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Talk to the Hand
October 10th, 2010 by Les

“What is the difference between exploring and being lost?”  Dan Eldon, English Photojournalist

(I think not knowing where you are going but going there with full intention, “hell bent for election”, so to speak, is the difference.)

“This I believe: That the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.  And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.  And this I must fight against: any idea religious, or government which limits or destroys the individual.”  John Steinbeck, US Writer

Did you ever find yourself having a conversation with yourself…out loud?  Sort of like talk to the hand, except the palm you are looking at is yours?  Since moving to Mexico I find myself having rather, dare I say it, animated conversation with myself.  It has not, as far as I can tell, escalated to arguing with myself at this point, or launching into a discussion in a public place.  I see it in the not-to-distant future if I continue on the cobblestone path I am currently hurtling down.

I decided to include a gallery of David’s latest pictures of all things Mexican in this post.  As I’ve said many, many times we are always walking somewhere.  What’s really fun about that is we don’t even consider taking the car, much, anymore.  As a trained psychologist I know behaviors of any kind are subject to change and certainly subject to the eye of the beholder.  Anyone knows behavior can change if given a “New York Minute”…so to speak.

I think David and I walk more since arriving in Mexico because we have become more comfortable walking here.  One of the things, at least for me, I enjoy about David is he loves to walk.  Another is he loves to explore new places, as I do.  However, he has more of the Mexican born explorer Captain Juan Bautista de Anza in him then I do.

I use, for example, making our first foray up the mountain side of the carretera.  As we traveled ever upward the cobblestone streets became more narrow.  David would have continued on his merry way oblivious to what I thought looked like private drives.  I, on the other hand, did not want to journey further.  I do have a smidge of, lets say, Carrie Adell Strahorn (the first white woman to tour the entire Yellowstone Park – American Indians having done it a long time before her adventure) within.  Carrie simply doesn’t channel herself through me that often.  It simply is restrained by my too many “have nots”, “could nots” and “should nots” taking possession of my senses at various moments of opportunity.

Many of our adventures in Mexico have been born of diffident decibel levels or, more accurately, referred to as “selective hearing processes”.  Picture this: I’m traipsing behind him as he strides (he’s 6’5” and I’m 5’4” to help you compare his strides to mine) confidently into, oh let’s say a narrow passage.  I look at it and go “no way”.  It looks dark at the end of that tunnel.  There could be animals at the end of the tunnel.  There could be no way out at the end of that tunnel and no where to turn around.  All of this is going on in the fraction of a second it takes me to realize he’s off on yet another adventure.  He is now barreling ahead as I run to catch up spouting a myriad of uncertainties that have assaulted my brain and, apparently, not his.

Here’s a perfect example of what I mean.  Good friends of ours are heading toward Ajijic later this week.  David writes: remember the San Luis Potosi detour. It will take you around the city and also around the mountain passes. It’s just before the city and the sign says ‘detour’ in Spanish. I was looking for it, but didn’t recognize the Spanish word until we were past it. If you like mountain driving, keep on the main highway. Once you get past SLP and enter the mountains, the drive is a real ‘thrill’.

I felt compelled to write them the following interpretation of what David had written: By “real thrill” he means I was driving and the mountain roads scared…quite honestly….the crap out of me.  Would not want to do it again.  Just wanted to clarify David’s idea of “real thrill” and my idea of “real thrill”!  Let me be perfectly clear on this… very high mountains,  roads that would accommodate 2 cars going opposite directions…not much more….we are not tucked into the mountain side of the road…we are on the drop-off side.

Mexico has afforded us an opportunity to be surprised.  Fresh implications of a culture we’ve yet to begin to explore open their arms to the visitor daily and beckon us to come in.  Taking time to enjoy, listen, join in, find amusement and remain open to new ideas that might erupt at any given moment has become the norm and we welcome it.  Do we always agree with the things we see?  No.  We are in their world and we respect our Mexican friends enough to learn why it is they feel a certain way or do things another way.

As I mentioned above, I will continue to talk to my oh-so-familiar palm as well as remain open and ready to see what this Mexico, this contrary developing country has to offer.  I will not only look at the beauty of the landscapes, I will continue to search for the Mexican person within.  Why do they do the things they do.  From where do their strong beliefs come and their passion for living begin?  Not from books or endless essays but from the people themselves.  Viva Mexico!

The aforementioned tunnel.

The aforementioned tunnel.

I love the curves and contours of this picture.

I love the curves and contours of this picture.

Mexican sculpture removed from house being remodeled.

Mexican sculpture removed from house being remodeled.

Mountain flowers in a garden.

Mountain flowers in a garden.

Through the courtyard window.  One of my many favorites.

Through the courtyard window. One of my many favorites.

Cobblestone wall with tree.

Cobblestone wall with tree.

Three flags.

Three flags.

Spanish ladies.

Spanish ladies.

Guadalajara market.

Guadalajara market.


4 Responses  
  • Linda writes:
    October 13th, 201011:34 amat

    So wish I were there! I love reading your about your adventures.

  • Les writes:
    October 11th, 20101:27 pmat

    Desvio (pronounced des v o) is the word for detour. Good luck to all who are making the trip! Viva Mexico!

    Les

  • Marybeth writes:
    October 11th, 201012:23 pmat

    I, too, will be driving to Ajijic in a few weeks. What is the Spanish word for “detour”? I don’t want to miss it, because I certainly don’t want to have the crap scared out of me!

  • Joe & Jan Ritchie writes:
    October 10th, 20109:50 pmat

    Fantastic. I get chills reading your writings and seeing the beautiful photos. Keep it up.

    I too would be hesitant to going into a small corridor but with the 6’5 guy you are probably pretty safe. I cannot imagine the things we are going to get into when we get to Ajijic. After all you are talking to the woman who’s husband talked her into crashing a Dallas Cowboys Party in 1999 and we were not asked to leave!


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