This is a piece I wrote for an online magazine that seeks out perspectives on various life questions. This one asked about our ideas on death… click then link, then scroll down a bit to read what I wrote:
The website is run by a couple I met down in Oaxaca, Mexico. Really cool stuff, sending them my regards!
God, who would have known that language study would be such a draw for interesting people…
There’s the student from Oxford then the student from Evergreen, the man in the film industry then the California gardener, the young D.C. politician and the artist out of Boston, the young couple (writers), and the retired couple (an orchestral musician and a neuro-biologist involved in stem-cell research), the girl from Holland and the guy from Maryland… and we’re all taking dance (or cooking) classes together. Good fun.
Oaxaca is an amazing little city. It’s the capitol of the state and a tourist destination — for the Mexicanos. And there are parties. Every day. Fireworks. Everyday. Dances. Every night. I’ve gone to the free film showings as often as I can, both from the Film Festival in town and as well as the local daily showings. There have been two or three -Marches on Oaxaca- already, peaceful protests involving medical students (about what, I don’t know). Por ejemplo, today there was a mile-line stream of school students (and their families) marching the streets raising awareness for sustaining bee populations… And yet, with all this happening, it still feels like a quaint, peaceful town where you can stroll in the park, practicing your Spanish with a street vendor. There’s great food (I can now say I’ve had crickets and pig’s head), great drinks (Mezcal is the Mexican drink of choice – tastes like tequila), and in general, great times.
I’m super happy to be here. Week one has been fantastic!
So I kind of thought that a road trip was a lot of sitting in a car and watching world go by, but apparently that doesn’t have to be the case. It’s been incredible, we’ve been on the road for about a week now, but I feel like I’ve seen and experienced more of America in that time than in all my other travels. This music video forces us out of our car and into the world…
Two days ago we came upon this silent pueblo — almost eerie actually, midday and nobody in sight — but every house, road, and moment was incredibly stark and beautiful. An ancient fence, uneven, spiked in the ground, stabbing skyward. And a post on the road simply stating: “Meeting tonight, 6:30.”
The moment we got out of the car an old man stepped onto his porch and stood in his doorframe — “The problem with you white people, you don’t read. You come from the main road and come to take pictures, you don’t read the signs.” On our way back to the highway, we passed the sign. In small print – “No video, no photos, no drawings. Protected Indian Community.” American History… in my life. Me, Michi, and the Scotsman were kicked off an Indian Reservation – one of the more sobering moments of our trip so far, but in its own way, incredible.
Videos are going to be delayed in the coming — it takes free time to edit them, and that rarely seems to come… Days 1-3: