Wednesday, April 27, 2016

GOING, GOING..........

What an emotional journey, going through trunks of memories, trying to focus on simplifying one's life.  That's what has occupied me these last weeks; strange things we have held on to.......






 IT'S STOOD HERE FOR 120 YEARS.  TOMORROW IT WILL BE GONE.




THE INSTRUMENT OF DESTRUCTION

Friday, April 15, 2016

BYE BYE BARN

Another goodbye post:  this time I'm saying adieu to the old shed/barn at the back of my property.
Built in the last years of the 19th century, without a floor, with glass-less windows, it has been more of a playground for wild critters than the storage area we used it as.  Tools, christmas decorations,  garden implements, and even boxes that had not been unpacked from the move here 11 1/2 years ago have all been piled in the picturesque out building.

It's days are numbered: ten to be exact.  On the 25th of this month it will be demolished and in it's place will rise an art studio!  The plan is that it be warm, light, clean, and give me some much needed room to create.  I'm excited!








Sunday, February 28, 2016

"Bye-Bye San Miguel"

The title of this post is actually the title of a talk given earlier this week by C├ęsar Arias de la Canal, an activist and descendant of one of San Miguel's oldest families.  In his PEN talk he expressed concern about the recent changes in this town that he and his family have cherished for centuries.
San Miguel has become a victim of its' own success.

I have felt this profoundly and it is why I shall not be returning,  hence....."Bye Bye San Miguel"

YURURIA: a simple Mexican town

My visit to Yuriria to see the ex-convent and church was just the antidote I needed for the gringo-packed streets of San Miguel.    It is a small town that seems to just go about it's business.  It's old architecture is not protected as it is in San Miguel so one sees old and new next to each other.  It has a gentle pace and serenity that are no longer the norm in San Miguel and I found it very appealing.
I don't think we saw any foreigners at all.
 the big baskets hanging from the trees are lights:  charming!









 extravagant cantera carving on this facade


 a peek into the courtyard of a private home (2 dogs keeping watch in the background)





 this circular lake fills a volcano crater:  many modest homes dot the steep hills above it


tortilla makers taking care of us at lunch in this pretty courtyard

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A VISIT TO THE EX-CONVENTO AND CHURCH DE LOS AGUSTINOS IN YURIRIA

I took a day excursion to visit the church and ex-convent in Yuriria a town about an hour and a half from San Miguel.  The complex is one of the oldest of the colonial era, built over a nine year period of 1550-59 by indigenous workers under the order of the Augustinian Fray Diego de Chavez y Alvarado.  It is immense and fortress like;  the fortress-like aspect was in fact functional;  the settlers had to defend themselves against the Chichimeca tribes. (understandably not happy about the invaders!)



This bannister of made of mesquite.  It has been polished by hands over the centuries and feels like marble
painted bannister on the right
upstairs corridor lined by cells
view from a cell window
the communal toilets
crazy thinking about why they needed to all be in there at one time!
a magnificent but dead variety of cypress under which we had a mescal break!





CHURCH OR FORTRESS?