Celtic Love-Charm Confirms the Wisdom of the Ages
For centuries, sages have told us that it isn't wealth or power that makes the world go round, it's love! And not just brotherly love, but the kind that lets us behave the way we did when we were young.
Unfortunately, in 1975, that kind of love isn't considered nice in Amor Milagroso, a fishing village in northwestern Spain. The country is ruled by the dictator Francisco Franco, the town itself by a mayor and a priest who want life to stay the same as it has been since its founding in 1276 by a nobleman in his seventies who discovered such magical rejuvenation in an oak grove that he was able to sire seven lusty sons.
One day Benito Bazán, a fisherman bereft of his boat, finds buried in that oak grove a box containing two Celtic statuettesa man and a woman who interlock in nature's favorite way. Here's wealth enough to buy another boat, he thinks; then he shows the amorous statuettes to his wife Concepción and together they discover a different kind of wealth and a kind of power they haven't known for quite a while. Suddenly, magically, the world goes round"again for Benito and Concepción, then for their neighbors, then for the entire village. Word spreads, and despite the opposition of the government, the church, a smuggler who insists the statuettes are his, and a plot to help a political dissident escape with his life, the statuettes remain in Amor Milagroso and people from all over the world come to see and experience the Celtic love-charm that can change the world.
The Pagan Blessing is a comedy, a sexy romp, and a social satire to boot. It shows the effect that love can have on a community and the powerful changes that can happen when a man and a woman respect one another and work (and play) together. What would happen if men and women throughout the world loved and respected each other like Benito and Concepción? What kind of world could all of us perhaps enjoy?
Phyllis Gebauer teaches fiction at UCLA Extension and leads workshops on writing throughout Southern California. She has a B.S. in Spanish (Phi Beta Kappa) from Northwestern University and an M.A. from the University of Houston. In 1970 she spent three months in Spain, and this experience, combined with some photos in a book of Celtic Art, led to this comic novel. Born in Chicago, she now lives and writes in the Los Angeles area.