Lisa and I just returned from two days and one night in the northern Sierra Madre mountains, hiking between small towns. We crossed the continental divide twice. This morning, at ten thousand feet, we woke up in a cloud in the town of Latuvi.
I am starting to relax. I am realizing that leaving one’s own society for an extended stay in another society is a meditation, maybe like a monk in a monastery. Deprive yourself of what you know and see what happens. One thing that repeats for me is when I see new ways of building, like here in Oaxaca, I want to build with those new styles and materials. Almost every building in town is one- or two-story and often through the street-level door is a compound with at least one open courtyard and many rooms. I wanted one right away. You know it never freezes here, right? I have started to think that I am just building castles. I feel powerful when I build, but I don’t feel that in other areas of my life. The techniques are new, but the acquiring and desiring with no end, I am not so sure about. My father has two complete castles. I have one and a half. Who is counting? Maybe I am. I cannot have two and one-quarter castles! There have to be more important things for me to do, but what? Spanish?!.
Both of us finished our two-week Spanish classes. Classroom learning is really stressful for me. I do now understand more of the Spanish I hear; I can’t get my mouth together for saying much though. I am really resistant to studying. I am lazy about using my mind. I have always felt that classroom learning was like groping in the dark. And I hate being in the dark. Somehow the pain of using muscles was always preferable to the pain of using brain. I have to learn how to study!
I have attached a picture of Nina [included also in Lisa’s post below]. She was tied up so as not to disturb lunch at a local restaurant. I have not ever been able to tie a cat up successfully. The owner of the cat and restaurant says that Nina knows she will be let off the rope after lunch so she cooperates.