To the Mexican Pacific

Riding in a small bus through mountains.  Can’t write much in fear of vomiting.  Feels like being back on the boat.

There is no, “I’ll do this one day” or “I’ll be like that some day.”  There’s only how and what you are going to do today.

San Jose del Pacifico

Not a useful word is spoken as we exit the collectivo in relief.  White seemingly stationary clouds conceal the tops of evergreens at the peaks surrounding one side of the village. Opposite is a glass paneled first floor containing a coffee shop.  Unsure if we should clutter the clean wood floors with oversized backpacks, we form a small mountain on the brick lain patio.  Coffee leads to slices of homemade orange cake, garnished with warm conversation and laughter.  Lovely procrastination followed by a mile long march up a steep, windy road in Forrest Gump “big-ol’, fat” rain.  The girls are congratulated on their efforts.  Our first surveyed cabana turns out to be a dirt floored basement, beneath a humble tin-roofed farm-house, between the chicken roost and dog kennel.  It looks interesting, but we are looking for a peaceful retreat and this is below a family living room.

Half a mile back down, we find the green painted house recommended by the Aussie’s (Luke, Scott, and Jeremy)friends.  Made in hippie heaven.  Stringed instruments lie next to the warm, rounded fireplace pricks.  Two long-haired peace keepers play chess on a table soon to be covered by bowls of hearty soup and forearms of recent friends.  Aromas from the potential and chemical reactions fill the cozy room.  Very appealing,  but quite full, and there are 7 of us.  Reluctantly we divide and continue the quest for the perfect abode.

With the use of fractured German and barely constructed Spanish, I manage to obtain a possibility.  Danny, our ever-energetic Spanish friend discovers something better than a plan B.  The steep road becomes a soggy stone, mud, and occasional tire staircase above the town itself.  Another hundred yards up the cloud forest and a left turn leads to the wood planks of our front porch.  With our own fireplace, a kitchen on each of the two floors, beds for everyone, and a view over the valley and even of the ocean some 60 Kilometers away on a clear day, MX$800/night isn’t bad split 7 ways. (today 1$US=MX$12.9)DSC_0054DSC_0044DSC_0023DSC_0031DSC_0018San Jose del PacificoDSC_0010DSC_0040 DSC_0059DSC_0053

We get settled, encounter some large plants and animals, and take advantage of the fungicidal phenomenon the tiny mountain town is known for.  After reading my friend’s description, there is no point in writing my own:

You cannot inspire someone.  They can only be inspired by you.

Never let someone tell you what you should, cannot, won’t, will, have to, must, or mustn’t do.  Consider their words and decide with your own research.  Now consider mine.  Do it.

Mazunte and the Lost Arcade

I do a little rare researching of the quiet, brown sand beach village we are chilling in on wikipedia.  At the bottom of the page (this is no longer there, but I couldn’t make this up) was a bullet point about an old arcade toward Punta Comeda using hacked XBOXes playing gameboy games.  Sounds to good to be true, right?  Well it was actually better.  After the third local looked at me as if I had something growing out of my forehead when I tried to ask where an arcade is, we gave up and decided to check out the peninsula jutting out from southernmost point of the state of Oaxaca.  When our clay and rock path cleared the greeny wood line, it became apparent that we were in the video game.  I was certain at the time that I was looking at the setting for the original Halo’s beach invasion scene on the level The Silent Cartographer.

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Life is like a fire in a fireplace.

There are times when it is going pretty good.  There’s good airflow, the flames are spread in a mellow yellow coat covering all the right parts of the wood.  There’s a good balance.

Occasionally there are shifts.  A piece of an older log burns away, taking away the support of the pile.  Sometimes this is a good change and the fire burns even brighter.  Sometimes this is bad and the fire needs tending.

All fires have three things in common: they start, they  burn for a bit, and then they go out.  There’s no such thing as a never-ending fire.

Some fires are tame, burn slowly for a long time and then gradually extinguish themselves.  Some fires burn like hell, are full of pops and crackles, use entirely too much fuel and oxygen too fast, offer grand spectacle, and die at 27 minutes old.

The more you try to contain the fire and direction of the flames, the less enchanting the fire is.  Propane fireplaces just don’t draw eyes the way disappearing logs can.  And a fireplace with fresh chopped wood will never silence a group of humans the way a campfire will.

Patterns in the flames possess the cognitive reception akin to freestyle music because just as our mind begins to get see the rhythm, it changes.  There are big-picture likelihoods, but in essential details, it is forever unpredictable.


Mexico Pt. 2: Oaxaca

Sept. 3, 2013 – Oaxaca

City of colors, art, and chocolate.

I lie in a nylon rope woven type of beach chair on the hostel rooftop, evenly distributing the load through my skin, blue-grey jeans, and prince shirt into a re-bar frame.  The chair frame is fixed and supports itself on 4 triangular legs to a sitting position or, in my current position, can be rocked back to use two rear legs, which results in a view dominated by sky.  Today I am employing the majority of my energy into the vital activity of breathing.  With no intention of contracting unnecessary neck muscles, my head rests on the rear left round of my skull, just behind the ear, and my eyes shift from lap to harmless, clouds resembling white plastic bags carrying grey sweatshirts.  Cars and busses grumble up and down the street behind me and distant church bells echo through the colonial-contemporary bricks as I take as I take turns scribing a few words at a time, resting my eyes for a deep, slow breath, and reaching for the cool, bottled Corona.  The small leaves of aluminum bucketed plants gently caress the ever present flow of crisp Sierra mountain air through the city of Oaxaca (pronounced wa-Hawka).

I chuckle at the thought of how similar my brother and I are.  We champion freedom to the point of inefficiency and obey logic involuntarily.  Presentation of irrefutable information is used back and forth as a means of temporarily enslaving the other.  I again swear to never commit a living situation with him, and, deep down, eagerly await a future circumstance in which I do.

A vicious run up countless flights of stairs to the amphitheater overlooking the artistic, easy natured, foothill city starts the hangover recovery process.  Thirty minutes of cold water allows me to shampoo and condition my dreads and various articles of clothing.  The socks and boxer briefs were left airing on the open window sill, but after a walk to the market, a cup of cappuccino with a dorm mate, and a visit to possibly the most ornately decorated building I’ve ever seen (up there with Grand Central Station and German cathedrals – sorry, no cameras aloud), I find the window closed and no trace of my garments.  Egg sandwich, the 1st quarter of Pulp Fiction, and up to the roof I go, which brings me to the nylon rope chair.  The Prince shirt has 5 and 8 section radial patterns of royal blue and fire truck red and black, such as a grandmother’s sofa under a black light.  I found it at a Mexican thrift store for 10 pesos. It even has shoulder pads.  All I need now is to get 100 times better on guitar.  After a big day at petrified waterfalls and a big night with my new Australian travel buddies, sitting is all I want.

Too much chemical associated with worry floating around in our brains.  People need others to agree.  They feel it’s their work to make others worry.  I want people (myself especially) to lighten up.