photography, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

An art project grows in San Miguel de Allende

I love this Bug.

It’s like something out of a Disney/Pixar movie where a once-beloved and cuddled family Bug grows old as the family grows up and is eventually abandoned in the Shed of Lost Car Souls where it withers, rusts, and decays for decades until the troubled teenage grandson discovers the car and with loving assistance from grandpa restores the Bug, restores his own self-confidence, and restores grandpa’s long-lost memories as he regales his grandson with tales of family road trips and adventures in this very same car — and in the end, grandpa and grandson trundle down the road in their magnificently restored Bug on the Mexican road trip of their lives.

Or, maybe not.

A wider view of the skeletal remains of a Volkswagon Beetle in decay.

Maybe this is a very deliberate art project, set within the concrete-and-brick frame of an uncompleted house on the Prolongation de Aldama above the Guadiana neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende, home of magical art projects. You can feel the tension between the auto’s decay and the building’s inherent desire to be completed. In the midst of this struggle — a metaphor for the conflicts in which San Miguel de Allende finds itself — growth versus decay, expansion versus preservation, tradition versus modernity, commercialism versus authenticity — there arises amidst the rubble the soft green and refreshing presence of young vegetation (ie. youth) — the symbol of rebirth, new starts, compromise, durability, adaptability, endurance, purity, and persistence. Over the years the struggle will play itself out as either the vegetation/nature overtakes all, the house is completed, or the Bug is restored/sold for parts/junked.

Or, maybe not.

Maybe this is just a very old and disused Bug, temporarily stored in a partially completed shell of a house in which some vegetation is growing amidst the neglect.

Maybe this isn’t a diorama of metaphorical broken or deferred dreams. Maybe this is just an oddity that is periodically discovered by one person or another with an iPhone who takes a photo and finds it curious enough to post on Facebook and Instagram.

I’d like to think otherwise.

This place, this Bug, this incomplete house, these plants, even that trash that builds up inside the “frame” suggests an impromptu yet purposefully designed ofrenda to deceased dreams, dying possibilities, deferred ambitions.

On a Sunday morning in Magical San Miguel with time on your hands, anything is possible.

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