The Tears of Llorona:
A Californian Odyssey of Place, Myth, and Homecoming
California has shimmered alluringly as paradise and Promised Land since long before the projections of Hollywood and the slick brochures of real estate developers. Those who answered the call to adventure have been many: conquistadors and missionaries, lovers and dreamers, swindlers and salesmen, builders and destroyers. Yet in all the bruising centuries of exploration and exploitation, few witnesses, if any, have attended to the inside story of this haunted seaside place. When California native Craig Chalquist (author of STORIED LIVES and TERRAPSYCHOLOGY: REENGAGING THE SOUL OF PLACE) awakened from a life-changing dream to hear the troubled spirit of his homeland, he set forth on El Camino Real, the fabled King's Highway linking San Diego with Sonoma, on a journey of research, reflection, and anguishing recollection to listen in on stories and persistent images still abroad at continent's edge. As he followed in the footsteps of Junípero Serra, first missionary of California, he found himself followed in turn by the centuries-old mystery of La Llorona, the Weeping Woman of Mexican folklore, in her search for her lost children along the conquered coast. Who was she? How had she come to be here? And what did she have to do with the land? Come along on an odyssey through the heart of enshadowed California, keeper of nightmares and inspirer of dreams, and into a deep exploration of the resonances and echoes and "ecological complexes" that bind us all to the places we call home.