Archive | January, 2017

Relax and Hug A Tree

29 Jan

The commitment of a weekly blog brings on a certain amount of pressure. While there’s no one with a gun to my head, I feel an internal pull to produce. It’s also been a habit I’ve established for over four years. So here goes…

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The pyramids of Dzibanché selfie with US visitor Harper, Lisa, her mom Alice and me.

Nope, I’ve got nothing this week. I’ve been happy and the weather’s been beautiful. Absolutely nothing interesting bubbled up this week in my middle-of-the-night musings, what do I blog about?

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Giant palms. Note the human in bottom right corner.

Given the state of the U.S., it’s almost embarrassing to be filled with joy and gratitude for each day as it presents itself.

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Majesty growing on a pyramid.

So I’ve decided to share the recent photos of amazing trees we saw while visiting local Mayan ruins with our friend and visitor, Harper. I admit it was her astute eye that grabbed my interest.

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Trees have stories to tell if we take time to listen. These certainly are beautiful. I love the way their roots adapt to barriers. No fuss, just go around and in some cases, go through.

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So if you’re feeling afraid, hopeless or disconnected, or happy and grateful, go hug a tree. They ask nothing of us, except maybe that we don’t destroy the planet.

DOS TORTAS

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There’s Nothing We Can Do? I Don’t Think So

22 Jan

The book Sisterhood Is Powerful was my first exposure to feminism. I don’t remember much about the book other than it changed my entire perspective on life. My initial response was anger and then a sigh of relief as the world began to make sense. I wasn’t crazy.

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On inauguration day I thought I could skate through pretending it wasn’t happening. Living in Mexico, it is way easier to ignore a lot of the craziness going on in the US. I didn’t take into consideration that the whole world is watching, literally. At my doctor’s appointment on Friday, the waiting room television was tuned to live coverage of the events in Washington. It was like viewing a car accident, horrifying, yet I was unable to look away. The rest of the day was downhill from there.

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During the week I had stumbled across a website listing women’s marches scheduled around the world. I was shocked and thrilled to find a walk planned for Saturday morning in Chetumal, a thirty minute drive from our house.

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It always starts with a small group of likeminded souls.

I scrambled to get the word out. I badly wanted to feel a part of the the US activities. IMO January 21 turned into a giant “yagya”, a sacred and auspicious ceremony being performed by massive numbers of people all over the planet. It was surely a tipping point. Bacalar had a showing of six women out of twelve! Woohoo.

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Our youngest participant.

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Getting to know each other over a post walk breakfast.

I don’t see Bacalar as a seat of resistance but I will do what I can to support and assist in any way possible. The most important thing that I saw the march accomplish was to dispel fear. When we are not afraid, we can do anything. Sisterhood really is powerful.

DOS TORTAS

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Can You “Plan” Adventure? But Of Course

15 Jan

We have been in our little house along the coast of beautiful Laguna Bacalar in the tropics of Southern Mexico for a little more than a year. The walls have been settling around us. Our gardens are bursting with color from a long rainy season. Life is good.

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Waking every morning to an amazing sunrise.

We left our life in Austin, Texas and made this extraordinary move in 2013 with certain pre-conceived ideas that were completely subconscious. Traveling and living in a foreign country is a great way to hold up a mirror to one’s assumptions. Here are some things that surprised us about our new life.

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Orchid like flowers blooming in the jungle. 

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A stone cross found in Valladolid, Yucatán. 

It’s not as easy to take off for the weekend and travel as we had imagined.

This may be a no-brainer for you but dogs are a lot of work. When we adopted Luna, our first dog ever, she was a throw away street puppy. We didn’t really think through all the ways she would impact our lives. Everyone told us, you HAVE to have a dog. Of course we adore her, but like every other relationship, there are inconveniences.

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A sad little puppy who needed a home.

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Lisa and Luna enjoying tour of the lake.

Leaving our house unattended for more than a day or two is not a good idea. There is crime of opportunity, much like in the US or anywhere else in the world. An empty house is a big opportunity. Since we have chosen not to live with bars on the windows, having a house sitter is the way to go. Finding the right someone takes time. Travel is less spontaneous than we had hoped. Another inconvenience.

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The front of the house.

We have also turned into the proverbial home bodies. The view from the porch is to die for. We can swim and kayak in our back “yard”. The food (my cooking) is the best and our bed is supremely comfy.

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So the “Adventures” of Dos Tortas has been looking more like the laid-back, staid life of Dos Tortas. We are not complaining.

As of today, I am happy to report there are adventures in the planning. Can you “plan” adventures? Stay tuned. We’ll try to step it up a bit.

DOS TORTAS

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My Fixation On Guadalupe

8 Jan

Apparently I have at least one image of The Virgin of Guadalupe in every room in the house. I did not do it intentionally. As a matter of fact, I did not even realize how much she graced our home until our recent guest pointed it out. How on earth did that happen?!

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A gift from my sister-in-law, at home in the living room in her own niche.

A bit of herstory, I was raised Catholic and about age 16 turned my back on it all and refused to even go to church. My mother was crushed.

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An original  watercolor by my friend Cat hangs in my studio.

For most of the years that followed, I refused to think much about religion. In the 80’s I developed an interest in women’s spirituality. Books such as The Mists of Avalon, The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries, The Spiral Dance, charged women with seeking the holy feminine. Goddesses from around the globe, Brigid (Celtic), Artemis (Greek), Diana (Roman), Kali (Hindu) and many more replaced the dominant concept of God the Father. I loved the idea of God the Mother and irreverent as I am, resonated supremely with Guadalupe and her vulvar shape.

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Stock photo.

Slowly and over time, my life filled with Guadalupes.

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Pantry wall hanging by Alison Schockner, San Antonio fiber artist and dear friend.

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Every house needs at least one refrigerator magnet.

 

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Bathroom window.

One of the my most cherished spaces is the groto that greets visitors at the top of our stairs. It was built by our contractor David Gowen-Smith. My mother gave me the statue.

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If you think that I have become a bit over the top loca, you could be right. Before you decide, watch the Netflix documentary “Marias-Faith In Womanhood”. It is difficult to describe the connection I have with Guadalupe, but I am clearly not alone.

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This large wooden relief from Yucatán has a prominent place on our patio.

As I seek more spirituality in my life, consciously or unconsciously, Guadalupe plays an important role, front and center. My mother would be so pleased.

DOS TORTAS

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Feliz Año Nuevo Torta Style

1 Jan

We weren’t big celebrators of Christmas and New Year’s before we immigrated to Mexico. Holiday gatherings had included fewer gifts, less decorations and more food, friends, and family. In fact, Mexico was a needed escape from thle frenzy, traffic and non-stop Christmas music. Can I get an amen?!

We spent today, New Year’s Day with friends on a great boat ride. We had so much fun that we didn’t take many pictures. Muchas gracias to our amiga Harper for sharing hers.

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Friends Barbara and Jean who wanted a boat ride.

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Lisa wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

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Luna gets in on the fun.

Wishing you all peace in 2017 from our house to yours. Remember to have fun and learn stuff. DOS TORTAS

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