Locked into the high Rocky Mountains for six years it surprised me how
intensely I missed, I longed for the Ocean.
Most of my life I've lived near her, felt her immensity.
She is a woman. There is a reason the word for Ocean and the word for
moon is feminine in most all languages.
After hanging out with the Monarch Butterflies I returned to the truly
beautiful city of Morelia, capital of Michocoan.
Morelia is a city of high culture. And yet Morelia is a city with a
bad reputation. In her streets of well crafted stone walk many
university music students with their instruments. There are concerts
of classical music, jazz festivals, cinema festivals, art - always.
And yet, the atrocities of organized crime scream out from the
headlines of the local newspapers.
I had a wonderful time playing music and discussing Selassie with my
Rasterfarian brother Damien Garcia, of the Reggae band Meketrefes, and
of the Tequila Sunset Hostal. I played harmonica with that great, old
man, of the Chicago Blues, Chris 'Charly' Sanchez and his two sons.
And I weathered Semanya Santa.
During Semanya Santa most everyone in Latin America is on vacation.
The impact on the transportation, lodging, tourist and restaurant
businesses is what you'd expect. There are those who are drunk the
entire week. The alleged sacred and the profundly profane are mixed
together in disturbing ways.
The Monday after Easter I was on a bus bound for Zihuatanejo.
Zihuatanejo is where Tim Robbins' and Morgan Freeman's characters Andy
Dufrene and Red find the Shawshank Prison Redemption. Or, at least
that's the way Stephen King wrote it.
There are things here that kind of remind me of my homeport Mystic, CT.
There are many soap-dish, toy boats of the rich. And yet, there are
more simple, durable boats of the people. The waterfront has a
hard-working, piratical cast of character. Here, you can make your
stand on the waters.
I think of Jose Salvador Albarengo, a fisherman who set out from the
village of Costa Azul, in Chiapas, with his buddy Ezequil, in November
2013, in a 22 foot fiber-glass boat. It was suppose to be a one day
A storm blew the boat far out to sea. The outboard engine failed.
Ezequil lost the will to live and died one month later. Albarengo, and
his small, severely damaged boat washed up on a coral atoll in the
Marshall Islands a year later. He survived 13 months at sea.
Â¿I wonder what that experience of the Ocean would do to a person?
I see viejos, old men of the sea, working their boats as they cruise
across the bay, to the open waters of the Pacific. They work with the
effectiveness the Ocean demands. There are some that have the posture
of those in the face of Mystery.
I came to the Ocean as a Pilgrim, I came to the Ocean as a lover - to
be breast-to-breast with her - to immerse myself in her.
There are times when I think I know something of the Ocean - how to
fish for lobsters - how the Human is changing her.
And then there are times when I know that I know nothing of the Ocean,
except that she is a Mystery, where that great, albino, mutant Mystery
- Moby Dick - abides.
P.S. It has been a re-occuring theme in "the narrative of the voyage
of the bloody, snake chariot", (see www.libbyhome.blogspot.com), that
I am, as that old Mexican song so aptly puts it, sin dinero, (without
money). The universe giveth, and the universe taketh away. I have
enough money, or something like that, to bus back to Austin, Tx. I'll
be seeing you pinche, carbron gringos soon.
And yet, the voyage continues.
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