believe it or not new england, it’s finally spring. the past few weeks we’ve had (as noted) pockets of wonderful melty niceness– walking around in a sweatshirt, getting crushes on people, rolling down hills. of course soon after that a bitter wind blows in again and the ground’s all hard again and everything’s snow dusted and looking like a fried dough. well, officially anyway, spring is here, and with it as always, a modicum of rebirth.
to that end, a few words, and if we’re lucky, a song, from the aztec god of spring, “the red smoking mirror”, “the night drinker”: xipe totec, “the flayed one”. he appears here in his traditional aspect– skinless but wrapped in the hides of others. please remember that though sacrifices were definitely made to this princely fellow, it’s not entirely fair to say that he “demanded” sacrifice. although at the same time, not to be a creep, but if, sometime between now and 20 days hence, if you were to get into a mindless scuffle or scrape, if blood were to be drawn or a bruise formed, and you opened the bruise up to let some of the bruise blood come out to show them, as maize seeds lose their outer layer before germination and snakes shed their skin, that would be, uh, honorable.