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

Friday, September 30, 2022

International Artist Day?....

That's everyday for me.  We are surrounded by so many talented artists.  They are everywhere.  I follow a lot on social media (kiptoe, Ten Hundred, Jess Carp, Nerdforge, Smoe Nova, Terri Danso, Bobby Duke, etc.) and am a patron to a couple (Blackbean CMS and an amazing young student at Stanford, Jackie Liu.)  I encourage you to check them out on Youtube. 
And by following these and many others, I am made more and more aware of the beauty and talent that surrounds us.  Here, Margarita from Mexico City and her gorgeous murals in Jalatlaco, is a perfect example.  Such beautiful work, gorgeous colors.  And then there is her smile and the fact that her clothing looks just like her art.  Wonderful!  Again, I encourage to check out those artists.  You will be amazed and inspired/

Thursday, September 29, 2022

International Coffee Day?

Coffee Day?  I thought that was everyday, but maybe that's just in my house.  And for the absolute best coffee in Oaxaca, there is Cafe Pluma in the SW corner of the Benito Juarez Mercado.  Run by Mario and his sister, Sofia, they have a wide selection of coffees, some of the tastiest from the coast. Once you taste their coffee, there is no going back.  Everything else pales by comparison.
Here's this week's supply, two kilos.... just kidding, that's at least ten days worth ;-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Seventy Two...

So this is 72 …. who knew…. and who knew that you could still have a zit on the tip of your nose at this age. Many thanks for all the birthday wishes.  So many of you said such nice things, I’m touched and humbled … yes, and touched in the head, too.  After 15 years here in Oaxaca, I could tell you so many stories and important life lessons…  and even more from my life before, but as the Buddha said, “ I could tell you, but really, you have to figure it all out for yourself.”  So I’ll leave you with this, a quote from Korean Master SongChol:

“If you'd like to know whether you were good or evil in a former life, than look at yourself now to see if you are fortunate or unfortunate.  And if you'd like to know whether you will be happy or miserable in your next life, take a close look at what you're doing now.”

Saturday, September 10, 2022

It's an art : A Wall Update....

Just look at this gate!  Imagine entering that everyday.  It's a real work of art.  Almost ready for a saint to be placed into it.
And it is all the work of this albañil, stonemason.  Maestro!
This work site is just around the corner and
I've been following the progress for weeks.  I always stop and tell the albañil how amazing his work is and that he is a true artist.  He just smiles.  I joked and said, "You must be a rich man."  He said, "Right. Just look how I'm dressed." And we laughed because I was dressed just the same.  Haute Campesino!  He says it will be finished in another week. 
Can't wait to see the finished entrance to go along with his beautiful walls.

Monday, September 5, 2022

High as an elephant's eye....

With all the recent rains, the corn has really shot up, reaching for the sky.  Such an amazing plant, it is no wonder that there is a God or Goddess of Corn in so many cultures.  Also, it's important to recognize that corn or maiz was developed 10,000 years ago in the nearby Mitla area. 
I grew up in upstate NY, corn and dairy country and spent many an hour in the seemingly endless fields of corn. Nothing is quite like the sound of the winds blowing through the tall stalks, alive or dried.  At my 50th high school reunion, I had one of the best conversation with a classmate, a long standing local farmer (Hey, Warren!).  When I started talking about corn and it's important role in Oaxaca and Mexico, his face lit up. "My wife won't let me talk about corn at all." and we were off on a wonderful corn filled conversation.  And how much has that corn grown?  This is what that field looked like one month ago.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Then and Now....

When I moved into this house, the grounds were pretty much bare with construction grade soil.  Well, look what a few years can do... and a little work and a pandemic.  I've propagated lots of the plants from singles and the mango tree was started from seed.  Same for the flor de mayo, now quite large, started from cuttings.
The front and side plots were empty with terrible soil.  This is the front now...
and here's the side kitchen garden. 
I've learned which plants can survive the long hot dry spells and love that they continue to spread and fill all the empty spaces.  Those ornamental grasses all came from a single plant and they continues to spread. 
And some plants have gotten quite large and reached for the sky. 
And, of course, there's a big heart in every garden, right?
Obviously, the rains have finally come and everyone's happy.