Archive | August, 2021

On To Another Adventure

29 Aug

Our time in Austin, Texas has been renewing for our spirit and relationship. Lisa and I haven’t spent time alone in several years. Do you believe it?! Between Covid, her mother, and the dogs, well, it’s probably a lot like your life.

Morning on the Sunset Valley Greenbelt.
One must be up early to beat the Texas heat.
I love the majestic trees of Central Texas.

With the help of family, friends and Uber, we had a comfortable place to stay and transportation. Our house sitters have taken care of hearth and home and the dogs.

Back in Bacalar, Stela has taken up yoga. Resting pensive pose.

We are very grateful as we move on to the next part of our adventure, visiting California.

Bald Cypress

I miss the trees when we are in Mexico. Then again, Austin doesn’t have Laguna Bacalar.

Thank you sitters Dino and Lei for the updates and photos.

Time to pack.

DOS TORTAS

Painted on the overpass along Ladybird Lake hike and bike trail.

Beholding The Art

22 Aug

Guest blog by Father Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

When we look at art, we are usually quick to judge its value according to our own preferences based on style, color, size, location, and even country of origin! However, there is another invitation—one that goes beyond our likes and dislikes—and that is to simply “behold” it. Many of the apparitions in the Bible begin with “behold”—usually uttered as a command, an invitation, or perhaps a call to a different style of attention. In a sense, it is a giveaway that, in fact, we can and need to “switch gears” once in a while to be ready to perceive what is about to come at us…

From the house where we’re staying in Austin.
Our son.

Once we decide to behold, we are available for awe and wonder, to be present to what is, without the filter of our preferences or the false ledger of judging things as important or not important. A much broader, much deeper, and much wider field of perception opens up, becoming an alternative way of knowing and enjoying. The soul sees soul everywhere else too: “deep calls unto deep,” as the psalmist says (42:8). Center knows center, and this is called “love.”

I invite you to “behold” something today. In my experience, you will seldom be disappointed. Find a bit of ordinary beauty—a print, a sculpture, a photograph—in your home, online, or at a museum—and gaze at it until you see it as one instance of a manifestation of the eternal creativity of God. Allow your “beholding” to move the work of art beyond its mere “relative truth” and to reveal its inherent dignity, as it is, without your interference or your labels. It becomes an epiphany and the walls of your world begin to expand.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Just This (CAC Publishing: 2017), 99–101.

The yard at a friend’s house.

I have written of the inspiration I receive from Father Richard Rohr. (Finding Inspiration). His daily posts this week are about appreciating art in our daily lives. I have been keeping an art journal during this trip to the US. It’s been fun and a different way to collect memories.

My friend Roberta.

It’s so easy to be critical of my art but I’m not going to go there. I’m enjoying a different way to chronicle my visit and invite Spirit into my life.

DOS TORTAS

Cloudburst

14 Aug

Whenever I come across something that gives me a good belly laugh, I have to share it with my partner. But when it’s a fall off the couch, tears and snot guffaw-fest, it has to go on the Dos Tortas blog.

This week we watched Cloudburst with Olympia Dukakis on Netflix. I began by not paying much attention but was soon completely riveted. I’ll surely go back and watch it again. The zingers were flying fast and furious and absolutely hilarious.

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi2691547161

The fact that this movie came out in 2002, before lesbians could legally marry in the US, means that I am waaaay behind the times in my movie watching. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Thirty-one years together.

DOS TORTAS

Mask Distance Vaccinate

8 Aug

As Austin, Texas moved into stage 5 this week, the highest Covid warnings were put back in place. People have been admonished to cease circulating and cover your face, even if you are vaccinated. And of course, get the vaccine.

We planned our trip from our jungle paradise to the US when conditions had vastly improved and we had gotten our vaccines. Having spent the quarantine to date in Mexico has gotten us used to masking up before going anywhere. Unlike Texas, Mexico has no problems requiring masks. We are hoping that wearing a mask and only hanging with vaccinated, careful people will get us through. Fingers crossed.

Our son building a climbing structure for his kids.

It has been wonderful to see family and a few friends. We had a small outdoor gathering of my former coworkers on Thursday. Many cancelled, however it was so good to see people whom I have known and worked with for over twenty years. Everyone is in various stages of retirement. One couple is visiting from Portugal where they recently relocated. What fun!

Please add us to your prayers as we navigate the crazy times we live in.

DOS TORTAS

Wake Me Up When We Get There

1 Aug

During my time working for the State of Texas, I flew frequently for my job. I arrived at the airport with just enough time to slip on board the plane to Houston, Corpus or El Paso. If meetings ended early, it was easy to jump on an earlier flight. And there was no additional charge!

Mexico City Airport

When 9-11 happened, the addition of a security line increased the amount of time necessary to arrive at the airport. An hour flight from Austin to Houston took so much additional time in a security line, that it was often easier to drive. Fees began to pile on for rescheduling flights. Flying became less fun.

We travel light. Unfortunately Stela had to stay home.

Our recent trip to the United States from Mexico, after a year and a half in quarantine has us thinking twice about the future of travel. Add to the experience is the fact that none of us is getting any younger. There are additional fees for everything, checked luggage, seat selection and even water on the plane. Each airline has different requirements for proof of health, an application to to be downloaded and filled out or paper to be signed. So much screening! To leave Mexico City we had to get up at two a.m. to be at our flight three hours ahead of time. We knew it would be different but nothing prepared us for the actual experience.

Lisa takes a snooze.
Fun times with the grands. Makes it all worth it.

At the same time, we are excited to see family and friends. We can no longer isolate in our jungle paradise, although I will be supremely happy to get back when our tasks are completed and we make our way home.

DOS TORTAS

Emilie Vardaman

travel and random thoughts

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