December eleventh?? That's the last time I posted here? Oh my, I just don't understand time at all.
One explanation could lie in an article I read in the physics newsletter that pops into my emailbox every now and then. Apparently, astrophysicists may have found evidence of the truth of the last as-yet unproven prediction in Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. What the scientists believe they have witnessed are gravitational waves, which basically are ripples in spacetime, in the fabric of the universe itself. That Albert was a pip, wasn't he? But they should've just asked me: I see evidence of spacetime ripples on a daily basis. I'm pretty sure the entire month of December into the first half of January was a spacetime ripple.
Fortunately, during some of it, I had my camera to document the days as they twirled and bobbled past like ballerinas in a wavy Charlie Chaplin film. Looking back now, I am again amazed at how much will fit into some six week periods. So it's not like I didn't have plenty to write about. It was just finding the clear stretch of hours I require to write a real post, and ripples are notoriously bereft of clear spaces. I'm not sure I'm in one now, but I'll give it a go and hope the next wave doesn't arrive before I finish.
Let's go back to some of those photos, my own evidence that the days existed at all.
I know we danced, and so did Joe and Manny, at the entreamigos library fundraiser, held across the river in the lobby of the Hacienda hotel.
We printed our new greeting cards, Craig's paintings and my photos, fourteen different designs. One smart and supportive couple bought forty of them to use as thank you cards after their San Pancho wedding.
I applauded Javier, my long-time best beach buddy (on the right below) who is now twelve but was only three when we first met.
He and his friends created that spectacular sand sculpture to help celebrate San Pancho's Project Tortuga; Frank Smith who has been at the helm of the organization for twenty-some years; and the one millionth baby turtle released by this dedicated, hard-working, and effective group. Javier and his pals were the only sand artists to think of making a mother with babies. Good job, Javi, good job Project Tortuga...
Up next was the Christmas party for the children in the entreamigos scholarship program. I'll be writing at length soon about this program which has so changed the life and possibilities of the children of our village, but we celebrated the holidays by collaborating on cookie houses.
With ceremony, the houses were marched out to the courtyard by their teams, who of course proceeded in no time flat to devour their creations.
Meanwhile, the sun came up day after day, turning the jungle golden, and the children walked to school in the morning light.
This pretty creature, no doubt admiring its own reflection, bonked into the kitchen window, knocking itself silly. Craig coaxed it up onto the end of a fat dowel where it rested until it remembered it was a bird and flew away as birds do.
The Colectivo San Pancho created a beautiful show in the plaza one long weekend in December, filling the space with art, food, performance, and excellent music.
Our friend Lupe Briones, formerly of Mexico City and now in Vallarta, brought her stunning Catrinas.
La Casita Mágica had a booth, too.
That was also the weekend Steph and Micah arrived from St. Louis. They adapted immediately to San Pancho, absorbing all the best, flowing into it as if it were home.
I went on a bird walk with them one morning while Craig worked on the big mural he painted on the front wall of the house Gilles bought for visiting circus trainers. Luis Morales, our cheerful and well-respected bird expert and no slouch on all the rest of nature, either, was our guide.
We spotted sixteen different kinds of birds that morning and heard several more who were too shy or busy to show themselves. On our walk through the bird conservation area Luis has created with land owners on the other side of the highway, we also learned about the plants and ecology of San Pancho's several micro-environments. Luis is a delightful guide and can be contacted here.
We took Steph and Micah to Sayulita for lunch one day, with the requisite stop at the iguana tree. One of the giant lizards was cooperative enough to nearly poke his head into my camera lens.
Steph is a gifted singer, songwriter, and performer, and Craig and I were so excited when she agreed to sing at the gallery.
With all the chairs full, people still came and stood on the patio and in the streets, enchanted by her glorious voice and style.
We hosted two other free concerts over the holiday season, enjoying with the audiences the amazing range of musicians who come to this little village.
Classic Night, too, had people standing in the streets entranced. The group, which I at first dubbed Two Sisters and a Boyfriend, played a variety of classical and other pieces. I had to change the name to Two Sisters and Two Boyfriends when Jean-Michel Richer joined them and sang a few arias in his operatic baritone. All in all, they made their own gravitational wave and people washed in from every part of the near galaxy. Believe me when I tell you this was a rare night in these parts!
The following Sunday was a blues jam because Kari Liston was back in town. Our dear local friends and musicians jumped at the chance to play with her, and, once again, San Pancho responded enthusiastically. I danced pretty much all evening, along with all the others who couldn't stay seated during this grand performance.
Let's see...also along in there were Geno's Christmas Karaoke Night...
Christmas Eve dinner with Steph and Micah and Carol and Doug...
...and New Year's Eve with my son Will who came to town for ten days (woohoo!) during which we had a farewell brunch for the St. Louis visitors (Jen, Kari, John, Judy who you can't see, Jeff, Carol, Craig, Doug, Ronnie who you can't see either because she's already left for the airport, and Will).
(It's interesting, having grown and independent children whom we only see a few times a year. We had our usual long talks into the wee hours, and it was so fine to be able to see him in front of my eyes and to touch him. I spoke with the wonderful parents of our dear young friend Sofia, who are visiting from Argentina in order to be able to touch their grown and independent child, and they totally agreed.)
Will spent a long Sunday morning with me in the gallery's sculpture garden, helping to erect a sculpture I built over these busy weeks, in precious hoarded hours down in the studio. It's not done yet, of course. I need to go talk to the welder down the street and have him curve a long pipe or rebar so I can hang the last few pieces, which are still under construction. But I was gratified yesterday evening when José Feliciano (yes, that's really his name) and Santi, in the hooded parka, came into the gallery and asked Phil if they could go visit the sculpture. Phil tells me it's not the first time they've been by. I had to peek out the window as they examined it closely, drawing each other's attention to details they'd missed before.
I haven't had a chance to take any good photos of it yet as I want to wait 'til it's done and anyway I'm still getting used to my new camera.
That's because, also in December, while Craig and I were at the beach one very early morning with Steph and Micah, watching the full moon set into the ocean and lighting a gratitude globo, someone picked up my trusty little blue Canon camera from our table and walked off with it. I lost both the camera and the photos still on the memory card, but mostly I felt like I'd lost my right eye for a while.
Then I bit the bullet and ordered a new one, this one more complicated than the last but I couldn't resist the 30X zoom lens. I'm definitely on a new learning curve and still practicing.
But everything is relative, just like Albert said. Sometimes a wave comes in and knocks us off our feet. In the big picture, that lost camera is the tiniest of glitches, irrelevant compared both to other peoples' losses and to the surrounding joys. Life is full of mysteries. One person steals while others send messages of hope and gratitude into the morning sky. Such is life and such it will always be, I imagine.
Life is also full of glories: family and friends, music and beauty, color and kindness, love and moonsets and curious children and spacetime ripples.
And when things feel heavy, when we think life is being a bully and picking on us, when petty concerns and grievances take over our vision, maybe we just need a new lens to look through.
Hope you all had a good holiday season. I wish you clear vision and appreciation for all life's mysteries in the coming year.