Jul 14, 2018

THE OTHERSIDE OF THE VOLCANO - Chapter 26: My intentions remain "good" - vamos a ver!

Good evening.  It's about ten thirty at night at the foot of the Volcan de Fuego, Sacatepequez, Guatemala.  It's Saturday night and I can hear a few people out on the street celebrating.  Young voices laughing and talking and screaming friendly shouts at one another.  I am in my room.  I just watched several YouTube choices.  Not bad, not sad, and one was even romantic with a happy ending. Puts me in the mood...a good mood. 

Happy endings. I hope they are true for me and for you too and also for the young people celebrating Saturday night on the street (there are two Cantinas in my neighborhood) where I live.  I think I grew up with Happy Ending movies and real life good intentions at my house.  I just now was reminded of my parents and the intention on their part for everything to be happy, healthy, warm/well-appointed as they indulged in All-American dreaming in their/my home.  Somehow we lived in a bubble of "good intentions".  I may have mentioned before,  I love "good intentions", even if they turn out to be a little different than I thought/meant them to be. I can learn a lot from my intentions (especially the ones that I think are especially honorable...and, I often do) after I have executed them. Gotta keep a close eye on reality and personal responsibility in the aftermath of my intentions.

Here I find myself growing older (more older) in a very small town in Guatemala.  How could this be that I have made Guatemala my home?  There are only a couple of other "Norteamericanos" living in this village and I rarely see them although I consider them friends.  The rest of my connections with "Americanos" are with wealthier folks (mostly) who have lovely second homes in Antigua.  Antigua, Guatemala is about a half hour from here by car.  Antigua is a treasure of a historic place with dozens of Spanish Colonial ruins to explore and enjoy.  Antigua is a rather fabulous place with good restaurants and fine hotels...it even becomes a "wonder" in our world during Holy Week each year.  I like visiting my friends and I enjoy having them visit here.  Often I have casual lunches or larger parties in my sala/studio/home.

I like living in San Miguel Dueñas.  I have lived here over a decade although Orlando, Florida is my actual residence.  I know something that you should know.  The Guatemalan people are extremely kind and well mannered.  Even after terrible incidents at the U.S. border with some deaths and child seperation  from their parents and the vicious treatment by ICE officials...still, always/siempre, Guatemalans are friendly and respectful to me.  Good character abounds all around me.  I feel sickened by Donald Trump and his bigotry.  

Entonces, here I am.  Another weekend alone with my three dogs.  The Dog Ladies; Honey, Dulce, Lu Lu, and, yo, Leonardo. We keep a keen eye on one another even as we nap, eat, run up and down the stairs to the kitchen and garden and dream those somewhat fitful dreams that dogs dream so well.   I am having them too as I get older.  Sometimes I wake up in the night and I remember *things* that I wish I had done better (or not at all)..and then I think of how fortunate I really am.  I have been loved, I have been brave, I have been sad, I have followed my creative path...a bit daunting sometimes to do. I have been rewarded with loving friends (and challenged by a few mean/opportunist people and a couple of thieves too). I have learned to avoid *difficult* people and/or not keep trying to make them healthier...or, even make them see my point of view...whew!  They have their own lessons to learn regarding "intentions", ready or not?  

I learned something recently that I did not know before now: I love a very large group of people, both now and before now...I love them better now.  It doesn't seem to matter as to when I loved them...love is rewarding to me even when the "beloved" are dead. It also surprises me that I feel love so deeply...is this what age brings?  More feelings of love?  Love reveals itself even in my "flores and fuego" Maya inspired art work?

As I paint paintings in the art studio each day I share lots of memories in my mind (and sometimes with my associates) that entertain me and allow me to be grateful for life and all of you (and some of the thems too).  

Soon I will be 75 years old..it's quite an adventure and my intentions remain good I believe...we will see how they work out. 

Gracias a Dios and gracias for you in my life,  

Leonardo Ricardo aka Leonard Richard
Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Central America

to be continued