There are some things in life that shouldn't be given so much importance, if they don't change what is essential. Laura Esquivel Quotes

It doesn’t matter to me what you did, there are some things in life that shouldn’t be given so much importance, if they don’t change what is essential. What you’ve told me hasn’t changed the way I think; I’ll say again, I would be delegated to be your companion for the rest of your life-but you must think over very carefully whether I am the man for you or not. ~Laura Esquivel

Not counting the anime I watched growing up in Germany, in which case Sea Prince and Fire Child would probably be my first foreign film, Like Water for Chocolate was the first foreign film I saw. My mom took me to the old Camelview theater 24 years ago to see the film, of which she read reviews and wanted to go see it. The woman is still traumatized so many years later. She was not ready to have the “sex” dialogue with me after having barely recovered from the “becoming a woman” conversation.

My mother actually shrieked – yelped – at the first sighting of full frontal nudity. Then she spent the remainder of the film alternately jumping, yelping, and ordering me to cover my eyes. To this day, I can still get a reaction from her by the mere mention of the title of the film.

Como Agua Para Chocolate, or Like Water for Chocolate is a euphemism to describe someone in a rapturous state. I asked my Spanish teacher why the reference because I had some idea but wasn’t fully in the concept. Sometimes, yes, I am that clueless. He just smiled and explained because to make hot chocolate, to be added to the chocolate, the water must be boiling.

In Mexico, hot chocolate is usually made with water, not milk.

I rather like that reference, don’t you? It’s such a vivid and sensational way to describe a sensual state of being.

Since seeing the film I had an opportunity to read the book, and I highly recommend the read. Her ability to create such vivid and beautiful concepts with her words is magical. I recently read Malinche, another of Laura Esquivel’s books when I was in Puerto Escondido. It not only was an exceptional beach read, the story was sad and beautiful.

What is on your upcoming summer reading list? I have a feeling I’m going to pick up a certain “libro” for another read through.

Make this one a great one!

XO, Jennifer

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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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Beyonce Quotes

Who runs the world? Well, as these Beyonce quotes will testify, Beyonce runs her. Here’s some inspiration for pep in your step with a most delicious collection of some things to say to slay your day. All hail Queen Bey!

“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world. I run my world.”

“Thank God I found the GOOD in goodbye.”

“The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence.”

“Do what you were born to do. You just have to trust yourself.”

“When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.”

“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”

“I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything?”

“The reality is: sometimes you lose. And you’re never too good to lose. You’re never too big to lose. You’re never too smart to lose. It happens.”

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

“The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.”

“It’s so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learned that it is no one else’s job to take care of me but me.”

“Never let success go to your head, never let failure get to your heart.”

“If you live your life with kindness and giving other people great energy, that beauty and great energy will come back to you.”

“I always find the inner strength to pull myself up; I was served lemons but I made lemonade.”

Does Beyonce inspire you? How?

XO, Jennifer

Beyonce quotes

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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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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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