Sunday, June 28, 2009

Parallels and Possibilities

Recently Yoani posted on San Lazaro, a decaying street in Havana. In religious statuary, San Lazaro, the saint, whose feast day is December 17 (incidentally my wedding anniversary-no parallel there), is usually depicted on crutches, open sores running, dogs trailing. The gruesome nature of this last touch was one that eluded me as a child when I wondered why anyone would have a statue in their home of an ugly man and his pets. I didn't know about Santeria then, obviously. Also elusive was the American name of the saint. Could it be Lazarus, the one Jesus raised from the dead? But one would think, he would be in better shape. Then there is the notion I have that the statue Lazaro is a leper. Whatever the translation, whichever saint or former saint- let's not forget Barbara- the parallel Yoani draws is not lost, as the video glides by the ruins of the body civic festering in the sun. Watch it.

1 comment:

Sharpshooter said...

when I saw the video about San Lazaro street it almost made me cry. That used to be the street I would cross everyday on my way to my school located at 25 and M strets across from the Havana Hilton. Many a times I had to duck into the nearest stairwell near Neptuno St. in order to hide and take cover from the shooting that was going on from the intersection of San Lazaro and Infanta streets towards the University's Alma Mater up the hill. Back in the mid-fifties this was almost a battle zone between the police and the university students. Not a day went by that one would not see the marchers going down San Lazaro and the police waiting for them downhill. Never in a million years did I think I would wind up and settle in Brooklyn N.Y. in the Flatbush area only 4 years later.