Octavio Paz quote

In addition to being National Poetry Month, this is also my final month for my current stay in Oaxaca. I will return to the States for a wedding of a good friend and for family. And file my extended taxes and defend my dissertation (kind of important). And… start to look for a job with reliable income. That will allow me to live in Mexico, of course. I did not know Octavio Paz before a man I met almost immediately before leaving the city introduced me to him. Why does it seem to be the most interesting ones are those with a short shelf life?

How did I not know Octavio Paz?

The same way I didn’t know Juan Rulfo or Carlos Fuentes. At least I knew Laura Esquivel, and even that was because of the movie before I found the novel.

Octavio Paz is prolific in his writings and his work is beautiful. I lament not knowing Spanish better to be able to appreciate his prose in the language originally created. For now, I must rely on the translation. Outside my dissertation and faculty work, reading a book on the history of Oaxaca protests, and sleeping through siestas, I’m trying to translate a Spanish copy of The Alchemist.

It’s not going well.

But I try!

In time, perhaps….

I love this quote, though. Deserve your dream. Because, yes, right?! Shouldn’t we be required to work for what we want? I think it is a piteous condition, indeed, if one were to get everything he or she wanted without knowing denial or work.

Wind, Water, Stone by Octavio Paz

Water hollows stone,
wind scatters water,
stone stops the wind.
Water, wind, stone.
 
Wind carves stone,
stone’s a cup of water,
water escapes and is wind.
Stone, wind, water.
 
Wind sings in its whirling,
water murmurs going by,
unmoving stone keeps still.
Wind, water, stone.
 
Each is another and no other:
crossing and vanishing
through their empty names:
water, stone, wind.

Make this a great week!

XO, Jennifer

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Charles Bukowski quotes

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them. ~ Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski is an important influence for many writers. I generally have some form of visceral reaction to his writing. He is rough. Crude, raw, and in some ways, depraved. There’s a blunt honesty and lack of apology in his views and his words.

Looking through his words, one can find absolutely beautiful testaments of the human experience among the many volumes of work he produced in his life.

Here are 10 more quotes to start your week:

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”

“You are marvelous the gods wait to delight in you.”

“If you’re going to try, go all the way.”

“I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here.”

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

“Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone.”

“Dogs and angels are not very far apart.”

“I wanted the whole world or nothing.”

“Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it.”

“Some people never go crazy, what truly horrible lives they must live.”

Make this a great week!

XO, Jennifer

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Guillermo del Toro quotes - you'll meet her

You’ll meet her. She’s very pretty, even though sometimes she’s sad for many days at a time. You’ll see, when she smiles, you’ll love her. ~Guillermo del Toro

I came across a video interview with Guillermo del Toro regarding his fascination for and use of monsters in his work. He explains monsters as representations, metaphors of a sense, for the ugliness in life.

His work is beautiful. To date, Pan’s Labyrinth remains one of the most poetic and gorgeous films I’ve seen. The Pale Man still haunts me.

I think, often, about monsters, men, and both the startling beauty and horrifying tragedies we experience or witness in this world. Wrestling with my own demons is a fight in which I still battle. I’m more forgiving of myself than when I was younger. But, the need to resist the near constant onslaught of self criticism is strong. My ego, my thoughts, can be the most ferocious monster for me to face. What are your monsters?

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Gael Garcia Bernal Trump

Okay, disclosure: this week’s magnanimous man really is one of my crushes. Oh I do think Gael Garcia Bernal is quite the (talented, socially conscious, articulate, and) handsome fella.

The Oscars were a rather interesting event last night. I left the bar streaming the show after Emma Stone was announced so I missed all of the Best Picture kerfluffle. But, I did see Gael Garcia Bernal in his presentation During last night’s Oscars, I cheered and applauded when he spoke his criticism of the damn wall.

In case you didn’t get a chance to see, here is a clip:

“A lot of actors are migrant workers. We travel all over the world, we construct stories, we build life but cannot be divided. As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I’m against any form of wall that separates us.”

His words and sentiment were unapologetically political and I value his decision to use this platform to usher the harsh criticism to the racist, xenophobic, and irresponsible rhetoric and actions of the current president – 45.

I’m against any form of wall that separates us.

I was planning to move to Mexico for my “sabbatical” before the election was even decided. It’s no coincidence I abandoned all of my staunch intentions to remain in the States until I defended my dissertation. After discussion with my mother, I bought a one way ticket to Oaxaca City from Kansas City on my birthday. The departure date was January 19, 2017.

How completely ignorant, racist, and ugly must we be to have accepted the rhetoric from Trump? Don’t forget – he called Mexicans “bad hombres” and drug dealers. And rapists. The same man who admitted – boasted about sexually assaulting numerous women. Wants to – nay – was rewarded for slandering an entire country of people. A country and people I embrace and love. I left my home country (which I love) because the hateful discourse and blanket acceptance of a person chosen to be our leader to the world.

But, before my coffee induced irritation builds, I’ll just leave with more crushing on Gael Garcia Bernal and wait for the next season of Mozart in the Jungle. This man is much more than an incredibly talented actor and intimidatingly handsome face. Past interviews of him show him to be thoughtful, passionate, intelligent, and a strong advocate for moral consciousness and social responsibility. Thank you, Gael, for reminding us what a good neighbor looks like and should be to one another.

Make this a good week, loves!

XO, Jennifer

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Lin-Manuel Miranda quotes galantine's day

“I think a lot about trying to meet the moment as honestly as possible, because I don’t pretend to have any answers. In fact, I have infinitely more questions than answers.” I can generally not get enough Leslie Knope, but on this Galentine’s Day, I’m all about feeling Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Galentine’s Day Spotify playlist he made for us ladies. It’s even better than when I came across an artist’s renderings of Leslie Knope quotes. Talk and dance about this is chock full of fantastic, empowering, and energetic songs from strong and sassy female artists and it’s all girl power.

Today is a day for ladies to celebrate ladies, and while my ladies are north of the border, so there’s no rose sipping and bruschetta noshing. But, thanks to international data plans and What’s App, I still was able to access some of my lady loves’ therapy sessions. I love my poetic land mermaids and rule breaking moths.

I firmly believe one of the reasons I don’t struggle with loneliness, despite an almost constant run of “Singleness,” is because of my epic circle of friends. I date, often, but rarely meet someone worth investing deeper into the sacrifice of my personal time to be with him so I generally choose to be alone. Fact is, there’s not yet been a single person I’ve been with romantically in which I feel like I received a net neutrality or gain compared to the sacrifices I had to make to be in the relationship. That’s not what I want…. I want to be with someone because my life is more colorful, peaceful, enriched because of what I share and experience with him. Not to miss time I could be spending doing other things because of what I’m giving to him. And that’s how I know I’ve never met my “lobster.” But Galentine’s Day is a fun day for celebrating my friendships.

It’s also an excellent day for me to not ponder so hard about a particularly confusing romantic “situation” (see some of above) and just enjoy… Oh, and write… and write, write, write. Always to write. Even though I cry – a lot – about my dissertation challenges, I know… I just know it will feel so good to be done. And it will feel good to give a smiling “fuck you” to my naysayers. There’s a list.

And because I’m having a particularly rough time of rewriting and reanalyzing my research data and I want to quit it all so close to the end, another push for stick to itness and perseverance. Anytime you write something, you go through so many phases. You go through the I’m a Fraud phase. You go through the I’ll Never Finish phase. And every once in a while you think, What if I actually have created what I set out to create, and it’s received as such?”

Pop a bottle of pink tinted wine, crank up your speakers, and enjoy this day – if you want, you can join me in a virtual dance party. Oh, and as a matter of fact, living deep in Mexico is not helping me improve my dance skills any better than sleeping with textbooks under pillows helped my knowledge of calculus in high school.

Centro Cultural San Pablo Oaxaca Mexico

By the way, what do you think of my new hat? I picked it up last week at Mercardo Benito Juarez. Hat hair for days. Which is beneficial being that my dueña can’t get the hot water to stay on in my apartment and hair this thick and long is a miserable washing experience in cold showers (I’ve been going over budget and visiting a salon for washes and blow outs). We’re also working on the pest situation because I found a scorpion in my room the other night operating as my head board.

Happy Galentine’s Day!

XO, Jennifer

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