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.

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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, April 25, 2015

Checking in at Yanhuitlan

We took the short drive north to visit Yanhuitlan and Teposcolula.  It is a gorgeous drive through such diverse country and for a change, things were nice and green because of the recent rains.  I have been going there for a few years, watching the restoration proceed.  It used to look like this...
And now it looks like this....
However, for me, they have made this magnificent church into a cold, sterile place.  It feels less alive than ever and it never really felt that alive.... maybe it is the 95,000 Mixtecs that died in the 16th and 17th centuries in its early days of construction.  They died from diseases that came with the conquistadores, but hey, they at least died Catholics, although, as indigenous, they were not allowed into the church proper.
 
Vestiges of its original glory remain.
Somehow I don't think is was this sterile when the monks were here.
The state government is pushing the Ruta Dominicana as a tourist attraction and it is certainly worth the trip, but sadly, they have removed much of the patina of the place, taken out the old weathered stones that covered the floor and replaced them with stark white smooth stone tiles.  And it sure looks like they sandblasted the walls and removed what must have been original paintings.  A little remains, but one can only imagine what it looked like before the geniuses behind the restoration started.
 
Actually, I was there just before and the church was dark and closed off, full of birds and echos of the past.  It was definitely more alive then. And the adjoining zocalo was completely empty with a voice blasting over the loudspeakers... not really warm and fuzzy..  Still, it is most definitely worth the trip.  It is a great piece of Mexican history in a nutshell.  One can see the whole story, the result of the conquest, the Dominicans and the revolutions.

2 comments:

Milka silva said...

Beautiful.

Christopher Stowens said...

Muchas gracias! Always a good place to visit. Photography is so easy there because the setting is so beautiful.