|I LOVE THE SMELL (AND VISUAL EFFECT) OF THE INCENSE.|
Jerry and I were watching "Charlie Varrick," the 1968 movie with Walter Matthau, on TV. Neither of us had ever seen it. We were really enjoying it and, since it wouldn't end before the procession was scheduled to arrive, I decided to forego the procession. But perhaps a higher power wanted us to witness this procession (and, no, I don't really believe that). The film ended. We opened a balcony door. And there were the lights of the penitents' candles approaching the plaza.
|KIND ENOUGH TO LET ME JOIN... MOMENTARILY|
Jerry (San Geraldo) stayed upstairs and watched all from our corner balcony. Below him, the lawyers' office was filled with guests. I didn't realize you could fit so many people (eight) on one balcony. The building is solid, but we still won't try this one at home (you can see them in the next-to-last photo below).
|TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT.|
One of the traditions of Semana Santa is "spontaneous" singing. As a procession passes, a devout observer may suddenly break into a mournful song (called a saeta) dedicated to the paso. I put double-quotes around spontaneous, because what I've heard (and from what we've seen this Semana Santa), these songs are quite often now pre-arranged to coincide with a convenient stopping point. An ideal time seems to be when the guys carrying the float (the costaleros) need to do a shift-change.
|LA SOLEDAD (THE LONELINESS OR SOLITUDE). TASTEFULLY UNDERSTATED.|
The Church of San Lorenzo has only one paso (float). It is of the Virgin Mary and is called "La Soledad" (Loneliness or Solitude). Just before the paso reached our building, a woman on the balcony below Jerry broke into song. The float stopped and was carefully settled on the ground. Sweaty and sore costaleros crawled out from beneath it. The next group, fresh and ready, stepped in. The changing of the guard took 3 minutes. The song lasted 3 minutes and 15 seconds. The singer genuflected and watched them pass.
|THE NEXT SHIFT OF COSTALEROS.|
There is one final procession today, Easter Sunday. The main difference between this procession and the earlier ones is that it signifies the Resurrection. There's music. And the penitents walk unhooded. They were supposed to pass within two blocks of us around 7 a.m. I decided I didn't need to leave our plaza or even our house to see another procession. I would just sleep in. But at 7:20, Jerry woke me calling out, "Mitchell, quick, there's a procession right outside!"
|"THE TRUTH IS I NEVER LEFT YOU"|
SAN GERALDO ON THE BALCONY DOING HIS EVITA IMPERSONATION.
I flew out of bed, threw my clothes on, grabbed my camera, and opened my balcony door. I looked and saw two people walking quietly on the street below. I looked toward the plaza and saw not a soul. I could hear a marching band. Jerry walked in and said, "Sorry. From the sound, I thought they were passing by here. They're a few blocks over."
I groaned. I laughed. I stripped. I left a trail of clothes on the floor as I made my way back to bed. I was asleep within a few minutes and I slept for another two hours.
|SAN GERALDO SHARING HIS BALCONY.|