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

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mayordomos de la Virgen de Guadalupe

Yesterday, we were honored and lucky to be invited to Casa Cruz in Teotitlan del Valle, the home of Fidel and Maria Luisa, the mayordomos for the Virgin of Guadalupe.  Actually, there are two mayordomos, the other being Bulmaro Perez Mendoza, whose house is just across the road.  Being a mayordomo is a big deal, full of responsibilities and obligations, a tradition going back centuries. It is also a lot of work and expense.  They maintain the altar in the church and give numerous celebrations like yesterday.  It is a way to give back to the church and to the village.
Really, there are so many aspects to the event, it all seems a blur, but a very organized, formal and wonderful blur.  Here, bread for breakfast and the velas, candles that will be carried to the church.  They are hand-crafted all from pure wax.
Everyone works!  It takes days of prep.  For the Cruz family, months of work.  It's a year long commitment.  The women prepare and cook the food.  Here they are making hundreds of tlayudas, the large crisp tortillas.
The men set up, serve and, for this celebration, killed 200 chickens, four steer, and six large pigs.  This morning's fare was sopa de oregano, made from beef stock, onions and oregano and big chunks of meat.  Notice, no utensils, only tlayudas and fingers.  Incidentally, the food was made by many of the best and most famous cooks in all of Oaxaca and Mexico... all in the family.  More on them later.
The danzantes arrived with their band.
The unmarried girls and women of the village were present as they woud process two kilometers to the church and then the convite, the traditional procession through the streets of the village, and then back to Casa Cruz, a total of seven kilometers!
Fidel and Maria Luisa were flat out, running around and directing much of the action.  They must be exhausted and I did not get a good shot of them, but I will.  However, I did get this nice shot of Fidel's proud parents.
More in a bit....

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The things I missed - Street art

It's like the streets here are an art gallery.  It never gets old, the ever-changing street art. It's just normal life.... and it's healthy and inspirational on several levels, both social and artistic.
Again, it's one of those things I missed in New England.  I know there are murals and graffiti in Boston, but I sure didn't see much... not like this
Here, they tell it like it is.  It's out there for everyone to see.... until it is torn down or painted over.
Then.... it's on to the next..
Frankly, Boston could use much more of this.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The things I missed - The market in Etla

One week ago, I was shopping in a supermarket in Newton, MA, which is pretty much a state-of-the-art store with almost everything one could want.  A few days later I was back in the market in nearby Etla and wow, what a different.
The presentation slightly different.... and the prices? So much lower. 12 pesos is .63  US... today.
I felt like I had come home....
Surreal... the differences between the two places I call home.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The things I missed - Bugambilias

It is good to be back..... I'm happy to see this plant.  I missed it.  It started out as the worst pruning job I'd ever seen and look at it now.  I've watched the gardeners here and they are masters at shaping plants.  I feel so lucky to have learned a few of their techniques.  In the front it forms this wonderful canopy that hides the house from the street.
And the back is a nice globe shape.  Front and back, all the same plant!

Friday, December 1, 2017

The things I miss... The Blues

The color palette of the houses in New England: white, gray, tan, pale yellow with minor variations. Nice, but...
I had a dream that I painted my house here this blue with green trim. What would the neighbors think?  Hmmm... maybe purple with pink trim.....  Oh, I miss these blues, too.