|The Panchoy Valley, Sacatepequez, Guatemala|
During the past week I have been thinking about my life and the gift of living it as a (busy/loved) child, (active) teen, (striving) adult and as a once *thirsty* and now non-drinking alcoholic. Today, I am a sober (not to be confused with always sane) artist in residence who is living at my adopted retirement cottage/village in the enchanting-take-your-breath-away valley of Panchoy, Sacatepequez, Guatemala, HERE:
There is a whole lifetime of adventure and experience that I have journeyed through and enjoyed (mostly) in my passage to date. It's been fun writing my personal story here, chapter by chapter, The Otherside Of The Volcano is slowly taking shape. I keep thinking that I want to tell more very private parts of my experience...maybe I will write flashbacks in the new year. My personal ¨narrative¨ on life brings me to this morning, December 20, 2015, in this historic, and sometimes mysteriously enchanting, place. Leonardo aka Len, a white, retired-Americano (almost all English blood with a touch of Pawnee Indian thanks to a pioneer to the U.S. West and my Great/Great, mixed race, Grandmother ) . I live on the Calle Real at the foot of the Fuego Volcano and at the edge of Spanish Land Grant finca San Sebastian.
|Volcan de Fuego (active)|
|Volcan de Agua (Ciudad Vieja at upper right corner and Antigua in foreground)|
Historically interesting, to me, is my nearness to the Volcan de Agua and the death-by-mudslide place of Beatriz de la Cueva de Alvarado (1510 -September 1541). Doña Beatriz, second wife (sister of first wife) of Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras, Conquistador. You see, after news of the Governor Pedro Alvarados death in Mexico, Doña Beatriz manipulated the political confusion and made herself Governor of Guatemala...she died a few days later, drowned, with her baby, in a mudslide at her home in Ciudad Vieja. A superstitous end? Some say so.
There are still mudslides in Ciudad Vieja when it rains extra hard during the rainy season. Some things never change in this little valley and I feel drenched in the culture, history and lore of this place...mysterious, thick! I can ¨physically¨ note the heaviness of the atmosphere that includes memories of the past: tragic, honorable and/or grand or bad. Sometimes I feel the presence of the passionate, and often desperate, lives led of those who have come before us. Is it my imagination? I don't think so.
This morning Juan Carlos lit another votive candle honoring the life of a friends mother who recently died. The journey continues...may she rest in peace and rise in Glory.
|Pedro Alvarado, Conquistador, 1st Governor of Guatemala|
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
(The World around me continues to astound me)
WE WILL NOW RETURN TO MY EARLIER LIFE STORY REPORTING FROM ARIZONA IN THE LATE SIXTIES!
to be continued