I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them…
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
When I deleted the previous version of this blog I think I’d come up against the question of “who am I writing this for?” and “why am I writing it?” I had no intention of taking the blog in a commercial direction, yet I found myself looking at the traffic counts, the countries where viewers lived and that type of thing, and then I found myself trying to write to a publication schedule.
I’d picked up a few followers who were not personal friends, I took on subjects that were broader than “oh, this is what I did today,” I found myself needing to post on a daily basis in order to keep and attract readers I didn’t know. I felt pressured to produce. Certainly not anything I wanted to feel at this stage in my life.
I also wondered about just how much I should self-reveal. Whether I need to write it out for myself or not, do others need to read it? Is this a public diary? I still haven’t answered that. I don’t know whether some of the feelings I go through are because of who I am or what I’m doing – likely both, of course – but who’s interested in some of the detritus of life that we all go through?
It got very tiresome and somewhat boring, and I had moved far from my original intention of writing for friends and family. Once I recognized those things, I found an interest in restarting the blog. So that’s how I got to this point.
This week’s storm
One night this week huge winds came up rattling windows, doors and shutters; I closed the windows in anticipation of rain, which came just as big as the winds, accompanied by the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard, almost as if snare drums were being played inside the casita, and then there was lightning. It was a rousing welcome to the casita.
The move into the casita was somewhat effortless. I had made two walking trips a day for three days carrying hand- and shopping bags full of essentials so I could move away from Los Chupiros and start sleeping at the casita. The first night was a revelation as there were no dog barks … none … from near or far, from any direction. Since then I’ve heard a few barks, but it has never been a chorus just a solitary dog performing its duties, likely regarding cats.
Part of the quiet comes from the fact that the casita is at the back of a house, isolated from the street by the house and a tall stone wall. The street is a privada with absolutely nothing of interest to anyone so there’s only the traffic of those who live here (six homes) and two of those families are not here at present. The back of the lot abuts a schoolyard (so I still have the wonderful sounds of kids at recess or when singing) that is silent after the children leave, and the school serves as a buffer from the neighborhood.
Another casino night
The night the storm came in was also the night that a restaurant associated with a high-end hotel was holding a casino night in conjunction with a local charity. There was a posting on the civil list by the charity publicizing the fact, and I thought, “hmmm.” So I checked the restaurant’s web site, the NGO’s website, and a few other things and I found myself thinking, “What would Lisa Simpson do in this situation?” I suddenly had a not-so-good feeling about NGOs in Mexico much like my feeling about NGOs in Africa and decided to forego a night out. Then the storm came and I knew I had the right decision.
Lunch with C
C and I met at Cafe M for lunch and we had a far-ranging conversation, as usual. Starting with people we know, moving on to people we’ve known, charging on to suspicions about actions and activities here in San Miguel. I mentioned my concern about the charity and its casino night, and she brought up her own concerns. She mentioned that the Rotary Club is going to build an amphitheater in one of the poorest sections of San Miguel so that locals can put on plays; she mentioned that most of the locals in that neighborhood don’t have running water.
A visit from Fr. C
In one week I’ve had two visitors to the casita; that’s two more than visited me in the six months I lived at the Santa Julia apartment.
C came over after our lunch to continue our talk and then on Saturday Fr. C stopped by and he talked about co-housing, among other things. He’s investigating low-cost housing for low-income Mexicans and thinks co-housing might be an option. He says Habitat for Humanity is in other parts of Mexico, but not here. Building, land ownership, and water are tricky topics. The previous day C had told me that it is illegal to drill new wells, yet permits are issued to golf courses.
A house in colonia Independencia was leveled when the fireworks (and raw materials for fireworks) that were stored there exploded. That prompted a large number of comments on the civil list, which, as usual, strayed far from the original topic of someone storing 30 kilos of explosive (and “there oughta be a law” posts – and there are laws already to that effect) to complaints and defenders of noise from early-morning fireworks displays. Some quotes:
A few cranky old folks want to bring down a wonderful tradition [that of setting off the fireworks].
If this is a tradition, it’s a very strange, unhealthy and dangerous one and should be stopped for the health of the population, not only humans but sentient life here.
I’m sure there are exceptions. But for the major part, I understand these fireworks are for religious or ceremonial purposes that have been the custom here for many, many, many years. Long before you and I were born, or George Washington for that matter.
Evidently the explosion did not destroy all the fireworks in town as there were two hours of almost steady bursts that began at 5 a.m.; then at 7 the peal of church bells began.