Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Sequestration meditation: Walk among the trees, with the thoughts of Hermann Hesse

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Text by Hermann Hesse: “Trees,” from “Wandering: Notes and Sketches”
Photographs by Robert J. Hawkins

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves.

IMG_1628 And even more, I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs, the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 8: First Lady documentary ‘Becoming,’ Alice Walker, Dylan, Prokofiev

IMG_1617FARM-TO-TABLE LINKS & ANNOTATIONS, RAISED HUMANELY IN DIGITAL INCUBATOR:

#1 Dog walks are meant for podcasts. Longer walks mean even MORE podcasts:

a) Fresh Air: Chef Tom Colicchio talks about what it will take for restaurants to survive.

      b)  NYT The Daily: Arrival of the murder hornets and The Chinese Lab theory.

c)  NPR Up First: Unemployment numbers.

d) NYT Sugar Calling: Cheryl Strayed talks with Alice Walker. “Whatever we have, we have to work with it.” (Strayed’s weekly podcast has hosted writers Amy Tan, Judy Blume, Pico Iyer, Margaret Attwood,  and George Saunders.

#2 VISIT: The talk with Alice Walker sent me to her website. Filled with commentaries and poems and nods to essays of others. The first two lines of her poem “True Success” really got me: Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Come, walk with me, through the magical door and into the garden of stone angels

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Let’s enter the garden through this secret passageway.  You can only see it when you truly need to escape from the world to a place where you can be safe and relax while time around you stands still. The real magic is this: The more you need to get away, the easier it is to open this door. Right now it seems almost impossible, doesn’t it? That’s good. It means you are doing just fine.

You can’t call it a back yard. When I think of a back yard, I think of a decent swath of green grass — enough for a few kids to at least play catch or toss a football — and maybe a garden.

No, it has none of that. But it is quite beautiful. If you were to look for a retreat, a place to hang out for a day and just sit and think, this would suit you well.

Not quite a back yard but bigger than a typical patio. Not a piazza, but maybe a courtyard (If you don’t immediately think of a Motel 6 courtyard).  A courtyard that feels like an atrium. That will do. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

The Log: May 3 — Media keep asking the rich & famous how they are ‘coping.’ Who cares?

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GET YER RED HOT COVID-FREE ANNOTATIONS!

# 1 WATCHED: “CBS Sunday Morning” — It must be crazy hard to put together a news/variety TV program in the Time of Pandemic but CBS does a very good job with “Sunday Morning.”

They tend to interview a lot of celebrities, artists, and actors which is fine. That’s probably what people want to see on Sunday mornings with their coffee and bagels.

But they — like a lot of other TV shows — have got to stop asking these people how they are getting on. It is obvious when you look at their surroundings that they are doing just fine — though they all miss the attention. But the answers are the ones you’d expect from a working class family in a single-room walkup with no electricity: Stuff like “making do” and “hunkering down.” Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

O God, give us all the patience to read this

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The classic view of the iconic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel from Calle Aldama in San Miguel de Allende. All was quiet on Saturday morning of  a holiday weekend

When I opened my computer this morning, I was presented as a very long list of quotations, mostly by famous people, extolling the virtue of patience.

Patience.

I stopped reading midway through the list and scrolled to the bottom to see how long the list was.  “No time for this, “I thought. “I’ll get back to it later.”

Now I can’t find it.

No matter. There are plenty more where that came from. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log: April 30 — A ‘Wine’ pairing, vivid dreams, dreams that came true, and dream on

IMG_1501FRESHLY ANNOTATED WITH LOTS OF HOT LINKS!

#1 DREAMS COME TRUE:  Buonforno’s coffee & pastry shop is one of our favorite places in San Miguel de Allende. Easily the best coffee and croissants you’ll find anywhere in town. And the breads! Exceptional. But the owners and staff are what put this shop over the top. It was understandable but sad when they closed.

This morning when I woke up, there on the stool beside my bed was a plate with a Buonforno almond croissant, a pistachio cinnamon bun, and a cup of their coffee.

How could this be? Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log asks me one thing: ‘Say, what have you been up to in social isolation?’

UntitledAfter living five years on an island off the coast of Belize and two years in the magical Mexican city San Miguel de Allende, isolation is just another change that we hadn’t planned on.

Recently while commiserating with a friend who had squirted a tube of oil point on a wall while trying to open it, it occurred to me that accidents are art waiting for vision to give them purpose.

The corollary to that is: There are no accidents in art.

So, let’s substitute the word “life” for “art.” Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Grateful on this cool, preternaturally calm Sunday morning, I ask myself, isn’t this just enough, for now?

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All photographs taken on walks around San Miguel de Allende, the Magic City.

Lurking in the dark corner of the far left tabs

on my computer, for two weeks now,

Concerto for flute, no. 1 in G-Major, K. 313 (1778)

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and performed

By the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

I imagine that Mozart and the ISO have

Survived so much. An Iceland orchestra must Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log: April 24 — Stories help us understand, Alicia Keys helps us heal

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FREE ANNOTATION AND HOT LINKS:

#1. GREAT ESCAPE: The plan was for me to get up early and walk Moppit so Rose could take an online yoga class before the sun turned up the heat.

The internet was down.

Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log: April 22, I’m back and I’ve got this headful of stuff I need to tell you …

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Miss me? These days you can’t say “I am sick” without sending tremors through the universe. But now I can say, “I was sick, for a couple of days.” Whatever the symptoms, they did not add up to COVID 19.

I was just sick. And now I’m better and life goes on and gratitude pours in to fill the void.

As many of you know, when you are sick, you basically do nothing. So, since I sense you don’t want unnecessary detail on nose-blowing and sneezing, let’s say I did nothing of note (“Honk!” … sorry) on Monday and Tuesday.

But here’s today’s ANNOTATED LOG!: Continue reading

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