Sunday, February 26, 2017

Echoing Within

The sensory experiences of the Pacific Ocean have come with me 3000 miles (4800 km) from Puerto Lopez, Ecuador to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Though I live in a mountain city far from the sea, I can hear and feel the ocean echoing within. On the coast, the sights and sounds were just outside my door. It was hot, so barely anything buffered my skin from the outside influences. I frequently jumped into the surging waves. Eight days of beach life passed in steady cadence with surging waves pounding upon the shore.

Pacific Coast, Ecuador.

The six weeks in Mexico and Ecuador were all I could have hoped for. Yesterday, at my gallery a woman asked if I had been afraid in Mexico. "No," I replied, "I was afraid before I left!" I was told it would be dangerous, that violence was rampant. The warnings caused apprehension that sought to take hold and create an insurmountable barrier.

Cobbled street, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

After arriving in Guanajuato City, Mexico, my fears were quickly dispelled. The alarming reports were slanted and not conveying everything true. Yes, I was a "Norte Americano" and a gringo who did not speak Spanish. Yet, I felt accepted and even honored. I made paintings and did street photography, took Spanish lessons and respected the different culture. I wandered about for many hours, walking great distances.

All the while I was in Mexico and Ecuador, so many things could have been bad but were not. The worst experience I had was my own fault.

There is much talk these days of building walls between peoples of neighboring countries. It may be a short term solution, but as the world advances to maturity, the walls will come down and bridges will be built instead.

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