer I rarely use; a china lamp shaped like a cockatoo; a tray full of miscellaneous nails and screws and possibly live, possibly used batteries) is a matter for celebration in itself, and indeed, an act of banishing negative thoughts - at least the kind that pertain to the unpacking of large cardboard boxes. Hence, not just dinner-by-candlelight, but the somewhat Japanese effect of the chrysanthemums in the background - a far cry from 20,000+ people crammed into Fort Marcy Park, baying for the blood of the gloomy giant. I really plan on witnessing this, some time...

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