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Do You Believe in Magic?
Jul 31st, 2010 by Les

“When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”   Geoffrey F. Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1945 to 1961.

“I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered.  But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.”  Eleanor Roosevelt, Writer, Diplomat, Activist and Feminist as well as wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Teach your neighborhood birds to break-dance.  Fill your birdbath with lime Jell-O.  Of course there are many other uses for limes, adding zest to cookies or cakes, sauces or drinks, simply piquancy to water on ice!

Sometimes, during the course of any given day it might be a good idea to look for that pot of gold, especially during the rainy season in Mexico.  Other times, it seems to me, the more important decision of the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.

This area we have chosen to live in was extremely dry when we visited way back in April of 2009.  We’ve lived here for a while now and the richness of the culture, vastness of the landscape, passions of its people and humor we associate with every day life are more real to us and make up the fabric of our lives on Mexico time.

Near perfect color calibration can be gleaned from the NASA color reference chart.  However, being no where near perfect and wanting to be able to show you just how vibrant and, for lack of a better word, loaded our lime trees are at this point in time, David came up with a fantastic idea.

Let’s show our readers the actual lime tree knowing full well it will be difficult to pick up on the volume of limes hanging from the branches as they are the same color as the tree itself.

Now remembering some people take life with a grain of salt…plus a slice of lemon or lime and a shot of tequila add a color-enhanced, photo-shopped version of the same tree.  Wait.  See if anyone notices.

The results of his cleverness can be seen below.  Believe me when I say he was busier then a cross-eyed cranberry picker creating this delightfully psychedelic version of a Mexican lime tree.

Timothy Leary (an old hippy of note) wrote: “Hippy is an establishment label for a profound, invisible, under ground, evolutionary process.  For every visible hippy, barefoot, beflowered, beaded, there are a thousand invisible members of the turned-on underground.  Persons whose lives are tuned in to their inner vision, who are dropping out of the TV comedy of American life.” To this I add many of these people are living in Mexico, experiencing life with gusto and laughter. David’s “psychedelic lime tree” is a symbol of the enthusiasm with which many greet each day, their openness to adventure and their enjoyment of what the world has to offer.  Viva Mexico!

Here we have a lime tree, folks.

Here we have a lime tree, folks.

David’s “psychedelic lime tree”

David’s “psychedelic lime tree”

You want to talk vibrant colors?  This is a house down the block from our home.

You want to talk vibrant colors? This is a house down the block from our home.

The house on the corner.

The house on the corner.

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.

Strawberry Fields Forever
Jul 28th, 2010 by Les

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

—Kurt Vonnegut

Just the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

—Carl Sagan

Not a shred of evidence exits in favor of the idea that life is serious.  Were it offered to me, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking for the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults in the first.  I do try not to laugh alone too often (though it happens quite a bit…just ask David) as most people would assume you are an idiot if you are yucking it up whilst sitting obviously by yourself.

I’ve always liked the verse, in The Beatles song “Strawberry Fields Forever” that went:

Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Released in February of 1967 and supposedly composed by both John Lennon and Paul McCartney it was later learned that John Lennon was the sole composer.

Being a child of the 60’s obviously, I guess, one would relate to much of what The Beatles composed and/or sang.  Although, truth be told, I was more of a Beach Boys aficionado and was madly in love with Ricky Nelson.  I even told my parents at one of our evening meals I wished hence forth to be called Mary Lou.  For those of your not from the Ricky Nelson period – it was one of his shorter recordings.  Later I was to relate and, given the chance when absolutely alone to sing along at the top of my lungs with, Garden Party.  I digress, oddly, or maybe not so much since my parents seemed to know their somewhat askew of center daughter, no one at the table batted an eye…they simply kept on chewing and let the whole Mary Lou thing pass.  They also ignored my wish to wear my button-up sweaters backwards (everyone was doing it, duh) though I know it annoyed my mom to no end.

With the rainy season still upon us here in Ajijic, Mexico, beside watching everything turn an absolutely gorgeous tropical green color, it gives you time to pause and think….something I have meticulously tried to avoid for most of my life.

The journey that brought David and me to this little village is interesting, at least to us.  The journey my mind takes when allowed to travel unencumbered or restrained by time or logic is, at best, strange and most often somewhat psychedelic in nature, hence the “Strawberry Fields Forever” verse.  Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.  Each day blends into the next.  Time to read, reflect, listen to the sounds of this tiny village, take in the music that drifts by as a car bumps its way down the cobblestone street or, at times, delightedly ease-drop upon children laughing at one thing or the other.  There are several shops in our area and I’ve also had the opportunity to hear the men in a nearby machine shop sing – some good, some not so good – as they ply their trade.

The joy of all these sounds in what is a foreign land to me, keeps my mind occupied.  I think of how each day was busier then the next, back in the states and, often, when given the opportunity to slow down sitting on the porch in my backyard brought sirens, traffic sounds, the occasional argument overheard or simply the sound of silence.  I have said “hola” so many times here.  In the states, even though we walked often, everyone was in such a hurry to get here or there, eye contact was not made and walking was just another thing you needed to do to keep fit.  It is a part of life here.  As one of our readers suggested, bring deck shoes to traverse the cobblestones when wet and good walking shoes when they are dry.  Think of it as an old time go-kart, powered by down-hill velocity and no brakes…just your feet hitting the pavement, shoe leather smoking and the kart stopping hopefully before it hit a hydrant, light pole or whatever.  Walking is a joy, an adventure and a must in this small village. Your shoes are forever the brakes and the child within is free to be. Viva Mexico!

This is my salute to “Strawberry Fields Forever”.  We picked up strawberries at a street stand the other day.  These are real…believe it or not and the only one’s left.  They were delicious.

This is my salute to “Strawberry Fields Forever”. We picked up strawberries at a street stand the other day. These are real…believe it or not and the only one’s left. They were delicious.

On the same walk we came upon this wonderful street.

On the same walk we came upon this wonderful street.

And on the other side of the street....

And on the other side of the street....

Sunset and clouds.  Notice how the shadow of one clould can be seen on the other.  Amazingingly beautiful.

Sunset and clouds. Notice how the shadow of one clould can be seen on the other. Amazingingly beautiful.

I leave you with a smile that speaks volumes.  This is, without a doubt, the future of Mexico

I leave you with a smile that speaks volumes. This is, without a doubt, the future of Mexico

We have a new series of hummingbird photographs available in our online store.  Each photograph full of fantasy and beauty.  These lovely creatures bring a smile to your face. 

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.

Musings…..Lots of Them
Jul 16th, 2010 by Les

Steven Wright, American born actor and writer, commented: “I just got out of the hospital.  I was in a speed reading accident.  I ran into a bookmark.”
 
“That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.”  Amos Bronson Alcott, born in 1799 American educator and writer.

A good writer, lets say in the case of The Historian (June 2005), sets the reader up for a good read.  Within moments of opening The Historian and reading simply the preface, you are prepared to believe in the truth of the narrative.  With just a few well chosen words the adventure begins and, though you know it is a work of fiction, the historical on-point dialogue makes you eager to read more.  Oh, that Elizabeth Kostova had written another book was oft my lament until January of 2010 when her book The Swan Thieves was published by Little Brown.  I have not as yet read The Swan Thieves but look forward to it.

David is on his second or third reading of this absolutely fabulous book.  I believe it is one of the best works of historical fiction I have ever been fortunate enough to read.  It is amazing what well-placed words and true emotion can do for the avid reader or, for that matter, someone who is simply looking for a good book with which to enjoy a summer solstice.

One of the remarkable things about living in Mexico is that people, like me, are forced to slow their pace down.  It is worthy to note, this is not what I sought when we decided to move to this tiny village rich in the history of ancient Mexico.  Of that I am sure.  As far as David is concerned it is my sense he wished to remove himself from the commercialism of his profession and allow the artist within, long suppressed by the need to accomplish, to flourish.  When you work many hours, many years, under much stress you are often too spent at the end of the day or week for that matter, to expend any time or energy on the part of your personality that would allow the artist to escape.

Quite frankly traveling and living in Mexico has taken me out of my “curds and whey” type of life.  I brought along my proverbial baggage: guilt, remorse, shame, pride, accomplishments, failures, wild times and boring times.  I certainly breached my comfort zone.  There is much time here.  Time to think about what was, what happened, what could have been, what should have been and what is.  Well spank me cross eyed, you really must try to find a place within yourself where all can come together in harmony.  Good luck with that.  Harmonious living has not always been a moniker of the US style of life and most certainly has not been within the realm of my thinking.  Be prepared.  It takes strength, I never imagined I had, to live here.  Yes, a lot of it has to do with the fact that it is all new and certainly much different then what I am used to.  It also has to do with the fact that while living my life I did not, as many do, think about how I would feel about what I was doing once I had time to think about it.  If that makes sense.

We first arrived here with our psyche’s set on US time.  There were many adventures awaiting us.  Simply watching the sun rise or set was in itself an adventure.  Certainly getting used to how things are done here, was a journey of sorts.  Obviously, command of the Spanish neither of us had used much since our high school days became a time consuming need.

The village, in all its ambiguity, loveliness, ancientness, dare I say it oddness was a constant source of amazement, humor and, quite honestly, at times, frustration.  We wanted to accomplish so much, immediately, as we were operating at the pace we’d both operated at for so many years.  What do you mean they close the store from Noon to 4:00 p.m.?  What’s that all about?  What do you mean you’ll be there at the arbitrary 11:00 a.m. to install this, set up that, repair these things and then never show?  Why, when we call to find out what is going on, do you simply say okay, can we set it up for tomorrow at, lets say, 11:00 a.m. does it reduce us to laughter while you sit on the other end of the phone patiently waiting for these gringo’s to reply?

And the mobile unit, which now sits – often – in the same place on our driveway it has sat for days.  How can anyone get along without jumping in the car to run hither or yon?  Real easy here.  No, its not our acquiring cobblestone legs – it is the reality that “things” are just up the block, on the corner, a few blocks away, somewhere on the carretera.  Most of the things we really “need” do not require a car.  We can walk.  We can tote.  We can navigate cobblestones intrepidly now without much thought.  Okay, that might be an exaggeration but we are getting better at it.

Consequently dear reader this is an adventure in a different, charming, passionate, strange, enchanting and sometimes difficult land.  It is also an adventure into myself and that is the most fearsome, discombobulating and treacherous journey for there are things about me I’d rather not know.  All your dreams come true if you have the courage to pursue them.

The point of this essay is this, whether you are looking at visiting, thinking about retiring, or simply enjoying hearing about what we are or are not doing down here, Mexico has its own pace.  Putting aside all the documentation necessary to visit or live down here.  Putting aside the language which may or may not be a barrier.  Putting aside the cultural differences.  Putting aside the foreign medias portrayal of all of Mexico as if every village, town or city was a border town.  Mexico is a good read, if you will.  There is much to see and, quite honestly, there is much we can learn from the Mexican people and their culture.

Elizabeth Kostova blended the history and folklore of Vlad Tepes and his fictional equivalent Count Dracula using the stories her father had shared with her as a child blending historical fact with fictional character and characters.  The adventure of daily living in a country with regions that embrace a rich history of conquest, passion, strength, religious control and the tenacity and spirit of its people is real and it is now in this small Village of Ajijic.  If you are up to it.  If you are open to both the new and the old.  This is a journey you might have been meant to take.  As for me, I’ve always ignored the warning, never test the depth of the water with both feet.  I’ve got both feet here in Mexico and I’m still afloat! Viva Mexico!

[I’ve revisited some of the photographs David took when we first arrived here in 2009.  Enjoy]

Picture of a village on one of our first trips to Guadalajara after moving here.

Picture of a village on one of our first trips to Guadalajara after moving here.

Papaya tree in our back yard.

Papaya tree in our back yard.

Lovely home in the Village of Ajijic captured in August of 2009.

Lovely home in the Village of Ajijic captured in August of 2009.

Another picture from August of 2009 of a shop in the Village of Ajijic.

Another picture from August of 2009 of a shop in the Village of Ajijic.

A float in the Mardi Gras parade.  Don't ask...we're not sure why!!

A float in the Mardi Gras parade. Don't ask...we're not sure why!!

A float in the Mardi Gras parade.  Don't ask...we're not sure why!!

One of the many beautiful pictures, from our mirador, David has taken of the mountains above our home.

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.

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© Copyright 2009-2011 David and Les Lawrence, Ajijic, Mexico