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

Sunday, December 5, 2010

East is east.....

It is quite interesting to be back in the belly of the beast.  You know how it is.  You spend a part of your life, large or small, in a particular place and it helps shape you, becomes a part of you.  And you know there ain't no goin' back after you've gone.  Everything changes, the place, the time, you, all different.

I think going between Oaxaca and Massachusetts for so many years, I think it may be close to twenty, watching the changes unfold, has been a wonderful experience.  Sure, at times, it makes my head hurt, but that's because the educational aspects of life refine and intensify.

I returned to my old school to see a former colleague and got an excellent overdose of the place, which was a beautiful as ever.  Nothing like being in the midst of hundreds of kids.  Wonderful to see old friends and to better assess my own contributions to the place.  Just like in my gardening experiences, some things actually grew and..... OMG... look at the size of that tree! 

However, the place remains a Brigadoon, a bubble in a turbulent sea.  A comment I heard from several teachers was, "I have no idea how people can afford to send their kids here. Where to they come up with the money?"  Tuition is approaching 50K and there are families with multiple kids enrolled at the same time.

I felt like an outsider there, an alien observer and I think that's fine. I feel the same about being here in the States. In conversations with many people, I hear the same thing, "We got trouble here, right here in River City."  This country or empire is following the cycles of so many that preceded it.  Hello, we are all Mayans now.

Is it possible for such a polarized society to prosper?  Pick an issue.  Any issue.  Pick a side.  Hmmm.... something like pregnancy resulting from rape being God's plan.  I know where I stand and I don't think I could ever agree with the other side... ever.  Pick another issue.  War.  Torture. Taxes.

Now, I am ready to head back south, where I am an even more obvious alien.  Both places have incredible problems with which to deal and it will not be easy.  Who knows, it may not even be possible.  We do what we can.

Speaking of differences, I am looking out at the houses surrounding my light gray house. There's a white one, a gray one, light tan, white, white.... you get the picture.

Imagine this color on your house or your neighbor's.  In Oaxaca, it is totally normal, almost subtle.
Even for a final resting place.

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