“We are all good and bad, we construct and we destroy, we are of light and somewhat dark, journeying daily through the streets of the planet.” …a quote by artist Israel Zzepda of Guadalajara
I found this quote on one of our many visits to Mexico and added it to my collection of words and images. I like the redemptive quality of the artist’s words, his words are freeing – we can move through the world embracing our good and bad, knowing that we are all works in progress.
While I am writing this note, the Autumn leaves are falling and blowing on the streets – I’m at our local library and have a window seat on a favourite West End space, a dynamic intersection, a great place for people watching and musing. October is a moody, mysterious month and ushers in the changing colour of the leaves, the mist that rises in the early morning in the forest and the smell of wood smoke in the air. It is also the time for lighting more candles and putting up my white Mexico fairy lights, something that Huguette does all year round!
The visual riches of the season reminds me of the mysterious spaces in Mexico that I wanted to record, each day that we walked through the cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta, a corner, an inner courtyard or open window would reveal a more intimate Mexico. We were learning that this part of Mexico was more than the cobalt ocean and sandy beaches. Because of Huguette’s gift of my neighbourly notes, I have a copy of some of those intimate glimpses.
Card Note to Huguette:
-an older man’s (a foreigner) home on Madero St., lovingly decorated and layered with all things Mexico. I remember dark wood, bowls filled with colourful glass balls, books and candlelight. There was a sense of peace, mystery and comfort. This was a sacred place for him to live.
-another glimpse of a simple space on A. Serdan street near the coconut sellers – a cool space, peaceful, with large dark brown pillows on a tile floor, a large wooden sideboard (also dark brown) with candle holders on top as well as bowls and platters. I could see a beautiful green courtyard beyond this space with soft gold and terracotta walls.
-an Olas Altas artist’s studio, one room and simply furnished. What made it so beautiful were the textures; colourful bed coverings and well used objects close at hand (on her writing desk). It was mid-afternoon and there was the heady scent of incense in the air. It was very sunny and hot outside, the incense added a note of cool mystery and spirit to her home.
During our last long stay in our Janitzio studio I was able to record other images of Mexico spaces that called to me. This image is very inspiring and reminds me of the above quote.
Journal Entry: November 26, 2011
I want to remember this image – an apartment beside our building where a young Mexican man lives free, no window glass – just blankets hanging in the window frames. He is making his bed in the late afternoon with music playing (very loud, good pop)-this image reminds me to be more natural and free. Life is such a gift!
As October wanes and we move deeper into the season, I want to remember those Mexican spaces and bring that spirit of freedom, colour and sacredness into my West End life. I believe that I’m already there…