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, June 30, 2015


From Noticias..... (translated)
Grupo Televisa announced today that it will not participate in any project of communication related to American businessman, Donald Trump.

In a statement, the company Televisa said that it received with incredulity the statements of Donald Trump, who offended the migrant population Latin American and particularly to Mexicans.

Days after his unfortunate statement, Mr Trump, far from reconsidering, continued to attack migrants and any media that has criticized him, he said.

In those statements, Grupo Televisa strongly rejected all forms of discrimination, racism or xenophobia.

"Grupo Televisa has trade relations with many countries around the world." Dealing with people in all these countries is based on mutual respect, Mr Trump has not shown understanding nor respect for Mexican migrants and has offended the entire Mexican population ", adds the document.

Grupo Televisa reiterated that any form of business relationship with the Miss Universe pageant and the companies that make up the Trump Organization is unacceptable.
 I think the Trump piñata will be a big seller.

Monday, June 29, 2015

More colibri

This hummingbird is a daily visitor and it flies from flower to flower just doings its job.  It often just sits and poses and actually lets me get relatively close.
Pollen on the beak.
 In among the lavender.
A quiet moment.
But they move with such speed I miss more shots than I get.
I love the transparency of the the wings due to how fast they are moving.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Perfect - Unfinished Justice

It's a current thing here to print meaningful words on walls or police cars or taxis, lots of places.  Words like "Paciencia, amistad, honestidad" (patience, friendship, honesty) are common.  I think I am like most people and almost don't even see them, but it is kinda Orwellian when you think about it.  

At any rate, this one, on the road back from Tlacolula just before San Sebastian Tutla, is a perfect statement on justice here.....

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Garden update

We have had a few sunny days and no rain.  Well, no rain in San Pablo, but there were absolutely torrential rains in the city and just a few kilometers away.  Anyway, the garden is really poppin'.  It is hard to believe that there was virtually nothing there less than two years ago. 
And this might be the height of the season, the best it has ever looked. 
The zinnias will fade and I will get a second crop in, but the first is always the best.
The paths now are grass covered and actually look quite nice.  I always plant fragrant plants along them so that when I walk by I have to brush against them and release their fragrances.  Here is a nice large lemon verbena, which they call citron here, and an equally fragrant scented geranium.
And there is so much life all around me as I work out there, birds, bees, mariposas and even an occasional goat or two.
Lots and lots of butterflies
 They refuse to work with me and keep flitting around.
However, this beautiful hummingbird or colibri did sit for a portrait.
 I love the detail of the plated feathers on its breast..... such a rainbow of colors.

Friday, June 26, 2015

La diosa de Tlacolula - The goddess of Tlacolula

The whole San Juan Guelavia adventure turned out to be less than expected.  The dancing was not scheduled for many hours, so....... The late afternoon sun was so beautiful and the countryside so lush, that they told us to take a joy ride to Tlacolula.  The market is always happening, but nothing like Sundays and we found the place to be wonderfully quiet and almost empty, relatively speaking.  Part of the lack of people is due to the major renovation project which will be done in a couple more months.  The displaced vendors now line the nearby zocalo.
The above is just one of the goddesses in the market.  She wears the traditional traje and dances with her heavy canasta on her head.  However, another goddess rules over the place, as well.
Esperanza is a magical presence, always smiling, as she puts in her twelve hour day with never a day off.  You may remember her from this blog as she has appeared here many times.  She was one of the dancers from the group representing Tlacolula in the guelaguetza a couple of years ago.
And she always plays me like a virtuoso. 
I swear she could make a stone smile or blush. 
And the barbacoa (BBQ) was delicious.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A welcoming sight - San Juan Guelavia

It is fiesta time in San Juan Guelavia.   June 24 is the saint's feast day and the church was looking very warm and welcoming.
It was difficult to capture the lushness of the scene and the wonderful glittering of the decorations.
Today it is back to see some regional dancing.

Out my back window

Actually, these are from the roof.  This is one of my neighbors who regularly brings his goats to feast on the succulent greens behind the house. 
Always a beautiful sight.
And it makes me seriously contemplate his life.... and the goats lives, too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Tejas Banda - Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec

Almost everyone in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec plays a musical instrument.  I have heard that over ninety percent of the people play and the quality of the musicianship is absolutely exceptional.  As one who conducted many bands and orchestras over the years, I was completely blown away by how good these kids are. 

Musical groups are reflections of their leaders and this group was a perfect example.  Here is Antonio Tejas and it is his band.
It was pretty obvious, the kids love him, and having a young, handsome and hip director.
Looking fine and playing even better.
They sounded every bit as good as many professional bands.
And they were so young, absolutely solid as musicians.
I love how this little guy has to stand on a block to reach the right height to play.
I did shoot some video, but used a new camera and somehow I managed to delete it before it transferred.  A good reason to go back, which I am sure I will.

Pole dancers - Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec style

Almost every village has a basketball court prominently located and Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec is no exception. I love the horn mounted on top of the building just above the hoop.  What a village!  Everyone is so into music.  These two little girls were playing while the concert was going on right behind the building.
 and shy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec - Shaking up the Fashion World

Another post on Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec and some of the fashion design work stolen recently.  Be sure to check out blogger sister Shannon's post on the same trip.  The traditional designs and embroidery are so beautiful, each a work of art, all done by machine.  I have purchased other huipiles and trajes from Doña Honorina Gómez Martínez.
Here she is hard at work.
Details, details, details,
It is no wonder that fashion folks try to steal the designs, but there ain't nothing like the real thing.
Nothing.  Shame on them!  ¿No tiene  vergüenza?
I hang her trajes as works of art in my houses here and in Boston.
This is the magnificent one I purchased yesterday.
The great thing is that almost every woman is dressed in a beautiful outfit.
Each unique and beautiful.
What a wonderful village to visit.
You can see why.

What's up in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec?

The village of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec has been in the news recently.  Shannon over at Casa Colibri has the story.  I am going to do a few posts on the place, as it is such a unique and wonderful pueblo.  We thought we would go and see if there was any followup, really just to see what was happening on a Sunday.
It is about two and a half hours from Oaxaca and one drives through some pretty rugged and unpopulated areas.  Villages are few and far in between.  And, there is some fine mezcal in them that hills.  However, we were going there simply for lunch and check things out.  We were not alone.
And what were they watching?
I love this village because over ninety percent of the people play musical instruments and they are renowned throughout the country for their clean and professional playing.  These kids were no exception.  They sounded better than most adult bands I've heard down here.  More on them in a later post.  The trajes or tradition clothing worn by the women are some of the most beautiful and unique I've seen.  They all look gorgeous.... and they really like their nieves.
More in a bit about the clothing and a picture of the traje I bought to hang as wall art.