Way off the beaten path

I WAS SITTING on our scarlet sofa reading Travels by Michael Crichton who is also a physician. It’s a wide-ranging book that travels beyond physical voyages.

The first chapter is grim. It describes his medical school introduction to anatomy, i.e. dissecting cadavers, a nightmarish experience for first-year students.

mushroomI lowered the book and glanced at the love seat beyond the coffee table, specifically at a large, soft, green pillow. It appeared to be breathing. I looked away and looked back. The breathing had stopped.

Or perhaps it had never started.

However, it reminded me of an afternoon in 1997 when I was on a forested hillside in the Florida Panhandle after taking psilocybin. I saw the earth breathing beneath my feet in broad daylight. The leaves, twigs and soil rose and fell as on a supine breast.

Hours later, when the psilocybin had worn off, I revisited the experience in my mind. I do not think it was an hallucination. It was that I saw things one normally is incapable of seeing. I did see the earth breathe because it does.

Traditional religion does not come close to explaining the universe. It is simplistic, written for the common man. Oriental religions, especially Buddhism and Hinduism, come closer than Christianity in their understanding. I think this is due to their greater meditative traditions, which have sent devotees into caves for long years.

Psilocybin is far quicker.

The earth breathes. You normally just do not notice.

Perhaps pillows breathe too. I thought about all this before turning back to Crichton’s Travels and his grisly medical training. Cutting skulls with hacksaws.

Another waning day

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A waning day makes nice light.

TWENTY-FOUR hours after the last post, I was walking to the Honda again. But this time I was returning from the Basilica.

I had gone there with my child bride, her sister and the nephew we once called The Little Vaquero. But he’s not so little anymore at age 15.

Once a year, the local luminaries pull our version of the Virgin Mary from her high perch in the Basilica and parade her around town upon shoulders. People take this very seriously. Being neither Catholic nor Christian, I view it less as a religious event and more as a tourist attraction.

It was supposed to start at a civilized hour but being Mexicans we got off to a tardy beginning. So tardy that I wearied of waiting and left, which is when I walked down the hill and shot these pretty photos.

The rest of my crew hung around, but an hour later they too tossed up their hands, figuratively speaking, and left. I’m sure the Virgin managed to make her annual trek through the cobblestone streets of our mountaintop town, but none of us bore witness to the sacred event.

Anyway, if you’ve seen it once, and I have, you’ve seen it sufficiently.

A friend of ours, a fellow who went by the nickname of Don Chino, used to manage this event, but he died last year. When Don Chino was in charge, the Virgin headed out the Basilica door with a spring in her step.

Now she has fallen into bad Mexican habits.

R.I.P., Don Chino. We miss you.

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This is not the Basilica. It’s a big church just one block from the Basilica.

Flames of burning books

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Conservative websites are torched at a recent Democrat Party picnic in Silicon Valley.

THE LEFTISTS WHO control almost all of the internet are upping their game in the book-burning business.

It was racheted into high gear a few months ago when Alex Jones of InfoWars was virtually de-personed online. And just this week, the free-speech Twitter alternative Gab was erased — temporarily, they say, and one hopes — when its hosting provider dumped them with little warning.

The Christian news website LifeSite this week is also about to lose its hosting provider, and hundreds of conservative individuals and organizations were recently axed by Facebook. Twitter is no better.

Silicon Valley, a.k.a. the Masters of the Universe, is also going after pocketbooks. PayPal, credit card companies, online financing outfits like Patreon are ganging up to silence conservatives too, making it hard for them to earn a living.

If you fail to see the stark parallels between these activities and the physical book-burnings of 1930s Germany, then you live in La-La Land.

* * * *

(Note: If you maintain accounts at outfits like Facebook and Twitter, you are a collaborator. Sad. Freedom-loving alternatives exist and merit support.)

Look-about in late July

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Even ceramic fragments add to decor.

THIS IS SUNDAY, the day of rest according to Christian belief, but I am not a Christian, so I stepped outside this morning after black café and bagels to attend to mounting chores.

I swept. I watered. I wiped and refilled the birdbath. I doubt the birds care, but I do. Appearances matter. I chopped some green detritus and dropped it into a big trash bin. I wiped the Jesus Patio table, and I swept the veranda.

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Oblong pot of something or other.

We wake every morning in the low 60s, temperature-wise, but by afternoon it’s warmed to the low 70s.

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He scares the snails.

A niece and her 1-year-old daughter moved to town yesterday from the nearby state capital. Her boyfriend left her, so she’s coming here to work in the coffee shop. To complicate the matter she discovered this week she’s four months pregnant, a gift from the same boyfriend, but he’s still gone.

One of my child bride’s brothers drove his truck here from his home in Querétaro and moved the niece’s few and quite humble belongings to the mountaintop. We’ll see how this plays out.

Her mother, my child bride’s sister, has four children and has never been married. I think I see a repeating pattern.

Highlands Mexican life is great weather and nonstop drama.

Most of my chores this morning are behind me, so I’ll shower, dress and slip into a Christian-like Day of Rest. It will be nice. We’ll eat in a restaurant.

Two nights ago, lying in bed reading our Kindles, the both of us, a big storm began outside, coming down from the mountains. The bedroom window was open. As wind whipped outside, it pushed the sweet smell of golden datura into the bedroom from the big bush just beyond. It covered us like Chanel.

That sort of thing can deliver sweet dreams.