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Two Poems and a Protest Singer

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Via Gallo, here are two poems by the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis (his father was Greek, which explains his surname, but his mother was Mexican, and he was born in Michoacan and, according to the web page created at Sweet Briar College, where he must have been a guest, still lives in Mexico): [read on]

Ansie’s Photographs

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Ansie has put her amazing photos together into a slideshow called De Colores, here. Prepare your eyes to be drenched in colores.

Gallo’s Photographs

Monday, March 19th, 2007

Gallo’s photographs may be viewed here. Ansie is having some computer problems. Hers will be available when she can get them downloaded.

Raw Snippets from Gallo

Friday, March 16th, 2007

From his journal:

The albino pigeon turns circles while her black and gray brethren go about the business that pigeons pursue.

Tourists flash photos of a pilgrim walking on her knees toward the altar for lost children.

Pop music echoes off the Guanajuato mountainside as men and women return from work, hang out laundry and look toward the darkening sky.

The potted cactus stands tall and healthy despite blue spray paint that has found its way onto one of its arms.

Last day in Guanajuato

Friday, March 16th, 2007

I have the sickness of heart that all travelers get when the trip is almost over, and yet each moment is sweeter than the others. I spent the morning on my own, visiting churches, feeling the ways that faith manifests in this place. [read on]

Guanajuato: pure joy

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Travel-time is its own phenomenon. We were here–what? A day and a half. And when we came back after two days away, it felt to me as if I´d lived here for a lifetime, gone away for a decade, and was coming home. The streets, alleys, smells, and sounds were familiar. The faces of the vendors were familiar; the park benches were familiar. The people in the hostel were dear old friends. The constant swirl of life, youth, energy, laughter, dogs, taxis, buses, and color is all exactly as it should be. Of all the trips I´ve made into Mexico (something between a dozen and fifteen), this is the best. This city is my favorite in all of Mexico. Here are some of the reasons why. [read on]

Traveling Companions

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Quick, before we leave SMA, some priceless comments from my traveling companions.

Ansie, listening to some beautiful folk songs on a CD Gallo purchased from the musician, a young man named Jorge Rodriguez, “He makes me miss people I’ve never even met.”

Gallo, quoting an Italian he met yesterday, a fellow who has lived in SMA 20 years or more and is a farmer: “Yes, there are many gringos here. Not all from the USA. We have people from Europe, Asia, and of course USA. But they are not all Texans. They are good people who come here, not Bush people.”

Gallo, observing my outfit for today (maroon slacks, yellow Tshirt, pink overshirt): “You look like a whole block in Guanajuato.”

And we’re off to the bus station, heading back to Guanajuato.

San Miguel de Allende

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Here´s a slow day, a quiet day, a day for me to catch up with myself. Gallo, Ansie, and I are each taking a day to ourselves, going off in three different directions. It´s time. Much of what our trip has been is conversation, much of it stuff that doesn´t belong in a blog, so blogging on this trip has been completely different from blogging in Portugal, where I was alone. We talk almost non-stop, laugh, walk in tandem on narrow sidewalks, take pictures (sometimes of the same things), eat together, learn about each other and about ourselves in relation to each other. We didn´t keep our commitment to communicate only in Spanish, as Gallo is the only one with sufficient vocabulary to do that. I´ve been feeling overwhelmed with so much to see, feel, notice, and respond to. So last night we came up with this idea: split up for a day. [read on]

Guanajuato More and More

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Ansie and Gallo have been taking some incredible photographs which I hope to link to the blog in a week or so. Words will never do this place justice. It’s color, movement, texture, sound, smells, energy, a quality of LIFE that transcends words. Today was especially miraculous. Today was ART day. We found exhibitions of the work of a turn-of-the-century studio photographer named Romualdo Garcia and then two phenomenal Mexican women artists: Elva Garma and Lucia Castaneda (sorry, I’m in San Miguel de Allende tonight, and it’s a US keyboard, no proper accents). [I’ll save San Miguel for tomorrow.] First, about Garcia, Garma, and Castaneda. [read on]


Monday, March 12th, 2007

We´re here, and it´s spectacularly beautiful. My eyes can´t take it all in. It does seem MUCH more prosperous than it was in the 90s. Guanajuato is alive with a civilized bustle, some avant garde art exibitions, students milling in the streets with books and backpacks, and a lively international crowd at the hostel: a Swiss guy, some people from the USA (besides us), a Dutch guy playing his guitar in the bar, Mexican couples on vacation from the south, a terrific woman about my age from Oregon who has been traveling alone and staying in hostels all over Mexico since last September. After a lunch with flavors that changed four or five times before they were done (dried pea cream soup, cilantro chicken), Gallo and Ansie went wandering this afternoon while I took some time to be still, look, and even lie on the bed breathing. [read on]