Thursday, February 08, 2007

Reading "Works&Conversations" in Chacala

This morning I was sitting in a plastic chair in the shade in front of my neighbor, Aurora’s, bodega. I knew someone I wanted to talk to would be coming by in the next little while, and I wanted to make sure to catch that person. I had a small message to deliver. Not relevant to this post. .Berta, a lovely, hardworking Chacala woman
The sun was shining, and the sky was clear and blue. I was kind of day dreaming and, at the same time, reading a wonderful article in Works& Conversations. That’s my newest favorite magazine, out of Berkeley CA. The article was an interview with Godfrey Reggio. Who, among other things, has created a trilogy of films, the “Qatsi Trilogy”. Doug, the photographer who came to Chacala with the L.A. Times reporter.
The interview was very engaging for me. My first favorite quote is Reggio talking about the Dalai Lama, who was quoted as saying the most important thing to pay attention to is “routine”. As in your routine of daily life. Reggio says “Because what we do is what we become”. There’s much more there too.Then the conversation turns to a discussion the Hopi word “powaqa”. I think it refers to people “who consume the life force of another person in order to further its own”. And by “operating thru seduction and allurement”. It means predation. And the example in this world is the “developed” world plundering the rest of the world. And it’s about the concept of “progress and development”, and its attendant promises of a “higher standard of living.” There’s a real joke.

I was sitting in my plastic chair, feeling the summer on my legs, and watching a cloud of butterflies circling around me. And smelling the new blossoms on the shrubs near me. I was thinking “How lucky I am to have this life”. Jaime and his dad, Manuel, making fishing nets for sale.
I have the time and space in my life to try to pay attention to what I am doing and saying. And to explore and maybe become aware of the consequences of my behavior, my everyday routine. Slaves of the workforce and consumerism are often too busy keeping their heads above the flood of consumerism to question the results of their daily activities. Particularly the societal and environmental consequences of their paid employment. And their consumerism.

I can hardly make sense of what I want to say here. But I know it’s all mixed up with seeing the clash of culture, class, and lifestyle in this area of Mexico. And the arrogance of some visitors here. If I understood enough Spanish, I would probably have the same feeling about upper middle class Mexican tourists in Chacala as I have about gringo visitors. Chris Reynolds, Travel and Art Reporter from the L.A. Time.

Anyway. I really recommend this magazine and all it’s back issues.
Conversations & Works

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