Transformative images and concepts have always fascinated me. Shapeshifters, mermaids, the fringes, the boundararies... the places where where one thing transforms into another intrigues me.
I was born near the Canadian border, in a “twin city” which straddles the Minnesota/North Dakota border. I was raised in Nogales, Arizona/Sonora, a town which blurs the boundaries even more by having the same name for the same city, though it is located in two different countries.
We lived on top of a hill in Nogales. On the other side of the hill was a cliff, and at the bottom of the cliff was the border fence. The fence was not visible unless you walked across the street and looked down. So, every time I walked out of the house in the morning and looked "across the street" - i.e., to the houses on the next hill - I was looking into another country. But, since there was no visible boundary or border, the difference between the two was impossible to see. Same hills, same houses, same people. One world.
And now I live in Los Angeles County, where the cities now run into each other. Aside from the technicalities of city government, there truly aren't any real visible borders anywhere. The city I live in borders on four other communities, but aside from the "you are now entering the City of" signs, there's no way to tell the difference.
I was having a conversation with a friend about the practical and metaphysical implications of the fringe versus the center. I’ve never been in the “center” of anything. I’d rather be on the fringe – I like the view. I like the shoreline, where land and sea meet. “Either/or” is less interesting than “and/both”.
I decided to google "Nogales Arizona Sonora" and was amused to find the first link I clicked on, instead of having a lot of corporate BS like "come shop here!" and “great business opportunties here!” starts off with metaphysical, rather than literal, descriptions.
If there is a goddess for the journey through life and for the places which one encounters along the way, it is Hecate, the guardian of the crossroads, an ancient and powerful female deity who possesses the power to see in three directions at once.
Her favored child, then, must be Nogales who stands silently and sees it all-past, present, future-and has the intuitive power to understand and connect them, to recognize the patterns which unite the past and present of the many lives inside her boundary with the future for which we strive.
Nogales, the Spanish word for "walnuts," is a crossroads for an ancient trade route that ran from Guaymas and Hermosillo north into the interior of what is now the United States. Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora are really one city separated by a fence-the International Border-first erected by Nogales, Sonora to keep out the rowdy Americans.
A virtual toast to the Goddess of the Crossroads!
Everything needs a center. Everything needs an edge. And everything needs a roadway to the other side.