Bless Me, Ultima

Since I wrote my last post about moving out and the amazing apartment in Brooklyn, all of my plans have fallen to pieces. Nothing worked out how I anticipated, everything became one big mess. And I’m afraid that nothing will be the same between me and my (former) perspective roommate, who also is (maybe was?) one of my closests friends. We have not spoken since the fall-out of our plans and I feel awful but at the same time proud of myself for making a decision that was best for me, not everyone else around me. However, as of today I still have no apartment and no roommate.

Through all this drama I have been reading Bless Me, Ultima and this book was completely captivating. I wanted to read it because it is one the boyfriend’s favorite books and I wanted to read something that was important to him. I think this book is an example of magical realism, where things like witches, curses, forces of evil, spells, shamans and miracles are just a part of everyday life. This book asks questions that I have held to myself since childhood (for reference, I grew up in a strict Irish-Catholic family). If God is supposed to be all loving and forgiving, why is there still so much suffering and evil in the world? The main character, a seven year old by named Antonio, spends a great deal of time thinking about religion and the conflicts between native pagan Gods, the Catholic God, and the saints. How come a pagan healing ritual cured his sick uncle when prayers by the priest to the Catholic God failed? How come his mother prays to the Virgin of Guadalupe instead of to God? How can you believe in just one God if there are so many other forces at work?
I had strange dreams while reading this book. This book is mysterious and has many secrets. It asks questions but does not fully answer them. Ultima seems to know the answers to everything but we don’t know why and we never get to know all that she knows. This story took my mind off all that was happening in my life and helped me not to take everything so seriously. So my plans to move fell through but I am lucky I have other options available to me and I can continue living at home if I need to. There is so much more to life than what we preceive.
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