Sunday, January 15, 2017

Heart Connected To Place

I am among Mexicans now. Each day I walk the cobbled streets and walkways of Guanajuato City where I am living. All manner of people greet me and I find if I make eye contact and smile even a little, a warm acknowledgement occurs with reciprocation.

The narrow passages wind about, and when I stop to buy meat at a carniceria (butcher shop), stop in a farmacia for personal incidentals, buy fruit or vegetables at a stand or pick up bread at a paneria, I get by with the little Spanish I know. If I don't understand the exact amount I owe, I reach in my pocket and pull out my change and they take the coins needed and wave me off with a smile.
Everything is cheaper than in the USA.

Tonight, Saturday, I wandered into the city centre (about a ten minute walk) and found street performers, happy crowds of families, all types of people, and roving groups of singers dressed in spectacular costumes with instruments entertaining groups of spectators, getting them to join in singing familiar songs.

I am quickly coming under the spell of this vibrant city. The quicker I assimilate into the culture, the happier I am. I don't like playing “tourist.”

Today I started a painting of a Mexican man leaning against a wall, wearing a broad brimmed hat, looking down at a paper in his hand. A flower pot with blooming plants is next to him and doorway behind. I have made my kitchen into an impromptu studio—it has a big table, is spacious with large windows lending plenty of light.

I am indulging my passion for street photography. Setting forth walking, sometimes for hours I disappear into the path ahead, rambling, only aware of light, texture, sound, the motions of people and the congruence of forms. It is easy to slip into THE DREAM. I am not aware of myself as separate; I am what I see as boundaries disappear. I enjoy taking my chances with odd pictures and look for poignant fleeting images that come and go quickly.

Sometimes I am surrounded by people with cameras, often smartphones attached to the end of sticks so they can take "selfies." I have no interest in this and I do not try and take great tourist pictures. There are photographers with much better equipment and more camera knowledge than I who will always do better. What I bring is my own way of seeing, and a heart connected to place.

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