THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #214

The best part of learning is that it’s never over, you know, and when you start looking into one thing, you discover an entire world that should have been in your face the entire time.

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MEXICO CITY: Witches!

In tiny, packed hallways, shoppers crowded around small vendors. Each vendor sold a variation on a similar theme: witchcraft. Santa Muerte glowered down from every surface, that wonderfully evocative patroness of the lost and downtrodden. Since I booked my flight to Mexico, I have been deeply intrigued by this heretical icon. She is revered by many people in Mexico, but the Catholic Church has condemned her worship. She’s skeletal and terrifying and considerably menacing to some. Legend says she will appear in your dreams, answer your prayers with the right gifts, and bring death to your enemies. She’s charming. Santa Muerte is not a truly Catholic image, obviously, instead she is the perpetuation of ancient Aztec religious belief.

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THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #201

I felt like I was back in Paris. I felt like I was in 2009 again and Barack Obama was newly president. I felt like I was twirling tipsily in front of Notre Dame. I was in Métros and searching for clues about my grandmother’s life along the Côte d’Azur. And Patsy was there. And Eddie was there. And I was never so content.

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