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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


One of the aspects of life in Mexico, in Oaxaca in particular, that I enjoy the most and intrigues me the most, is how differently certain basic things in life are dealt with.  Things like frustration, patience, respect, humor, all have a different flavor here.  It's those cultural differences that I am always talking about and whose depth are plain to see, but whose subtleties are much harder to take in.  I fear I will never really get them, because, hey, I'm not a oaxaqueño.  I am not el zapoteco blanco, even though I try to be.

However, the more I observe, the more I learn and after celebrating several Days of the Dead here, I am more convinced than ever that oaxaqueños and mexicanos, in general, deal with the most basic thing ever, death, much better than we do in El Norte.

While I've been in Boston, I have tried to imagine people filling cemeteries, spending time with their dead relatives.  Joining together, with food and drink and warm shared memories, not only with their families, but everyone else from town or neighborhood.  And guess what?  It just does not compute.  It ain't gonna happen, at least not in prim and proper New England.  And that is too bad, because I think we would all benefit from it.

I always enjoy watching children at the various panteons as they help with the decorations, but invariably end up playing and having fun.  It just seems so healthy and natural.  I am sure they grow up with less fear and a better perspective on life and death.  How could they not?
They keep teaching me and they are pretty good teachers, aren't they?

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