PHOTO BY ASHLEY BROOKS COZZETTO
The photo above was taken alongside Cinemagic Theater on Southeast Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland, Oregon, fall 2008. It features a life-sized facsimile of the original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, along with your main Tele Gram man on the left and Mr. D.H. Giles on the right. His cause for being in the small space alongside the old moviehouse was, at the time, to display the handmade gates from the old St. Vibiana Cathedral of Los Angeles, California, in hopes of facilitating interest in our City of Roses for its permanent public placement. The documentation of Giles' journey as steward of these rare and priceless creations, crafted by skilled metalworkers in 1921-22 to celebrate the appearance of the image on Juan Diego's canvas poncho in 1531, can be read on his website, a "global consciousness paradigm refinement project," named Global Peace Gateway.
Waves of Guide has contacted Mr. Giles via email for an interview that was to be originally attached to this post, but since no response has yet been received, we are sending this telegram out anyhow to help grow public attention to his cause and will post said interview, if permitted, arranged & transcribed, on the "Addendums" page of the blog.
Giles has offered the gates as a gift to many cities across the country in his fifteen years as gatekeeper, but does so with the expressed condition only to display a facsimile image of the Lady along with a posted history, highlighting the scientific research done on the "painting." Although our communal Internet-Brittanica states contradictive findings, no known earthly source of the pigmentation has been identified, no brush stroke application of the original is apparent, there is no under-drawing and the vividness/preservation of the colors after over 450 years is striking. All offers have thus far been turned down for the installation of the iron and exquisitely detailed gates. Some have considered taking them, but not with the image or information. It is a testament to Mr. Giles' integrity that this has never been considered - why would you conceal the very raison d'etre of their existence? Another sad result of the secularized free world is the freedom exercised to disregard history and write-off the inexplicable.
Although the Lady is an important religious image to Mexican-American Catholics, the miraculous impression left after Juan dropped his gathered-up roses in front of the local bishop (as the story has been passed) for Giles is a "quantum physics phenomenon" and it's significant beyond an individual's adherence to a faith or no faith. It challenges the understanding and signifies connectivity to something beyond our "normal" conception of reality. The gates themselves are remarkable pieces of art made in celebration of such a phenomenon, and it was an honor to have them shown to me, felt, lifted, and admired three years ago. He also shared and recommended this book.
Do take the time to read and explore D.H. Giles' rich site full of sources, documentation, and the symbolic online representation of this kind man's efforts to help preserve the past and be hopeful and present for the future.