Monday, December 28, 2009



It was I think, 2 weeks ago my mexican family that lives in Pozos took me to their Granja (farm) outside of the town that they have had for about 2 years, growing wheat, alfalfa, tomatoes and squash. They also have numerous animals, pigs and piglets, horses, cows, goats, chickens and turkeys and at the moment mucho abborados (lambs) last count was 30 new bebes. Out of these 30 babies, one is black. Does the mama feed it...............NO. Does the community of lambs accept it ...........NO. Raul the patriarch of this family that I love, feeds it 3 times a day with the proverbial bottle. This poor lost lamb thinks Raul is Mama. Yet at night when all are bedded down with family and warm and toasty together. The black baby sleeps alone and bleats it's lonliness in into the very cold night air.
So I was thinking, (some could say I was transfering) damn what terrible luck to be born alone and unwanted, fed only to be eventually Leg of Lamb for someones Comida. Bada Bing. So on Christmas Eve I hatched this plot, what if I bought the lamblet on the proviso that he could never be sold or roasted, as he was already sold. Today I bought the lamb. He of course does not know how close he came, but I do and it gives me so much pleasure. I am telling you all this because when the penny dropped, I realized this is where" the black sheep of the family" concept comes from. From farming and knowing that animals and most people have a problem accepting what is different and most especially if and when it is black. No I do not have an ax to grind because I am black, I am as Arayn as they come. However, I do have an ax to grind as it were, for all people and animals that are abused because they are different. Viva la difference.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


It seems like years that i have been waiting for Christmas, like a child waiting for Santa.

For years it has been alluding me or so it seems. It has not been in my heart and therefore not available to me.

This year, I found it. It is actually a geographical place. It is in the San Juan de Dios market. Many streets are closed to normal traffic and are full of stands and huts full of Christmas wonderment.
Fir branches, bromalaids , green speckled orchids, moss and the most amazing Creches made of moss and branches, just begging for the holy family. Then there are stalls with ribbon of every color and design, baby Jesus, and all the attendant cast of characters that you can imagine. I love it, it is so innocent and hopeful and so part of what Mexico Christmas is all about: with out Santa and all the attendant Christmas Sales Hustle. Although I am sure that what they sell in this two week period is very important to their ability to feed their families. I want to buy something from everyone, just so it will be worth their while and their dreams. My favorite, is the moss and orchid lady: her wares are everywhere, and now in of all places, in my bathroom. They look best there. Trust me.

I remember my childhood and what I looked forward to and hoped for in Christmas. It was alway Magic or at least the possibilty ot it. I still look forward to that possibilty and promise. It has often alluded me in these more jaded years of innui and and "I am too hip for this riff" bullshit. I want, and have always wanted what I remember about Christmas. When you could look into a shiney christmas ball on the tree and see another world where the family was happy and together and all was Merry and Bright. I remember at the age of 10 or 11 coming down the stairs in the middle of the night to see what my parents or maybe even Santa had left for me and all of us. It was the very esscesne of what Christmas is to me. The light off the tree was of another world, not electric, just the ambiant light of what was in the midnight sky, shiney, extremely quiet and waiting. I stood there wondering what was in all the packages and there was a rush of air past me that I knew in my heart, was the rush of an Angels wings passing thru the room and blessing me with all that I had hoped for then and now. I belive this to be true and I pass this on to all of you with love and the hope that you to feel that rarifed air pass by your life this Christmas. Love, Gayle

Friday, December 18, 2009


From the late fifties I have been in love with Flamenco, having been a dancer most of my life it was an affair of the heart and mind. However, i was terrified of the foot work, knowing it would by my undoing if I attempted it and failed. So, I just loved it and it brought me to tears more often than not in all points of the world where I was magically present when it was .

In 2004 when I came to San Miguel de Allende I was told of a teacher and a dancer that was so incredible that I could not pass on the chance to study with him. So I thru my self in to a very fast moving river that I am still trying to swim into or out of. His name was Antonio (with various last names) For me he was the very essence of what I thought Flamenco is and was and always will be. From the heart, improvisational and always coming from a point of view that was very personal and private.

We became friends, I think, you can never be sure with Gitanos. It seemed genuine because i have never been good at looking into peoples eyes for very long without feeling invaded and/or embarrassed. With Antonio it was sometimes for half an hour and the stories that were told from one to another, were from another time and another place.

I must admit I was entranced, sometimes obsessed and totally mystified. As were my friends who thought I was out of my mind and close to the ever present abyss.

It was and still is hard to present my point of view without censure. What most did not under stand was that I loved him as one does the sunset or the sunrise. It is there. it is amazing and takes you places you can not imagine. But it does not mean a dance with oblivion. It just is and one must honor the moment and the experience.

It is easy to imagine where all that passion could go, but first one must know that he was 34 and I was 69 and for what it is worth, he had a lady and at that time a baby on the way and there was no way I was going into that Arena of betrayal, transgression and madness. and if truth be told, risk the humiliation of sunrise on a body no longer young or desirable in the harsh light of reality. So............friends we were and hopefully remain and I will always be grateful for the dream and the truth of what I experienced in a world that I had always wanted to have in my heart and my life. OLE.......................

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Ok, in front this is not going to be the most positive post you may have ever read but it is what happens when slugs think.
What is she talking about? Well, I will tell you.
I came back to Pozos to try to really live here instead of trying to have a foot in both worlds. Those two worlds being the high energy of San Miquel and the tranquila of Pozos. Because I had been robbed numerous times in the Barrio I had an apartment in in San Miguel, I decided to give it up and truly live in my own payed for house and deal with myself in a way that I had been avoiding for may years. Dealing with grief and resentment and anger and confusion. So, for a year I did that and found the illusive peace that can come with this choice. BUT, turns out I slipped into Slugville in the process. Slugville for me is that place that is too comfortable, lazy, navel gazing and precludes wanting to change out of pajamas to go anywhere. So what does a slug do in these circumstance? WATCH TELEVISION...................... mostly HGTV A home design network and cooking shows. Well, as far as HGTV goes it turns out to be really scary for me. It is my definition of a horror show. Because, it is proof positive that there is very little imagination to be had in the average world. I mean, NONE. You would not believe the whining about rooms with too much stuff or rooms the wrong color or the fact that the kitchen has not stainless steel or granite work surfaces etc. Why on earth can"t these people see beyond their boring nose. Anything can be changed with some imagination. This what scares the Slug, because there seems to be so little imagination left in the world. Because, everyone seems to want the status quo or the common denominator or what ever everyone else wants. Yikessss
This concerns a Slug, because the slug is terrified of all those others, because they want to smash and/or kill the slug, because the slug is unacceptable, too yucky, too slimy etc. ect.
I mean, can you imagine that everytime someone sees you, they want to kill you or make you vanish somehow. All that negative energy coming right at you.
Ok, so it is time to change this scenario. I have decided to at least live part time in San Miguel de Allende where it is just too busy for slugs to stay in their pajamas and thus avoid the slings and arrows of outrageous blandness.
The bottom line for me is, because of television and movies and things of a similar nature; there is a serious lack of time or space for imagining. This is one of the most important aspects of childhood and is seriously lacking in the play date, turnkey world of today. Every minute must be productive and have import on the future of the child in question. I am so thankful that I had the world I grew up in, where one could dream and plan and imagine and laugh and even spend a year in Slugville. What about you?

Friday, October 23, 2009


This is a property in Pozos; it goes back at least 300 to 400 years. It shows the usual influence of the Spanish and of course the Arabic influence upon them. It is an appropriate picture at this moment because my home in California is going to be Auctioned on November 9th. I look at this photo I took years ago because I loved the moorish influence and wanted, at the time a home that mirrored this architecture. I now have a home here that at least has some walls that goes back that far, but more importantly to me, has a garden that mirrors that long ago time.

It seems that in retrospect, that I have left a trail of gardens that begin in 1975 in Sauasalito, California and spread their trail from there to at least 6 other spaces between there and Humbolt County, Calif. Now here there is another, but it is only 4 years old and is still promising so much more. I think of Santa Rosa, and my house on the "proverbial block" and that garden goes back to the turn of the 20th century. I planted, as I did here in Mexico, everything that caught my eye at this and that nursery and hoped for the best. The best was splendid, but the very best was what came up that had been planted so long ago that even the lady that knew the origianl owners (way back when) did not even know the heritage. The Garden continued to surprise me with its gifts of surprise and wonder. It is this I miss and worry about, in terms of new owners, greed, auctions etc. who will care who was there and what their dreams may have been?
So yet another garden, and given my age, it may be my last, and yet another trail and what I have left behind.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Seems like California today

There is a hurricane coming off the Pacific and although I have not been able to bring up a computer image of its path, I am guessing it is swirling up the Mexican coast and then down through the Central Highlands. It is a very blustery and semi rainy day today, as it was yesterday. I have built my first fire of the season yesterday and need another today. It feels so much like January or February in Northern California where lived most of my life, I am surprised when I look out of my windows here and see Adobe walls and cobblestones,cactus and spanish inspired iron work. It is Sunday and usually there are lots of families and tourists visiting Pozos, today there are very few. It is almost as quiet as it is in the late evening and predawn hours. I almost always wake up in the middle of the night to absolute silence. This amazes me as there are over 7000 people in this village. What ever sounds do break through the darkness are always of the nature variety. My favorite are the donkeys/burros, always with a complaint about something. There is one that had me fooled for years, his favorite time is early morning at day break and his complaints are heartbreaking. You would think that he must carry concrete, dirt or bags upon bags of firewood everyday for his daily ration of alfalfa as so many of his friends must do. But no, he lives with his wife a life to be envied by all beasts of burden in a lovely paddock shaded by ancient Pepper trees and many choices in the gourmet donkey deli of the surrounding fields. Perhaps they are not complaining at all, it is just the tone of their communication. I have grown very fond of listening to them either at midnight or morning. I love imagining what they may be saying to each other or to other donkeys nearby. Thus is my amusement on any given day of my Mexican life.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Posting from Pozos

Hola, this is my courtyard in the Central Highlands of Mexico. My home is in the semi ghost town of Minerale de Pozos in the State of Guanajuato. I ended up here 5 years ago as a result of my inability to handle one more minute of the Bush Administration. Originally I fell in love with San Miguel de Allende, which lies about 45 minutes from Pozos. Unfortunately, it seemed everyone else was in love with it also. Feeling a bit hemmed in by too many people and just as many automobiles, buses and trucks; I decided to investigate what I had heard was a ghost town in the higher ground overlooking the valley that sweeps down and then up again to become San Miguel. I had heard about Pozos from the wonderful book on this area of Mexico written by Tony Cohen called On Mexican Time. I call it a semi ghost town because although there are ghosts in and about the enchanted adobe ruins of this town and time that stuggles to be remembered; there are at present 7000 flesh and blood residents and of those perhaps 15 full time expats like myself and then maybe 30 more part timers who come and go through out the year.

It is my intention with this blog to write about what life is like here as I understand it and to hopefully be one more voice that encourages anyone who can escape the talking heads and scare tactics media, that Mexico is full of wonders and enchantment and unless you are dealing drugs or fond of the border towns, It is as safe as anywhere in the world (if safe is a meaningful word for you). This is a test run for blogging for me and so ends my first post.