Kickboxing is such a phenomenal way to start the day. When I have blown it off for a bit and then return to it...I can never remember why on earth I missed a day. Endorphins are a wonderful thing...... so is oxygen!
There are so many things that strike me as alien here. Things I simply cannot wrap my mind around. One is the connection between the fact that virtually everyday here is a Catholic Saint's Day, a Feast Day.... the Celebration of the Blessed Trinity, a Mass for Holy Relics, a day for Sacred Blood...and why these these events need be celebrated by pre-dawn mortar explosions is a deep and unfathomable Mystery to me.
We live in a colonia, a neighborhood, on a hill above the bowl that contains the Cathedral dotted Centro of the city. This city is ringed by once volcanic mountains and it is known as "La Zona Del Rayos"......the Zone of the Rays which sounds positively spooky to me but seems to refer to the fact that when it finally begins to rain......this area attracts amazing and powerful purpley silver lightening and incredible thunder.But...this rain has yet to arrive and the air is still and HOT, the sun blazes away and the leaves hang from the trees like bits of dry brown wrapping paper.....that's another thing....there are NO brown paper bags here! No one asks..."paper or plastic?" at the store....either you get a plastic bag or you bring your own gaily colored mesh plastic shopping bag with you. Mine is the favorite color of Mexico...Rosa Mexicana....a deep, bright PINK with the ubiquitous Frida Kahlo face on it. I digress...
So..it is Bone Dry out there....and the air is full of dust.
Lately I have been painting until about 3.00 in the morning. I find I simply snap into creative overdrive around 11.00 and suddenly it's 3.00 and I figure I better go to bed. Sleep comes quickly and last night, early this morning I was jolted awake by what sounded like mortar fire. It was nearly seven but still dark.....the pinky morning sunrise all but hidden here by the mountains and I suspect by being below the Tropic of Cancer. Around 6.30 the sound of trucks backfiring or slipping gears and motorcycles and all manner of cars and buses without mufflers fill the air with an amazing cacaphony of traffic noise and from the Seminario down the block come the roar of huge skyrockets . I understand the color and the excitement and wonder and magic of fireworks....the oohs and aahs that come from watching flowers of light bloom in the night sky but this something else entirely. This is merely a flash of momentary blue light and a huge report that shakes the house and fills the already dusty air with smoke.All the dogs in the neighborhood begin barking and car alarms are set off and beep and wail in concert with all the dogs that live on rooftops and behind garden walls.Occasionally a rooster will join in.
So this morning there must have been about 5 or 6 of these explosions.....I know that I am not in any danger but it makes me think of how people in war torn places must awaken...to this sound, but louder and more of them, coupled not with sleepy annoyance but with fear. I am grateful that this is merely religious fervor that I don't understand and not insurgents or an invading army. I do wonder what might happen if an errant sky rocket's trajectory landed it into a bone dry tree.
Daisy the Wolf Dog, however is very afraid. This morning she hid her head beneath the dust ruffle of the bed so only her back and tail were showing and trembled like a tiny puppy. There are explosions probably 5 days out of 7.......Daisy will share our happiness to be, finally, home again.
One funny thing.....up in the village is a place that makes "popsicles".....a pink and lavender box of cement on the corner that is alwys surrounded by a small crowd. I am extemely fond of the coconut ones.....basically, I think, just rough chunky shreds of fresh coconut held together with a bit of sugar water....maybe coconut milk and frozen on a stick. What's funny is the stick.....not a uniform , smooth, flat "popsicle" stick....but a piece of a shingle, square at the end....rough, whittled with a knife, each one is slighty different.....the scent of coconut oddly mingling with the scent of lumber. I imagine someone doing that....spending their time making sticks, and I wonder about that.