Da Black Whole

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Llorona and the Bus from Hell



Well I dreamed I saw the knights in armor coming

saying something about a Queen.

There were peasants singing and drummers drumming

and the archer split the tree.

There was a fanfare playing to the sun

that was floating on the breeze.

Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 1970s

"After the Gold Rush" (N. Young)

Okee hold on here we goez . . .

Note the datelines in the following two news accounts.

The first story involves a weeping "Mary" and the second concerns a Greyhound bus crash near the California town of Santa Maria -- the "host town" of the Michael Jackson/child molestation trial.

Believers Flock to 'Crying' Virgin Mary


By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer

Sun Nov 27, 3:23 AM ET


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Carrying rosary beads and cameras, the faithful have been coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of Sacramento for a glimpse of what some are calling a miracle: A statue of the Virgin Mary they say has begun crying a substance that looks like blood.

It was first noticed more than a week ago, when a priest at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church spotted a stain on the statue's face and wiped it away. Before Mass on Nov. 20, people again noticed a reddish substance near the eyes of the white concrete statue outside the small church, said Ky Truong, 56, a parishioner.


Since then, Truong said he has been at the church day and night, so emotional he can't even work. He believes the tears are a sign.
"There's a big event in the future — earthquake, flood, a disease," Truong said. "We're very sad."


On Saturday, tables in front of the fenced-in statue were jammed with potted plants, bouquets of roses and candles. Some people prayed silently, while others sang hymns and hugged their children. An elderly woman in a wheelchair wept near the front of the crowd.
A red trail could be seen from the side of the statue's left eye to about halfway down the robe of concrete.


"I think that it's incredible. It's a miracle. Why is she doing it? Is it something bothering her?" asked Maria Vasquez, 35, who drove with her parents and three children from Stockton, about 50 miles south of Sacramento.


Thousands of such incidents are reported around the world each year, though many turn out to be hoaxes or natural phenomena.
The Diocese of Sacramento has so far not commented on the statue, and the two priests affiliated with the church did not return a telephone message Saturday.


The Rev. James Murphy, deacon of the diocese's mother church, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, said church leaders are always skeptical at first.


"For people individually seeing things through the eyes of faith, something like this can be meaningful. As for whether it is supernatural or a miracle, normally these incidences are not. Miracles are possible, of course," Murphy said. "The bishop is just waiting and seeing what happens. They will be moving very slowly."


But seeing the statue in person left no doubt for Martin Operario, 60, who drove about 100 miles from Hayward. He took photos to show to family and friends.


"I don't know how to express what I'm feeling," Operario said. "Since religion is the mother of believing, then I believe."


Nuns Anna Bui and Rosa Hoang, members of the Salesian Sisters of San Francisco, also made the trek Saturday. Whether the weeping statue is declared a miracle or not, they said, it is already doing good by awakening people to the faith and reminding them to pray.


"It's a call for us to change ourselves, to love one another," Hoang said.

**********

Man, Pregnant Woman Die in Calif. Bus Crash


7 minutes ago [posted on Yahoonews approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 27]


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A Greyhound bus ran off a freeway, overturned and slid at least 100 yards on its side before hitting a tree Sunday, killing a pregnant woman and a man on aboard.

Dozens of other passengers among the 44 people aboard the San Francisco-bound bus were injured, authorities said.


Four survivors were trapped in the wreckage and had to be rescued with hydraulic equipment, and some of the most seriously injured were airlifted to hospitals, authorities said. A preliminary investigation suggested driver fatigue may have contributed to the crash.


Faro Jahani, 50, of San Francisco, and Martha Contreras, 23, of Santa Maria were killed in the crash, said Lt. Dan Minor of the California Highway Patrol. Contreras' husband told authorities she was seven months pregnant.


Seven other people suffered major injuries, four had moderate injuries and 31 had minor injuries after the bus went down an embankment off Highway 101 shortly after 7 a.m., said Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Keith Cullom.


The bus had left Los Angeles at 3:15 a.m., said Kim Plaskett, a spokeswoman for the Dallas-based bus line.


Minor said a preliminary investigation gave no indication of mechanical problems, and the bus driver didn't appear to have been impaired by alcohol or drugs.


"We do have reason to believe that driver fatigue may have been a significant factor," Minor said. The previous night, the driver had traveled from Fresno to Los Angeles, Minor said.


The bus drifted off the freeway about three miles from its intended off-ramp and came to rest on its right side a few feet down an embankment after striking a eucalyptus tree.


Both northbound lanes of Highway 101, one of the state's major corridors, were shut down after the accident and remained closed until mid-afternoon as the California Highway Patrol investigated. The closure caused a backup that stretched for two miles, officials said.


Santa Maria, which was in the media spotlight this year during the four-month child molestation trial of singer Michael Jackson, is located about 75 miles north of Santa Barbara.


Three buses were being sent to Santa Maria to pick up passengers able to continue the trip, Plaskett said.

OK here are the players in order of appearance: Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Maria. These are personified coordinates on a "grid" that spans -- and unites -- earthly and celestial, material and spiritual.

Sacramento is the geographical and political "heart" of California, founded in 1848 by John Sutter as Sutter's Fort. Almost ten years earlier, gold was discovered at his nearby sawmill, and Sacramento evolved from the hub of Sutter's Fort/Exchange.

California has a long-running tension and rivalry between the North and South, historically over water, political districting, sports, etc. In finding a "spiritual context" for the two stories above, it may help, as in Qim Tunes, to view references to north as generally "celestial" and southern references as generally infernal or earthly. (Santa Barbara, home of the Qim Tunes authors, is about 40 miles south of Santa Maria.)

Sacramento, despite/because of its geographic centrality, is still considered California's northern influence, and Los Angeles is its southern counterpart. San Francisco is "aligned" with Sacramento as "northern territory."

Wikipedia notes:

In either 1806 or 1808 the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga discovered and named the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River after the Spanish term for 'sacrament', specifically, after "the Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ," referring to the Roman Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist.

So we're in the land o' blood-sacrifice/sacrament here, and "Eucharist" shares its prefix with "Eureka," the state motto of California, meaning "I have found it!" -- a catchphrase of the Gold Rush -- but carrying a much deeper lineage.

We pick up the story about a week ago, when a statue outside a "Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church" begins weeping red "blood" -- an infrequent but periodically-documented manifestation of Mary/Virgin statues around the world, especially during the last century.

Quoted is a "key" parishioner, one Ky Troung, who expresses sadness at what he interprets as the statue/Virgin's "blood-prophecy." Meanwhile one Rosa Hoang, a nun from San Francisco, in town to witness the event, interprets the tears as a call for repentance from hatred, as a sign for humaity/Earth to "love one another."

Rosa, of course, is "rose" is Spanish, and that plant and its scent are long identified with the Blessed Virgin, Mary, the Queen of Heaven, etc.

(Again: I'm not commenting on the personalistic aspects of the "halves" of California, nor on the lives of Rosa Hoang or others in these news items. I merely sensed a larger picture behind the two synchronous stories and am exploring.)

About a week after the statue-tears start flowing, a Greyhound -- which denoted an animal, of course, long before a bus -- leaves a "deep-south" city named The Angels, but colloquially called "The City of Lost Angels."

Following our supposition of south=infernal, this suggests "fallen" passengers who boarded, so to speak, the "outbound from hell." (Again, not inferring that all passengers actually boarded in L.A.)

The bus' destination is the City of Saint Francis. Francis of Assisi is patron saint -- with soaring paradox! -- of animals, merchants, and the environment in general. The Catholic Franciscan Order is named after him -- a brotherhood based on humility, poverty, asceticism, and especially loving service.

Francis is my dad's first name, so I especially favor it!

Christian orders, especially brother/mendicants (like Francis originally was) played a crucial but little-known role in the early affairs of California and the Sacramento/Suisun Valley. Some lived lives of service to the poor, aiding native populations under great stress from European settlers in the decades following the Gold Rush.

Thus, in our investigation, San Francisco stands as a kind of "staging area" -- a way-station on the road to the heavenly North, a spiritual Halfway House, situated between the infernal realms to the south, and the celestial City of Blessed Sacrament in the north.

San Francisco is 80 miles from Sacramento: not quite the Heavenly Tomato, it's still in the material/profane realms, the gritty, hands-on Fields of the Lord that Francis worked, in the Earth he loved

But S.F. is close, tantalizingly close -- given that illusion-filled, demon-haunted Angel City is more than 500 miles t'other way.

Our Demon Greyhound, then, is headed North like a bat outta hell; like Cerberus fleeing Hades, towing a passel of souls; like escaped slaves on the old Underground Railroad. The busload is bound for a haven beneath heaven, the City of Saint Francis.

Panting, the greyhound pauses for fuel and passengers in Santa Maria, a town in Santa Barbara County. Her nearest neighbor-town, nestled under one incorporated wing, is the little village of Rosemary.

Nine miles west of Santa Maria is the larger town of Guadalupe, named after the Mexican locale where, in 1531, an Aztec convert named Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin allegedly witnessed an appearance of "Our Lady of Guadalupe."

Wikipedia states:

The origin of the name "Guadalupe," in the American context, is something of a mystery. According to a report at the time, the Virgin identified herself that way in a later apparition to Juan Diego's uncle, Juan Bernardino. Those who doubt the story of Juan Diego and the apparitions argue that the 1533 church was dedicated to the Spanish Our Lady of Guadalupe (see above), with the American version developing later. Others have suggested that the name is a corruption of a Nahuatl name "Coatlaxopeuh", which has been translated as "Who Crushes the Serpent". In this interpretation, the serpent referred to is Quetzalcoatl, one of the chief Aztec gods, whom the Virgin Mary "crushed" by inspiring the conversion of the natives to Catholicism.

Hmm. Serpent-crushing again. And I tried so hard NOT to include any damn snakes in this post. Just this one post.

O well . . . .

In Santa Maria the Greyhound collected at least two passengers -- Martha Contreras and her seven-month-old foetus, both killed in the incident.

In a Biblical scene Jesus, wandering, visits the home of the sisters, Martha and Mary. Martha is rebuked by Jesus for obsession with earthly matters, while her sister Mary -- resented by Martha as lazy and carefree -- was praised by Christ. Jesus informed Martha that her hostessing and offerings were inferior to those of her sister Mary. This page makes an excellent (and personally timely!) comparison to the "story" of the brothers Cain and Abel, with Martha's "offering to God" equated with Cain's.

There's no direct translation of the surname "Contreras," but in our context, it fits with a general meaning of "contrary."

As we know, some of the escapees from the City of Lost Angels never reached the Promised Land of St. Francis, the stepping-stone to Sacra-mental heaven. (And believe me folks, if you've ever visited, you have to be Mental to imagine Sacramento as Heaven!!)

I was struck by the prophetic -- but empathetic and loving -- comments of the abovementioned Mr. Truong and Sister Hoang -- and especially the siting of the "miracle" at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church. Yoikez! Vietnam, so recently a warzone of the U.S., now imports Catholics that host milagros de Maria. And with real-life "martyrs," apparently.

Obviously I think there are connections between the weeping-statue and the bus-crash incidents, but like Mr. Truong (whose name, btw, resolves the apparently paradoxical "true" and "wrong"), I think the Queen was, and is, crying over more than the "spilled milk" in our local Santa Maria. Her tears prophesy more. I think "she" used the Santa Maria incident as a motif, a way of reading and interpreting more severe future events.

Put another way: the Gold Rush is about o-v-e-r, folks. Like a martyr's inner river, that seemingly endless golden vein called California is played out.

Narrow is the gate, a long, low, dark highway of lost angels. Some die. Others get smashed up pretty bad on the road, land in the Grey Hospital, dread Fixit Shop.

But some of our Underground Escapees made it north, in love and service, to the "safehouse" of St. Francis. They brought three fresh dog to run 'em up there.

Remember that.

From S.F., it's a straight-shot to the Sacred Tomato!

Been up that road many a-time.

Down it too!

So that's our blog-snog, tonite ennywayz, and we are assuredly sticking to it, because we Can, same reason we don't accept Comments.

Pfffftttt!

And what of little dynamo? [you rudely ask not, hmmph!]

Well, ole latter-day coughed up a little Thanks for Thanksgiving, whilst feeling decidedly Unthankful, and as he rocked down the road to nowhere a boyhood favorite found the wave, echo of sweeter times.

So he dialed 'er up, and along he rolled, lead on verse, chorus the harmony:

You really should accept this time he's gone for good

He'll never come back now even though he said he would

So darling dry your eyes, so many other guys

Would give the world I'm sure to wear the shoes he wore


I guess you're lonely now love's coming to an end

But darling only now are you free to start again

Lift up your pretty chin, don't let those tears begin

You're a big girl now and you'll pull through somehow

Oh, come on

Smile a little smile for me, Rosemarie

Where's the use in cryin'?

In a little while you'll see, Rosemarie

Rosemarie!

(Tony Macaulay, Geoff Stephens)

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