Sunday, December 19, 2010

sands of time

I owe my friend Daniel an apology.

He agreed to meet me at Disneyland when I was there last December.  I waited around at the appointed spot, but he wasn't there. 

So I called.  No worry; he was on his way.  Just got held up.

An hour later, he was still not there.  I tried another call.  He was in the park but had been detained by the Main Street Barber Shop Quartet.

Finally, three hours past our scheduled meeting time, he came glad-handing in.  No apology.  He was simply enjoying the day.

I would like to say I saw it that way.  I didn't.  Inside I was seething.  Outside I was congenial.

I thought of that incident on Wednesday of this week.

Friends called to tell me that there was a sand sculpture on the beach near their house.  They said the finals of the beach football match was also going to start soon -- with a purse of $5,000(MX) to the winners.  They wanted to know if I wanted to meet them at the sculture in about a half hour. 

It takes about that long for me to walk there.  I said -- sure.

And promptly sat down at my computer to read and respond to email.  To call my brother in Oregon.  To look at the laguna for my crocodile.  To stop at the mobile garage sale that sets up each week in town.  To take photographs of the carnival, that showed up for the Guadalupe celebration, pack up and leave town.

By the time I got to the sand sculpture, I was almost three hours late.  And my friends were nowhere to be found.

Since I was there, I took an hour or so to watch the sculptor at work.  He had constructed a wedding-tier cake of sand -- far taller than his own height.

He had then removed the top tier to begin sculpting a head with a vague Charlton Heston look to it.

When I arrived, he was spraying it down with a liquid -- to help it set and ward off the afternoon breeze.  No shifting sands on this project.

Eventually, he will open each tier and sculpt -- well, I don't know what.  But I know it will be monumental in size.  And most certainly a religious figure of some sort.  And it will be artistic enough to be tangentially related to the arts festival.  Gratuities will be accepted.

Having filled that box of my art experience, I wandered over to one of my favorite beach restaurants.  The place has changed hands three rimes since I moved here.  The view is tremendous.  The quality of the food never improves.

I wanted to watch the finals of the football tournament -- that was just getting under way.  When I walked in, there were my friends.  We greeted one another.  No questions were asked.  We simply sat and enjoyed some well-placed shots and our shared lives.

So, Daniel, I apologize for being so uptight about your tardiness.  In the end it just did not matter.


norm said...

I like that Mr. Cotton, I really like that.

Jackie said...

Great apology by the way of your own story. It happens.

Islagringo said...

You are getting more Mexican in your thinking every day.

Jonna said...

Wayne is right. You are settling in and you get it. There is always a point where expats either relax and enjoy or they become bitter and constant complainers. Such a great choice you've made.

Steve Cotton said...

Norm -- Life keeps teaching us these little lessons.

Jackie -- Apologies are easy. It is the changing part that is tough.

Islagringo -- In some respects, yes. Others, no. I still get irritated at people who talk through musical performances because it is not yet their turn. There is still a lot of "me" in Mexico -- a lesson I was taught by a wise man.

Jonna -- I am starting to get in the enjoyment groove.

1st Mate said...

So that's how they get those monumental sand sculptures started! I always wondered...

You have mellowed a lot, amigo. Mexico no doubt deserves much of the credit.

Anonymous said...

J'ai appris des choses interessantes grace a vous, et vous m'avez aide a resoudre un probleme, merci.

- Daniel

Steve Cotton said...

1st Mate -- It was the first time I saw one right from the start. Very interesting.

Daniel -- A pleasure to see you here. We continue to learn from one another.