The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More Mexican Than Before

I had a quick trip to El Norte last week. It was time to renew my visa. These six months have gone by quickly, some of the best times of my life. Of course, sadness and problems always tag along for the ride, but I would not trade it for anything. There are wonderful memories and experiences that I will carry with me always – all part of my continuing education. Maybe I will do better in the future. I will certainly try.

I was only in the states for a few days and I had a long list of things to do and pick up.
The most important accomplishment was the printing of the directory of the carvers from La Union Tejelapam. The costs in Oaxaca were prohibitive and I worried that I would not be able to complete the project and would let so many people down, but Minuteman Press in West Newton, MA did an incredible job and the finished product is now available in local stores in Oaxaca. Now, it is on to the carvers of San Martin Tilcajete.

It was nice to walk along the frozen Charles on that same walk I had trekked so many times with so many dogs in the past.

I watched the Patriots beat San Diego with my brother and I got to experience the intense and biting cold that is New England in mid January. Of course, the Green Bay-Giants game made us feel warm. Trying to explain that level of cold to oaxaqueños is like trying to explain to a Bostonian what an avocado really tastes like right off the tree.

I also visited the school at which I taught for so many years. It was wonderful to see students, colleagues and friends. I am still sorting out the past from the present, but I think the answers are becoming clearer. Obviously, I am no longer there, but the buildings and programs I helped build still are. Watching kids in action in the Arts will give even the most cynical hope for the future. I spent almost thirty years making music and art with kids. The current generation is right on track, breathing down our necks and pushing – just like we did to those before us. Esperanza!

As I packed up my treasures for my return – Thai Hot Sauce, sesame oil, rooting hormone for plant cuttings, dormant oil for the gardenias, cheddar cheese, batteries for the G4 and video cameras, sneakers, underwear, socks, AC power cord for my MacBook, USB hubs, portable hard drives, M-Audio equipment (for the world’s most compact recording studio), books, magazine, photography gear, contact lens cleaner, crunchy peanut butter, the directory - it occurred to me that I was returning to Mexico like so many Mexicans, bringing back lots of things it is so hard to get here.

Of course, I was not like the young guy I ran into in the Oaxacan airport who had two large flat-screen TV’s with him and a few other cardboard boxes of goodies. He was the real thing and I’m just renting….

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