In many Latin American countries many homes have crosses on the roof. It is partly a kind of spiritual protection for the house, partly a blessing for the house and mostly, I think, tradition. In Cuenca, the city where Carlos comes from they have a very distinctive style of cross, cut from metal. On one of our trips there a number of years ago I bought some very small ones that hang in my kitchen. As I wrote then, each is unique, though there are a variety of common motifs. I was interested to find that one buys these, not in an art venue in Cuenca, but in the housewares market. A household staple, as it were. The ones Carlos brought to me this time are very similar, with birds that I like very much. The larger one is about 18" tall, the smaller one about 9".
My thought was that since Carlos designed the studio we are building, I would love to have one of the Cuenca crosses on the roof. Now I am having second thoughts. Displaying a cross on the top might be misleading in several ways. First of all, it could be mistaken for a chapel of some kind. Secondly it might be taken as a symbol of my religious piety, which could not be further from my intention. From a practical standpoint I also think it would be a very bad idea to drive the spike on the bottom into the roof!
Symbols are powerful. I realize that. I really just want to connect my beautiful little building to Carlos' heritage with a piece of folk art from his city. One that pleases me mostly for its tradition and charming form and not so much as a religious symbol. This may seem like sacrilege to some of you. I'm sorry if it does. One or both crosses will find a home somewhere in the studio and if they bring protection and blessings on it I will take all the blessings I can get.