Thursday, September 12, 2013
gray skies are gonna clear up
I do not often post twice in a single day. It seems to throw off my readers' schedules.
But I couldn't resist giving you an update of my first day walking around San Miguel de Allende. (I ended up spending most of yesterday in bed trying to get rid of this persistent cold.)
Right now, I am sitting on the roof of Babs's casita enjoying the view. What I am seeing is what you see at the top of this post. About four years ago I took an oath that I was going to enjoy whatever life brought my way. Views like this ease the duty of the oath.
And there will never be quite this combination ever again. Clouds. Rock. Trees. All orchestrated for a moment. My moment. My enjoyment. And I do.
The day has been like that. I walked down the hill into the centro area. With nary a plan in mind.
Of course, it is as easy to follow a known path as it is for rain to wend its way down a dry river bed. And I have visited often enough to know that bed.
I just walked aimlessly through town. Stopping and snapping and sitting. Here are a few impressions I would like to share. You can count on further commentary on several of them.
Mexican Independence Day is almost upon us. This weekend, in fact. San Miguel de Allende is closely tied to the Independence movement -- having served up some of its sons to be martyrs.
For all of their many differences, Mexicans set them aside to recall the dream of freedom that is still being won. And what better way to celebrate than with a flag, a false Zapata mustache (even the Mexicans confuse Independence with the Revolution), or a touristy straw sombrero emblazoned with "Mexico" (just in case whoever sees you does not understand where the hat comes from --which may be China).
We will be discussing Independence Day in more depth on this trip. Especially if I get to go to Dolores Hidalgo to participate in el grito -- where something resembling it was first pronounced just over two hundred years ago.
I include this shot, not because it is one of the most cliché photographs possible in San Miguel de Allende (which it is, even though there are the shots of the Parroquia that deserve that honor), but because of the odd optical illusion created by the balustrade near the bottom. I thought it was rather cool.
Mexico is a land of practicality. A solution is always possible. And it is often charming.
My favorite church in San Miguel de Allende is rather plain. And, to be frank, it is rather funky. You may recall it as the spot where I discovered that Catholics allow columbaria on church property. (living the cliché)
While visiting the columbarium, I glanced up at the church door. The last time I was here, there was a bare bulb. Apparently, someone thought that was not becoming for a place to remember the dead. So, this light shade was fashioned.
The point is -- it works.
Why isn't it painted? I guess for the same reason the reverse side of angel rings on shrines are not painted.
There is no reason for this shot other than I like the contrast of shapes. The flat wall. The curved arches. The punk hairdo to warn off pigeons.
Or maybe my subconscious was yearning for Taco Bell.
Of all the churches in San Miguel de Allende, this façade may top my list. Because it evokes memories of my favorite city in the world. Florence. (The one in Italy, not the tiny coastal town in Oregon.)
Am I the only one who sees the Italianate lines? I can almost imagine Machiavelli and Savonarola having a WWE slap-down in the plaza.
One find on this trip surprised me. A bull. An obviously Mexican bull. Standing in front of the Escuela de Bellas Artes.
In the four years I have been coming to town, the Escuela has been closed for reconstruction. The building is old -- and the roof simply could not hold its own.
You could look into the lobby, but you would be greeted by a curtain of heavy plastic that the intrepid violator of rules could peek through to catch a glimpse of the treasures beyond.
The plastic is gone. So, in I went.
But I am going to save what I saw for another day. I assure you it is worth the wait.
More than that, it is worth a visit.