Sunday, October 30, 2005

In San Miguel

Today, in soft
sunlight, across
the courtyard
from where I sit,
a breath of wind
lifts the vine.
There, behind
the curtain, caught
in dappled light,
the flash of bare
shoulders, white
shift, the glimpse
of a young woman
gazing out, across
the courtyard
to where I sit.

Such a surfeit of life here, Bush. From the teeming Jardin with its sun-withered old people and dogs, and courting couples, to the crowded cafes and treacherous, irregularly cobbled streets, to the markets where stalls sell trinkets and delicacies for the Day of the Dead. Talk and laughter, music, singing, jostling bodies… life, everywhere. Real poverty—what we, in our country, Bush, would judge to be deprivation: in dwellings, in possessions, in the wherewithal to purchase and consume.

But real joy, too. Or maybe that’s not quite the right choice of words: real engagement in the business of living, be it joy or sadness, celebration, grief—and often, perhaps, all of them together at one time. Life imbued, then, with what I judge to be the spirit of life. I wonder if religion has to do with it—the fleshy, dirty-hands religion of Catholicism, as opposed to our prim, puritanical variety.

And speaking of religion, it’s no respecter of persons in these parts. Not of tourist persons, anyway. We were awakened at six-thirty—well, no, make that five-thirty, given that time shifts back an hour this weekend, with the end of daylight savings time—by the sound of fireworks, surely from the nearby church. And not just one little burst of fireworks, Bush. A solid half hour of continuous explosions, reminding us of our mortality, and the need to show up in the pews to redeem our sins of the week—too numerous to mention.

Anyway, here we are, Sunday, in our beautiful, sunny bread & breakfast, happy to be far from whatever’s happening back there in the U. S. of A. Though I did hear, from one of the participants in our workshop yesterday, that your Cheney’s Libby had been indicted on several counts, including perjury, and that your Rove continues to be under investigation. My informant also told me that he had watched the Special Prosecutor’s press conference on TV, and that he had been much impressed by the man’s fairness, his thoroughness, and the seriousness with which he regarded the charges—placing them, importantly, in the context of the lies that led us into war.

Enough for today, though, Bush. There’s much, here, to be seen and done, and many good people to meet. Next thing you know, we’ll be down here for a month or two, testing the waters for… who knows what future development in our lives.

1 comment:

PK said...

I envy you there with those fine people. I lived in Venezuela for 12 years. It was a true culture shock to come to the states. When I feel sad about the state of affairs here, I can close my eyes and remember. It feels good. Those people are in love with life. Only thing is, you put it so beautifully. Have a shaved ice in a cup for me, they have plenty of flavors to pour over it :). Oh, and be careful, the bottom of the cup gets soggy and you have to drink from there so it doesn't go all over you :). Stay awhile, enjoy. Just don't forget to write:).