Leave Home to Get Home

I wrap up my brief, impromptu México City visit with a blog written in the same format as part 1. Once again, I leave feeling super humbled by all the city offers. This time around, not only did I write months of new material in a week, I also sought out moments of purposeful vulnerability. Now it’s time to leave, but I’m not ready to go. I never am. ****************************************************** I never know which direction I’ll go until the time comes to decide. If I’ve listened to my gut I always find signs, like an Oración al Coyote, reminding me…

D.F. Poetry of Sensibility

Inspired by Kenneth Rexroth’s One Hundred Poems From the Japanese, I’ll tell part one of my México City visit in a similar form. I begin, however, with one from the Rexroth collection: I have always known That at last I would Take this road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.                                       -Narihira (9th century)  ***************************************** The Houston sunset from 10,000 feet and I’m thinking about California fires hoping my family out west is not in harm’s way….

Ain’t No Drag

I stood beneath the tattered awning of a llantería and waited for the rain to let up. But it just came down harder. Streets turned into ankle-deep rivers as thunder rocked buildings. I didn’t have an umbrella, but I was wearing a parka. And though my torso was dry, five minutes in the rain had soaked my pants straight through. I pulled out my phone and started to send a text. Canceling. But I backspaced my words, knowing I’d regret chickening out. So I locked down my hood and stepped back into the downpour, taking a beeline to the Metro…

A Visual Book Review: Part 2

“Memory is the one true agony carried in the body.” Doug Rice’s An Erotics of Seeing is witness to the purest of all enigmas, memory. I take slower steps, wander the streets of Mexico City, look closely at small things. Forgotten things. Remembering beauty. “Ghosts haunt the streets, the alleys. Words replace people. Names.” “Most times, a word never becomes more than a shape to fill a lack.” I see you. I practice seeing you. I will see you again. We are left with an image locked in our mind. Every day it changes, but it’s always just right. Perfect. “A…

A Visual Book Review: Part 1

Doug Rice’s An Erotics of Seeing is a gift of observation. A peek through a crack. A breeze. Makes it hard to keep your your eyes open. Makes tears fall. My response: a practice of seeing. A Saturday morning walk through the streets of México City. “The longer you live, the more you die.” What you see becomes you. Find questions in the image. Is the after more real than the before? Can an image offer proof? “We are playing with desires that disappear.” Memory. We rediscover agony, rediscover joy. “Imagine light without shadows,” he said. “Imagine such a light. You can’t, can you? What’s that tell you?” “Time does…

Hasta Mi Próximo Corte de Pelo

I’ve got less than 48 hours before I leave Mexico City and my motivation to wander outweighs my desire to write. And bonus, the weather here couldn’t be better: mid-70s, clear slight breeze. A jeans and t-shirt sort of deal. As I explore Roma Norte, however, I am the one under-dressed. Most everyone else has busted out scarves and puffy jackets. My guess is it’s more about fashion than function. Streets are filled with beautiful people pretending it’s winter. Keeps my head on a swivel. My run this morning hurt. Like, a lot. And I’m blaming the fortune-telling 18-miler I…

Christmas Day 30k

I’ve spent the past few Christmases away from home. In 2015 I was working at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY, and in 2014 I was in Fez, Morocco. Shoot, I might have even been gone in 2013 too but frankly I don’t remember. This year I am in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City. I’m here on a solo writing retreat and have been making the most of time. My flat is a half-mile from one of the bigger parks in the DF, Parque México. During the past month, I’ve become a morning fixture on the paved 1k…

Laundry in a Pasta Pot

I’ve traveled enough to know the value of less. And for this post specifically, I’m talking about less stuff. When you’re living out of a bag, there’s really no sense lugging along more than you absolutely need. And trust me, you always need less than you think you do. When I thru-hiked the Oregon Coast Trail, I brought two pairs each of underwear and socks. Grand total of two t-shirts and one pair of pants. But that’s backpacking, where you always want to keep things as light as possible. On this trip to Mexico, I’m not concerned about my pack’s weight….

Es Como Un Sueño

This trip I’ve blogged a lot less than usual. And truth be told, I’ve done a lot less wandering than I usually do when I travel. The last two weeks in Mexico City have fallen into a routine. I get up early and go for a run, grab a juice at a hip café/book store a block away, I write until 1pm, have beans and tortillas for lunch, write more until 5 or 6pm, then go for a walk to find something to cook up for dinner. Sounds like a monotonous life, but my intention this time around was to cave…

David in Mexico

When I was nineteen years old, I was an Army private stationed in Darmstadt, Germany. Desert Storm had us all on lockdown, and with Christmas coming up, my boss at the time, Chaplain Mike Suttle, strategized a back-door way to get some of of us lower-enlisted soldiers off-post without having to take official leave. He personally sanctioned a week-long “retreat” to Rome, justified to the higher-ups by him leading a daily prayer session. None of us gave a shit about the praying, we just wanted to get our stir-crazy asses somewhere else. Italy sounded cool. With a thumb’s up from…