As a native of Arizona, I always declared, as a point of pride, that I would never have a Kokopelli in my home. I don’t really have brewing animosity for the flute-playing Native American symbol. But I did have scorn for those who embraced it.
The booming software industry of the late 70s brought families from the Midwest or East Coast to Arizona. They made the desert their home, and many embraced the sunshine, the blanket of blue sky, and the smell of creosote after a summer monsoon.
And then, there were the people who bought Kokopellis. These were the people who wore a lot of turquoise, and practiced a pseudo-Native American spirituality. Dreamcatchers dangled from their rear-view mirrors. They wrote bad poetry about dry arroyos.
As a certified brat, I privately mocked these people. They tried too hard, and wore their desperation as they wore their bolo ties.
Life is funny. Because sometimes, I wonder if I am Spain’s version of a Kokopelli lover.
Open my kitchen cabinets, and you’ll see Spanish pottery. I cannot get enough of it. Almost every week, I stop by the local nursery and pick up a bowl, or mug, or platter. The colors spring, making my bowl of Cheerios slightly more delightful. I don’t have a specific pattern that I collect, unless there is a pattern called ALL OF THE POTTERY.
I tell myself that I use the plates, and that eating is a functional thing to do. That doesn’t account for the plates that adorn my walls, nor the pots and pitchers scattered around the premises.
And then there are the feria dresses. Feria is a season that runs throughout spring— basically county fairs with more hard liquor and less country music.
And fabulous dresses. Of which I am bewitched. I bought one last year, feeling a bit foolish, la americana tonta in her vestido de gitana.
But then you put the dress on—-they are loud, and ruffled. They are designed to hug the curves and accent the form. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 2 or 22, when you wear these dresses, you are beautiful.
And so, in my closet, I presently have four dresses. Four silly gifts to myself, fabric invitations to love my body, and myself. To strut. To bring it.
And so, maybe my house is more Spanish-influenced then the homes of real Spanish people. Maybe some native-born Spanish ladies prefer leggings and boots to feria dresses. It may even be possible that there’s a bratty native girl out there who judges my excesses and enthusiasm.
So be it. My judging days are behind me. I’m having a lot more fun these days.