Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It comes with the territory...

Is the human condition one of constant struggle? Today I've had a media overload. From the vitriolic speech of tea-baggers to the incessant crudeness of reality shows. I have to be very selective when it comes to watching TV. It's heartbreaking to realize that so much energy is put on sensationalism. But we cannot blame TV nor media for all our troubles.
It was Pride weekend here in Dallas, I volunteer to help at my church's booth. I belong to a very progressive church that is totally inclusive of diversity. It felt wonderful to celebrate our victories as an oppressed group and reaffirm our wishes for the future. On the way back to the car, I had to walk 10 blocks south from where the Pride event was taking place. I saw poverty all around me. Too many dilapidated buildings and houses inhabited by fellow Latinos. They seem particularly quiet, very quiet indeed in comparison to the party going on to the north of their neighborhood. They seemed to be lost in their thoughts. There were about ten or twelve people all together sitting in one yard watching a couple of kids play soccer. They looked tired and bored. They didn't make much noise either.
Some rejoice and others suffer. What a strange symphony. When I was a student of Tibetan Buddhism my lamas taught me to chant for the liberation of suffering and its cause. It is simply complicated. But I know hope transforms the lives of people. The worst thing a human being can be is hopeless. Hope is a call for love and realization. A loud and crystal clear call. I believe happiness exists, it might not be what you imagine it is. It might be even better.
I'm growing lots of hope in my mind-garden, so much indeed that I want to share it with everybody. I'm asking you, friends, Is the human condition one of constant hope?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mary Travers (1936-2009)

Mary Travers from the group Peter, Paul and Mary passed away today at the age of 72 after a battle with leukemia. It saddens me a great deal since PP&M has always been one of my favorite groups. The harmonious simplicity of their songs have always resonated with that part of my soul that celebrates life. Her voice was as sweet as honey. She was one authentic and soulful artist. She will be missed.

Friday, September 11, 2009


One of those precious moments in life. Pretzel softly grunting at the downpour; Brownee, the new pup, asleep in my arms. I'm alone in the apartment, dusk has just hit the blinds letting in the last wet purple rays of the dying sun in the bedroom. I'm listening to CalmRadio, an Internet radio station that plays soft and glorious piano music. And I wonder how fast this very moment will melt away in time. So many worries these past months. What makes me a man? What makes me a human being? Is it my identity, my social persona, my likes and dislikes? A thunder clap has just shot across the horizon. Satori. A zen-like revelation on impermanence. Or rather a permanent impermanence. I love to play with words in the same way that a master painter uses shades, textures and hues to depict the landscape of his mind. Where has my depression led me? It has carved a groove, a distinctive groove in my life. But not always a bad one. Since childhood I've been melancholic in nature. I always felt I could time travel through space if I put my mind on it. If fascinated by certain age or time period I would submerge myself in the art, literature, geography and architecture of the period. I secretly long for eras I never lived: turn of the century London, Renaissance Italy, Athens under Pericles, Pre-Columbian North America.
The soothing tickles of the soft melodies of the piano and the dancing rain in my window bring me a rare feeling of solace. Quietly, I breath in and out the atmosphere that has manifested magically in this moment. Just that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On the Elegance of Dinner Parties

It was a particularly common Thursday. I did laundry in the morning and in the afternoon I prepared fish with white rice. A couple of days ago I went to see Julia and Julie with some friends. As I ate I couldn't help but thinking about all the fabulous dinner parties I've seen on the screen throughout my life. From the philosophical My Dinner With André (1981) to the riveting luscious 19th century banquet displays in The Age of Innocence (1993). Who can also forget Babbette's Feast (1987)?, based on a short story by Isak Dinesen. Dinner can be a dramatic counterpoint to a dull day. When people gather at a dinner table they participate in one of the oldest ritual known to man, sharing. Today I imagine wild red roses flowing from a aquamarine epergne; a tea stained Battenberg lace tablecloth, crisp and flowing at the same time; my long gone set of Fostoria Depression glassware featuring tall, elegant cobalt blue stems. Elegance is a perfect equation of joy and generosity. To aim for beauty has long being the obsession of mankind. Elegance is beauty presented as a gift. It has little to do with money or wealth. True elegance is about sharing. Who can be elegant and selfish? A fool no doubt.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It Was a Hazy Tuesday Morning...I Saw The Fire Within.

The eternal flame wailing...the watershed of your defiance...your glorious tenderness...the hope of angels.....random poetic phrases. There has always been a fire burning inside of me....As a child I ventured with Homer into fantastic worlds of Cyclops and the golden fleece....the bravado of Red-Hot Riding Hood, a jazzy take in cartoon form of the traditional tale.....Japanese proto-anime Astroboy rocketing into space to save the world...Sparkling stars...endless Caribbean Ocean, dignified Palm Trees swaying in the wind like a mythical Isadora Duncan doing her expressionistic Wundertanz...I feel so much, so deeply, so metaphorical...so passionate...so atavistic...so vibrant and colourful...and yet I live in a mostly blind world...maybe I am the blind one, who knows? I crave for a place where art and music are honored as blessings in one's life. I crave for a commUNITY where dance and poetry can overcome prejudice and ignorance. Oh, yeah...I heard it all before, so many times...I'm so naive...so very naive....and silly, and a fool, and idealistic to the extreme, and a dreamer, and ethereal to a fault, and impractical, and a weak link in today's dog eats dog world. I have heard it all before.
I am burning inside, and its a variegated flame, some call it an eternal flame, I call it a life giving flame. I see its reflection in the artists that I meet, in the music that dares to to celebrate the human spirit amidst the honks and clangs of urban traffic.
The beauty of your embrace.
The dignity of your very special dance.
The triumph of your colours against the deadly gray.
The echo of your song that penetrates the walls of doom and bring hope to all.
The Love that you bring into this sea of humanity.


did you hear me?


I want to celebrate with you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Waiting for a call

A phone call away. I've been waiting all day long for a call. I've had two interviews in this establishment. "We'll let you know either way by Friday" she said.

I'm in that place where you are hopeful and pessimistic at the same time. It's Anxiuosland. It's a land of the absurd, illusive (worst than Alice in Wonderland), where words are a game to be played inside your head and where expectations are like daggers through your heart. And yet I know I am much more than this nerve wracking moment. I can soar pass Anxiousland from a single leap forward. I am a human being that has followed a long and winding life path. An unique path at that. I have made this path for me using all the Love I could gather, all the hopes that a person has in her or his heart.

In the meantime I keep breathing, dancing, loving.