Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Breakfast with Dale at the Early Bird Cafe

Lake Chapala Society on an Overcast Day

There weren't many people around at the LCS when I took these photos a couple of days ago. The weather was unpredictable. I guess people didn't want to get caught in a downpour. On Friday, LCS is having a huge book sale. It lasts two days. I always buy too many books but it is fun.  I am glad I will still be here then.  And  MY CAMERA WORKS THANKS TO BRENDA'S WHACKING TECHNIQUE. THANK YOU BRENDA!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Broken Camera

My camera died today. The lens will no longer open up. It is only about eight months old and I didn't send in the guarantee. Too hard to do that from Mexico. I go home tomorrow evening. Maybe my old camera will work until I can get to the States and buy another one. I loved this camera. I used it everyday. I felt sad, like the loss of a friend, when it stopped working. When I walk around town now and see a perfect photo, I feel a sense of loss because I can't take out my camera and snap it.  I was looking on E Bay for other camera like this one and I found someone else with the same camera and same problem and the camera was also only eight months old. Maybe it is a built in flaw. Whatever, it is cheaper to buy another camera than to fix it. I called to a camera repair shop in the States and they guessed it would cost at least a hundred dollars to fix it, if it could be fixed. No one here knows how to fix it. We live in a throw away society.  What a waste......

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Night Thoughts in West Ajijic

It is Saturday night and I can't sleep. I keep thinking about my upcoming trip back to the States. Those thoughts lead me to evaluating my entire life; all the mistakes I have made, people I have lost along the way, bad financial decisions, etc. You get the picture. Maybe you too have had these kinds of night thoughts? Transitions always bring out my anxieties.  Life is so much easier if every day is the same. Routines give the illusion that nothing bad will happen, that things will go on forever the same way.

I was reading about risk vs. safety. Everyone has to choose where along that continuum is most comfortable. Safety has many advantages. Security, even if it is a false security, makes it easier to feel free to explore higher needs. On Maslow's pyramid of needs, security is one of the most basic and creativity and spirituality can't be explored unless that one is met first. Unfortunately, in my life, too much security leads to boredom and from boredom comes depression, not creativity.  I have been living in beautiful homes this summer, like a wealthy person.  All my physical needs have been met and then some. I have never felt so secure. Yet I have not done much in the way of creativity or spirituality.

I have read a lot of books and recently started watching television. When every physical need is met then the missing parts become more glaring. I still haven't figured out what those holes are in my life. I just experience them as a sense of lack. They can't be filled if I don't know what they are. Many women and some men close to my age find fulfillment in grandchildren. I have none. I also don't have any particular talent that could keep me occupied. I am a Jack (Jackie?) of all trades, master of none kind of woman.

I am looking forward to being with my son and daughter-in-law but they have their own lives. A week or so will probably be enough visiting for all three of us. I will be visiting with friends in Portland and that is something to look forward to but I also have to do my taxes. That is never fun. Since I have been out of the States, I was able to get a six month extension.

I have many friends here who experience similar feelings I am now having about returning to the States. It is stressful up there. It is expensive. People are always in a hurry. Smiling at strangers isn't encouraged. Saying good morning to strangers is usually considered socially unacceptable. Since I am in the habit of doing both when I am in Mexico, my already fragile ego gets bruised with every hello that is not acknowledged or returned. Hope and habit keep me doing it. More people drive around in cars than walk. Everyone seems so isolated in those cars.  There are too many cars and traffic jams are everywhere.Then the people isolated in cars glare at each other and aggressively honk their horns. Not a fun way for me to spend the afternoons. I would prefer to spend my afternoons walking around town in Mexico and saying hello (Buenos Dias) to strangers. They always respond with beautiful smiles and that makes me happy. I love to see people smile. It touches my heart and for a brief moment I experience the presence of God through them.

Life is easier here. Of course there are problems here too. But now they are known problems and I can handle them. (So far I have been able to handle them.) Sometimes when I am in the States and in cars zooming along the crowded freeways, I get fearful and overwhelmed by it all. Then I just want to go back to Mexico, to my simple life.  I guess it is a balancing act; deciding just how much risk to take. Sometimes safety seems more important and at other times; risk and excitement. Life is interesting. There are so many challenges and choices to make.  I will do my best to look forward and not dwell on my past mistakes. As long as I am alive I can always make new mistakes to dwell on in the future. 

My window is open and I hear the chirping of hundreds of crickets. A loud Mexican dance band is playing a few blocks away. Tubas, trumpets, snare drums, the whole works. Raucous Ranchero music. Mexico's favorite music. The two dogs I am taking care of are sleeping beside me and I occasionally hear their slow deep sighs of contentment. The night breeze is warm and gentle on my exposed skin.  I am not wearing much because it is so warm. The night is filled with pleasures of the senses. Writing out these feelings has brought me back to the present moment. Writing has worked better than any anti-anxiety pill. The present moment is pretty nice. That is good because nothing else is real. The past is gone. The future is just a dream.  Maybe I will be able to sleep now.

A Drive in the Country Outside of Jocotopec

This is what it looks like when you get outside of Jocotopec. We drove through two very small towns. Not much was there. We all decided they were too isolated for us to even consider living there.  People seemed surprised to see us that far away from Jocotopec. But they were friendly. It was beautiful.

My Trip with Dale and Clare to Jocotopec

The first two photos were taken of a run down hacienda that is slowly being restored. The worker let me take his picture. I think it is going to take a long time at the rate he was going but no hurry. This is Mexico. Slowly but Surely is the motto here.  The huge rock in the plaza rolled down there a couple of years ago when there was a massive mud slide in San Juan Cosala. They decided to just leave it there. I wouldn't want to try to move it. Jocotopec was very quiet when we were there. We didn't see any other expats.