Sunday, September 02, 2012

the faults of angels

I am in Morelia after a pleasant Saturday morning drive.

But, before we permanently leave San Miguel (and there may be a future postscript now and then), I wanted to share this photograph.

The angel is part of a reverential rendering to some saint or other.  I confess I have forgotten which one.

However, the saint at the center was nowhere near as interesting as the angel on the periphery.

If you take a close look, the angel was not created for this perspective.  The portion of the wings closest to the angel's body have been sculpted and painted.  The other sides have not.

And, if the angel had been positioned facing the viewers head on, none of us would be the wiser.

I suspect the angel was not custom-built for its current use.  There is undoubtedly a warehouse in the back corner of the Vatican where church designers can "build your own shrine" by combining St. Joseph large with St. Anne medium and generic angel 3 forward-facing.

On the other hand, the designer may have realized the mistake after installing the angel and decided who is going to be so small as to mention it?

See me over here?  The small, fat guy?  I noticed it.

But the angel does not stand -- or kneel -- alone.  There is the adored parish church facing San Miguel's main square.*

La Parroquia is variously described as a landmark.  The symbol of San Miguel.  Beauty personified. 

What the church's many boosters fail to acknowledge is that the "landmark" look of the church is merely its façade.  Essentially, it is an amateur nineteenth century facelift for a sixteenth century body.

And just like the angel, reality pushes in where magic fears to tread.

But, then, aren't we all nothing more than works of art in the process of change?

And, we hope, improvement.

* -- For you cynics out there, that light to the right of the church is the moon.  Not Tinkerbelle.


John Calypso said...

In any such construction project there is always room for one more angel I suppose - we'll find a spot, or not where she will fit..

Steve Cotton said...

 Nice thought.

Shannon Casey said...

I think we need to look here at Mexican ingenuity in all forms. 
If your car needs to be fixed and they don't have a part, they will make one. Mexicans are the masters of jerry-rigging. Here they needed an angel, so they found an angel. They don't usually care if it is perfect as long as it serves the purpose.
The same probably holds true for the Parroquia. The beautiful part that we see from the front is an icon known world wide and the people of San Miguel are proud of it. (and you have to admit, it's sure pretty)

Steve Cotton said...

You are correct.  I have long taught the doctrine of sufficiency.  And I live with it every day in Mexico where "good enough" is good enough.

Ruthtoler said...

You have appeared to capture a Blue Moon in your photo.

Steve Cotton said...

 I have indeed.