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 7: Full Moon & she goes full werewolf, 2 break-ins, (unrelated) 2 blog posts

IMG_1614#1  Full moon — Neighbor went into full werewolf until about 1:30 a.m. Howling, screaming, ranting. Somebody was trying to talk her down, not very successfully. At the same time she was smashing up a lot of stuff — sounded like wood slats — one after another, after another.

#2 Miguel and Mercedes at Rinconcito said the two businesses next to them on Refugio were broken into, possibly right after the werewolf crashed for the night. Miguel was helping the shop owners cut back the trees that were climbed to get inside. Continue reading

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

That time Romeo proposed to Juliet? Well, yes, but it wasn’t quite as we remembered

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Davit Karapetyan’s proposal to Vanessa Zahorian came at the end of their performance in “Romeo and Juliet” with the San Francisco Ballet. We may or may not have been there to witness this amazing moment …

Last night, Rose and I watched the streaming performance of “Romeo and Juliet” by the English National Ballet. It was an exuberant performance of the Rudolf Nureyev production with the music of Sergei Prokofiev.

Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernández are the young lovers of Verona. The ballet was filmed in October 2015 at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Quite by coincidence, it was exactly 10 years ago — to the day — that we attended a performance of “Romeo and Juliet” by the San Francisco Ballet at the stately War Memorial Opera House.

Like I said, to the day. 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

Reasons to be cheerful before 10:30 a.m.

Can there be any symbol of resiliency more endearing that a single strand of climbing cactus with a full bloom up where the air and light are free? This one on Calle 28 de Abril Norte in Colonia San Antonio makes me smile whenever I pass by.

———-         ———-          ———–          ———-

What do we need? HOPE!
When do we need it? NOW!
Who are we going to get it from? NOT FACEBOOK!
Then from who? (Or “whom” or “what”?) WINE!

OK! But are there any other vehicles of hope,
ones that we can remember in the morning?

Jesus, you people …
OK, let’s try song and poetry 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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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Things we do all the time and things we do for the first time ever

dandy-lion (1)From Ray Bradbury’s ” Dandelion Wine” …

“He brought out a yellow nickel tablet. He brought out a yellow Ticonderoga pencil. He opened the tablet. He licked the pencil.

“Tom,” he said, “you and your statistics gave me an idea. I’m going to do the same, keep track of things. For instance: you realize that every summer we do things over and over we did the whole darn summer before?”

“Like what, Doug?”

“Like making dandelion wine, like buying these new tennis shoes, like shooting off the first firecracker of the year, like making lemonade, like getting slivers in our feet, like picking wild fox grapes. Every year the same things, same way, no change, no difference. That’s one half of summer, Tom.”

“What’s the other half?”

“Things we do for the first time ever.”

+++++ +++++ +++++

What’s the last thing you did for the first time ever?

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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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