Archive for November, 2008
There’s a restaurant just down the start from us called El Infierno which translates as hell. I looked it up in the dictionary to check for an alternative meaning and there were a few listings:
- Hell, the place of the devil and wicked souls; torment of the wicked.
- Anything which causes confusion, pain, or trouble; discord, dispute.
Mandar a uno al quinto infierno -> to tell somebody to go to hell
- Refectory or eating room in some convents.
- A large retort or other chemical vessel.
So I’m wondering if the folks who eat there rely on definition #4 instead of anything which causes pain. I’m tempted to try this place out.
Every now and then–and lately it’s been now instead of then–I’m so incredibly happy with life I feel as though I could burst. It’s the little things I pay attention to, like bird song everywhere, the sun on my neck, the colors on the side of the street lined up like butterflies under a glass plate, the people… I could go on forever. But I have moments of supreme joy and try not to sabotage them by thinking this can’t possibly last. The Sur Experiment has been to see what it is like to live in the present. Living in the NOW has allowed me to fall in love with my own life. It’s been a liberating and exhilarating process. I want to take it with me when I go.
Sometimes I feel as though I’m walking on the streets of the most magical place on Earth.
Anna couldn’t remember if she had turned the stove off before she left, if she had closed the back door so Murrey couldn’t get out, and if she had taken out last night’s tampon before inserting the one this morning. Life was so much more functional when she wasn’t multi-tasking.
I found a park the other day. There was a lot of dirt, chipped paint, and tires. The swings were broken and the slide was shaky. There was trash under the tree where I imagine parents sit to watch their kids. It was open, like the desert. And windy. The sun was lazy and created long, warm shadows. Fernando was wearing shorts. There were dogs barking in the distance and graffiti on the industrial walls that surrounded the businesses nearby.
I could have stayed all day. Fernando slept on a bench while I walked around taking pictures, breathing in the wind and the sun. I felt as though I had stepped back into myself somewhere around 4 where memories are like jelly, and was wandering in the same backyard playground I grew up in… 13th St. San Diego, a Mexican neighborhood. I can still remember how to say dirt in Ukrainian.
A group of mariachis led a parade of catrinas y catrins last night through the jardin. They gave out treats to the kids who lined up to receive them. At the end, the catrinas y catrins stood in the middle of the jardin under a covered platform, dancing and throwing candy while the mariachis played.
Like every other celebration in Mexico, Day of the Dead is executed cien por ciento, or 100%. The altars in the jardin are immense, creative, and lovely. F and I walked around last night in the wind enjoying the festive atmosphere and the art employed in putting together these altars. They stretch across the expanse of the square. At one end of the jardin were Catrina dancers. Dressed and painted in white with a Catrina hat on their heads, they danced a ballet folklórico to spooky music, adding a nice backdrop to the altars, the flowing flags, and the little kids asking “Coopera con mi calaverita?”
Coopera con mi calaverita? is their version of Trick or Treat and translates to “Will you cooperate with my skull?” Which means, can you put something in my shoebox like candy or money? The boxes were carved with intricate designs and the kids had their costumes on. Apparently, they also go to homes and businesses; but if you’re out walking around, you’re expected to cooperate with their skulls and contribute a little something. F and I will be out again tonight, and so will they. I’ll be sure to have some chocolate on me this time.