I’m back and I’m feeling great. The class in Mexico was amazing. I had a class of strong, independent and creative women who worked hard, played hard and experienced the magical realism of Latin America first hand. We experienced
“an irrational geography where you can be born with a star on your forehead, a sign of the marvelous;” Isabel Allende’s Of Love and Shadows
Magical realism has it’s origin in the remembrance of childhood. Wonder and imagination runs wild. Mexico is a place where time can seem bent.
“Why shouldn’t time slow down and stop occasionally, or even go into reverse?” Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna
Melaque was a beautiful setting for a wonderful class. I had an exceptional group of students who weren’t afraid to dive into the Mexican culture with everything they had. We each will remember it differently. One of the high points of the class was sharing our work and passing on the communal crown after a wild week of work and play.
We played and worked without boundaries like the children we are inside. We realized the need for stories in our lives. Each experience was a story. We created our own personal myths and shared some common myths that developed during the week. All around us was magic. It surprised some of us and others accepted it without question.
“ The things you’d least expect speak. There they are: speaking. Bones, thorns. Pebbles, lianas. Little bushes and budding leaves. The scorpion….the butterfly with rainbow wings. The hummingbird….One and all have something to tell….I learned the story of some of the animals from them.” Vargas Llosa The Storyteller
The classroom became a sacred space.
“Books, quiet during the day, opened by night so their characters could come out and wander through the rooms and live their adventures.” Isabel Allende Eva Luna
We saw things we wouldn’t have seen without being aware of the sweet culture of Mexico.
“He knocked on every door up and down the coast, sweltering in the hot breath of the siesta, feverish in the humidity, stopping from time to time to give assistance to the iguanas whose feet were stuck in the melted asphalt.” Isabel Allende Eva Luna
We painted and wrote stories about the experiences we had.
“All day they hauled mangoes, until there were none left on the trees and the house was filled to the roof-top….In the days that followed, the sun beat down on the house, converting it into an enormous saucepan in which the mangoes slowly simmered; the building…grew soggy and weak, and burst open and rotted, impregnating the town for years with the odor of marmalade.” Isabel Allende Eva Luna
The class seemed too short. It was over in a blink of an eye. I was lucky enough to stay for an extra week, traveling into the mountains with Nancy and Richard Lennie. Thanks to them for a wonderful time. And a special thanks to my students, Mary, Vonda, Judy, Cherie and Signe. I’ll soon have the dates for next year’s class. Again, I can’t wait.
“Oh, Mexico, it sounds so sweet with the sun sinking low.” James Taylor Mexico