Friday, February 25, 2011

memories of mexico

Ach. This winter is dragging on. And I have had a fever for five days. I haven't painted for five days. I am grumpy.
My husband departs for San Francisco tomorrow morning for a week-long work conference, and he is delivering a ridiculously overdue holiday package to my dear friend Rachel... and in wrapping it up, I found this letter that I wrote to her while in Mexico. I was reveling in the expansive quality of time, and enjoying the activity of writing letters by hand: that intimate and specific conversation which, (oddly enough in this time of blogging and multi-purposing) cannot be pirated for other uses or distributed en masse.  And yet, because I am tired and grumpy and have nothing really to say, but could use a good cheering up, I will put this one letter down to posterity. Because I need to remember.

There is a deep silence in the middle of the day, here, when Sava is put down to sleep and the rest of us sink into our various attitudes of repose, which feels like such a tremendous silence partly in contrast to the morning's cacophany of adventure- always a voyage into the crowded street, the peals of bells and clanks of traffic and shopkeepers and the noise of all the bright colors bombasticating at you and the sheer delight of being alive to all the colors and smells and sounds, so that when we retreat into our silence it is like entering a dark cafe which is furnished delightfully with the shadows of the morning, so that it is not an empty or boring silence but a rich one with many thoughts to dig up and ideas to digest: in short, the perfect time to write. To sit in the stillness of my mind and think of you and reach out to you in this letter as if we were sitting across the table clasping hands.

So, my dear. The richness of this trip is a treasure to my winter and Virginia-starved senses. I am so happy that I am able to be fully present here: as in awe as if i was standing jaw-dropped in a grove of old-growth redwoods. I have been longing to arrive, to myself, for quite awhile, so that when we were one the shuttle here and Sava chirped happily and grammatically incorrectly "We're almost HERE!" and Jamba moved to correct her, I said "No, she is absolutely right. We are, almost, here."

Alright- so what is here? deeply cobblestoned streets, every facade a shifting pattern of rich color- cacophany of bird song- a wild surreal pink cathedral in the middle of a promeande-tastic square, which for three nights was absolutely crammed with wild party. Mornings of fresh-squeezed orange juice and cafe at a little patio table soaking up the sun while grandma and papa watch Sava back at the house. Sava starting to say "hola" and "gracias" and "buenos dias" because she is finally hearing the language all around her: it makes sense.  A strange, utterly foreign feeling of being completely lazy and purpose-less, without the usual attending feelings of guilt. The opportunity to lie fallow and allow deep rest, out of which the deepest creativity usually wells up.

...there is a feeling that life is deeply lived here, by all. And it is opening us up, like flowers. Sava is daily giddy, ecstatic. Meeting little girls here and running around with them gleefully. Even Jamba, tentatively, opening  himself up to the experience of joy (a muscle, he told me, which has to be exercised) so that today, wandering around a beautiful gallery, he stopped to play their guitar, and filled that space with a song.

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