"Desde la puerta de la iglesia"
Trip Start Oct 31, 2008
44Trip End Ongoing
One of the things about being more of an introvert is that you learn early on how to have very amusing internal conversations. At least you think they are amusing and since you're the only one aware of the conversations, I guess that's all that matters. From fairly early in life until now, I've had my share of "serious" situations. All in all, I find "serious" to be overrated and often unnecessary. This is why I've come to accept that I will never be president of the United States or CEO of a major corporation so as of today, I am giving up those dreams. I was really trying to maintain attention to the park ranger at the Alamo as he was presenting a very serious lecture about the historic factors leading up to the famous battle, but I couldn't help but chuckle to myself at the three guys in the background taking photos with tourists dressed as Mexican soldiers in period costumes. They were having a great time laughing with the guests and telling funny stories. I called them the "three amigos."
On the other hand, as an introvert, I can also have some quite intense, serious ponderings. These often lead to interesting philosophical dilemmas and in many instances, insight. In the final analysis, my personality in the majority of cases, naturally leads me away from "serious" and in the direction of more light-hearted musings.
Visiting the sights of San Antonio can be a puzzle depending on how you look at it. When viewed from a more analytical perspective, San Antonio can be very intriguing. I call it the Vern Hale perspective. Mr. Hale was one of my high school math teachers. He really tried hard to educate me regarding the math and physics of life, but my attention was always misdirected. Mr. Hale taught math in a very practical and useful manner. I remember him teaching how to determine angles and distance armed with only the height of a flagpole and a shadow. As I was viewing San Antonio through the lens of my camera, those teachings came in to my presence as I viewed the angles in my viewfinder. Depending on the angle, one building only looked like a facade when in fact it was a functional apartment building. I gained an appreciation of the melding of math and creativity.
I enjoyed seeing San Antonio from above in the Tower of the Americas. The voyage aboard a river barge along the famous Riverwalk was relaxing and interesting, but probably the most interesting of all were the trips to two old Spanish missions and the San Fernando Cathedral, one of the country's oldest cathedral sanctuaries.
Visiting Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion, you couldn't help but imagine seeing the native tribes of people that had been brought into the missions to work and to be converted to a religious belief system so strange to them. Seeing their small quarters of walled in rock led me to wonder how difficult it must have been for people who for ages lived out in the open grasslands of the region to be basically quarantined into a small box of an existence. I couldn't help but wonder how many people feel that way now.
You can't help but feel humbled when you walk through somewhere like the San Fernando Cathedral. Built in the early 1700s with some accounts suggesting that its origins date back to the late 1600s. The San Fernando Cathedral is truly the heart of San Antonio. While walking through the small museum located outside the cathedral, I came across a panel that started with the phrase, "desde la puerta de la iglesia...", from the door of the church. The panel goes on to tell the story of how San Antonio was surveyed and built with the door of the Cathedral as the heart of the city, the starting point. Of course I found this very meaningful, a metaphor so to speak. I thought about the front door of my childhood home in Colorado. For years after we moved away, I would visit family and drive by the old house. I often thought about the heavy, old, wooden front door and all of the memories it brought to me so quickly just from seeing it. One day when I drove by the house, I saw the old door leaning up against the house. The current residents had replace the old door with a new one. I drove up to the house and asked the residents what they were going to do with the old door. They told me they were going to throw it away so I asked them if I could have it. They were glad to have someone haul it off. The old door is now stored in my storage building in my backyard. For years I have been thinking of what I could do with that door. It was so important to me as it represented my beginnings and so much more. It is a representation of my family, my upbringing, my early highs and lows, the people of my life who have come and gone and walked through that doorway. It continues to amaze me how the Good Lord continues to remind me of who I am and where I came from regardless of where I am at any given point in time. I'm very proud of that history and all of those living and beyond that have been part of it.
I look forward to writing to you again down the road and I hope you have an opportunity to consider who and what makes up your door. In the meantime, take care and until next time, "...desde la puerta de mi casa..." Jeff