Posts Tagged ‘oaxaca’

I have been retreating to old patterns, returning to look up old things on the internet. and an entry i meant to write came to me – one about perception and the shoe shine boys – how what you look at defines your world, and you notice what others don´t but are blind or partially sited to what others see.

The central square in Antiqua was filled with shoe shine boys working the area – not the stable stands that are here set up in place. They walked around carrying their kits, looking at peoples feet – eyes cast down not out of humility or sadness but to look – what type of shoes are they wearing – sandals and runners are no good, and just might your shoes need a shine. And that is what they saw, how they witnessed life in the zocalo – yes, lifting the head for more, but it was the focus. And for a while i followed thier eyes – looking down at those who walked by or who sat on benches – and what i saw was another world. The shoes said so much, – new, worn, quality, fitting the feet and so much more. And i realized how limited my perception can be – what do i notice and what do i focus on and what do i fail to see at all – unaware of what is there. And i do it, and it is time to let go and broaden my perception – yes something that travel does, but you still see through the filters of your eyes and more importantly mind.

And it is not just the shoeshine boys but all of us. Just what do we look at when we travel – or when we stay at home – what are we oblivious too? When you talk with others you begin to notice – yes there is the square or the ruin or the falls or the church or the lake, the main attraction that draws us in. But do you notice flowers or birds or beggars or the clothes people wear or the hairstyles or the food – it is all part of the focus, the lens that defines your world, a lens you may not be aware of. And it is through others that the filters are revealed or through a return to filters you had cast off. What did i notice today or did i. i look at the women selling combs and other goods in the square – they size people up as well – will they buy and how much will they spend. When i am hungry my focus is on food, can be blind to all else, or to define a place by where the shade is, or look to see who might be selling a cigarette and not notice what else is in their basket or what is in the other baskets. I know the churches here, but not the restos.  The focus can be long or short term, but for now, to open my eyes and not keep them cast to the ground or turned inwards to myself. Remove the glaze for life is rich.


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My energy has returned and i feel lighter once again – in early – a return from the zocalo (center square) here in Oaxaca where all is alive – music plays on a stage with dancers, people gather, children play with the helium balloons in the multitude of colours and shapes that are for sale, other young children sell chewing gum, candy and individual cigarettes. It is a tourist show to be sure, but it is alive – vendors selling corn – elote with mayo and cheese and lime and spice, and hotdogs and more, and tables line the wide walks in front of the restos on 2 sides of the square. Smiles abound and life seems lite. And tomorrow there will be more – special event of some sort. The cathedral with its sculptured facade and domed ceiling on the other side is fairly empty but i and others wander in and out – is grand but not as ornate as the Santo Domingo church up the pedestrian street – gold and baroque and saints on ceilings and all around – overwhelms, decor wherever you look to remind you of the saints and god though that church was full of tourists and the holiness temporarily seemed secondary – but it was alive and i forgot my camera so could not snap a photo at 6pm when the setting sun shone in and lit the gold. I stopped in another plain church for a moment, and after the grandeur of some i also see the beauty in the simplicity – keep your mind focused. and the streets are alive, and life is good. The time is now.

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