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

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rastrillo y Pico - Rake and Pickaxe

The name of my next band? Not quite.

The last three days I have spent working on the house. First, the cleaning neurosis kicks in and when that passes, the gardening one takes over. So I have been making gardens, pruning and adhering to the old, but true adage that "If it is brown, it is never going to turn green again." Hence, taking all the dead leaves off the yucca plants (man, you are neurotic) and fun stuff like that. Just pruning all the trees made a huge difference. I uncovered lots of hidden neglected plants. Nothing a good cleaning and radical pruning won't take care of. The place is transformed, but nothing like it will be if it ever rains. When, oh when?

But I digress, Rastrillo y Pico...

For the last two days, I have walked into San Sebastian to the ferretería, yesterday to get a rastillo or rake and today, for a pickaxe or pico. The words you have to learn... The rastrillo is a toy, but the pico is heavy duty. It has some heft to it. I carried the sucker back on my shoulder and by the time I got home, my shoulder was sore. The thing is weighted like a sledge hammer. There is going be some serious diggin' with this baby.On my walk, with the mountains in the background to the north, I passed fields of corn and alfalfa. There were a few houses and one glorious field I had watched them plant by hand the previous few days, a field of cempasuchil or marigolds for El Dia del los Muertos in November. What a blessing to be able to watch them grow knowing what their endings will be.

So there I am walking with a pico on my shoulder, listening to my ipod shuffle and what comes on but my latest CD "Here and Now" whcih I recorded just up the road in San Agustin in 2007.

The recording process was very different here and in many respects, I was set free to whatever I wanted to and I was happy with the results. I have been learning to weave with sound for many years. Being in the land of the Zapotecs and their weaving skills gave me new inspiration.

So there I am walking there by the side of the road, listening to my music, with a pick axe on my shoulder, in rural Mexico and it just strikes me as funny. A line from Apocalypse Now comes to mind, when Mr. Clean says, "This sho nuf be some bizarre stuff out in the middle of all this shit." or something to that effect.

Maybe it was a mini-revelation or an epiphany, but it occured to me that life is very unpredictable. I could have never pictured myself doing what I am doing now. So good things do happen for those who wait. In truth, I did not wait. And I have discovered that by not waiting, life continues to unfold better and better. So here I am amazed and psyched about the future and just how unexpected, how sweet and happy life can be.

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