Thursday, June 25, 2015

Baby Jesus Weighed nearly 300 Pounds

Christmas in Santa Fe is big kind of thing. I mean, tourists. And Tradition. And the tradition means farolitos and luminarias, biscochitos and hot drinks all over the rich east side on Christmas Eve. Canyon Road not surprisingly has tried to become the epicenter of all things that might make money from tourists. It also gives a wonderful show to the locals, too. Farolitos were at first little bonfires to light the way for the Holy Family. After the Anglos came to trade along the Santa Fe Trail, little paper bags weighed with sand and lighted with small candles got added to the mix, making beautifully lighted paths all over the waiting Royal City.

One Christmas the Bad Boys were part of the mix. One of the foo-fooiest of all galleries invited us to do something for Christmas Eve on Canyon Road. Faerie lights, as it were. We enacted a live nativity play in the garden of Nedra Matteucci's. It wasn't a fund raiser for anything, it was just a lark. Of course we made costumes. We merged Luke and Matthew's librettos, so we had angels and shepherds and wise men. Four wise men, one for each of the directions, one for each of the creatures in Ezekiel. I was the wise man of the north. The sheep had the hardest job: they had actual lambskin suits that required them to keep their legs folded in the rear limbs. There were only two of them. Mary was Mary. Bruce was Joseph. There was a great flock of angels, with huge wings golden eyes. I don't remember if we found anyone to play the ass. I might have been a natural, but I was already wearing one of the beautiful paper mache masks of a wise man. Michael ___________ was baby Jesus. He weighted nearly 300 pounds. It was casting against type, except for Michael's essential innocence.

It was a great night. We put the show on three times, with goodies in Nedra's house between presentations. Her garden made a great set: there was an arbor that stood in for the stable, a flat roof behind it for the angels to fly on and sing, and a wall right against the sidewalk where we wise men could stand out of sight of the tourists while we were waiting for our visit to King Herod and trip to the Holy Family. For me the high light of the night that shines with the illumination of the one true light came as we wise men were waiting while the angels sang. A boy about five, holding the hand of his father where they stood on the sidewalk above us, asked with awe, 'are those real angels, daddy?' His father was also a wise man. 'Yes,' he replied.

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