Every town needs its characters.
When we would visit Myrtle Point from Powers when I was young, I would always see a guy dressed in a red felt logging hat that had been cut into a crown -- similar to Jughead's headware. From the Archie comic strip.
He loved kids. I do not recall whether it was candy or little toys, but he always had something for us. He was such an institution that his hat is now on exhibit in the local museum.
San Miguel is not without its characters. They seem to be drawn here. Especially, to the jardin -- the town's main square where people come to be seen and to see. I am told that is where the crystal beneath the town generates its most powerful aura.
My favorite character is The Preacher. At least, that is what I call him. Clad like some latter-day prophet in clothes that are a bizarre blend giving him the air of a wizard whose day job is chopping down trees.
But it is not felling trees that is his passion. He is interested in felling sin.
I see him two or three times a week. His routine is the same. He approaches a lone soul on one of the park benches. His Bible is open as he sits very close to his quarry and starts his spiel while holding his Bible in front of the potential convert's face. They are always Mexican. And usually young.
What he is saying, I cannot tell you in detail. He preaches in Spanish. But, even if my Spanish comprehension were better, I do not hear the details because I am trying to get my morning walk accomplished.
I do hear him frequently repeat the words "verbo" and "palabra." The words mean "word." For that reason, I suspect he is preaching from John's gospel.
1En el principio ya existía el Verbo,Mexico is filled with door-to-door missionaries (Mormon, Jehovah's Witnesses). In The States, they usually are not able to get a few words of introduction out of their mouths without having the homeowner close the door on them with a brusque "not interested."
y el Verbo estaba con Dios,
y el Verbo era Dios.
2 Él estaba con Dios en el principio.
3 Por medio de él todas las cosas fueron creadas;
sin él, nada de lo creado llegó a existir.
4 En él estaba la vida,
y la vida era la luz de la humanidad.
5 Esta luz resplandece en las tinieblas,
y las tinieblas no han podido extinguirla.
I am always amazed at how patient Mexicans are when they are approached by someone flogging their particular view of God. None of the people on the benches ever tell The Preacher Man to go away. They put on their polite mask and listen -- often with the dead fish eyes of someone who is about to slip into a coma.
Just before I shot this photograph, the young lady's eyes met mine. For a just a brief moment, a look of "Please, help me" flashed over her face. And then was gone. I didn't. She sat there for about 10 more minutes. On one of my laps, they were both gone.
For all I know, they were transfigured.