Humanity is doomed to vacillate between distress and boredom, as the German philosopher Schopenhauer said. My poor Mexican friends scoff at invitations to go camping, because they've spent nearly all their lives trying to stop camping. My rich American friends constantly search for more extreme sports, because they need a thrill in their vaccinated, seat-belted, health-insured lives. I also hunger for tranquility when stressed and for stimulation when stuck in routine. Such is life on earth.
Perfection gets boring!
Thus, I've recently maxxed out on local coffee in sunny cafes, strolls in an iguana-filled rainforest, and jamon serrano with red wine on the beach at sunset. (No, really, sympathy cards are unnecessary. I'll get through this tedious phase in my life.) Vacation time! This month, I'm stuffing the backpack, donning the boots, grabbing the passport, and hitting the road. Where am I going? I'm keeping that information more secure than a Pakistani informant's address on Hillary Clinton's server.
Romantic Getaway Time!
However, I will be posting dispatches from another hemisphere in the very near future. Let the huge suspense of wondering where Lyn's next post will emerge from - not his pants zipper - offer enough stimulation to keep you from paying real cash money for someone to dress you up in bright orange overalls, attach you to a fraying rubber band, and push you off a bridge. If you really wanna die, go out with a bang for a good cause. Dress up like a camel, put a grenade in your ass, and wink at some Islamic terrorists. I only say Islamic terrorists because there are so few Buddhist terrorists - and so few yak costumes.
A big greedy insurance company very recently conspired to find out what career makes people the happiest, so they could provide more insurance to long-living happy folks rather than short-lived sad folks. (Money-grubbing and number-crunching bastards!) Because of the intensely-evil capitalist motivations behind this research study, they failed to approach their subject with the proper PC bias of a sophisticated peer-reviewed/censured university professor. (Trigger alert: rude myth-busting reality coming up next.)
The prestigious Eclectica Magazine is publishing dual anthologies of what they consider the best fiction and nonfiction writing from the last twenty years. I'm honored to be included. Since my life makes vampires and zombies seem a mundane snoozefest, I only write stuff that's absolutely true, so the chosen story "Dying With Dignity Mexican Style" from my debut work Sacred Ground & Holy Water will be featured in their nonfiction collection. You can buy it soon. I must concur that this piece is one of the most shocking and moving passages I have ever written. It was a long descent into the abyss to write and not for the faint-hearted.
Goat milk caramel and strawberries with whipped
cream are common confections in Guanajuato. Yet, I’m introduced to these
ordinary sweet things by an extraordinary sweet thing: a brown sugar and exotic
dancer named Clementine. This girl doesn’t spend much time in the kitchen, but
she could teach your grandmother some luscious ways to serve up desert. Here is how I get myself into an extremely sticky situation.
After dreams of making beautiful music with Lila Downs, I awake under a desert sunrise. Hit the road home to my ranch. Just outside the remote little village called Bravo, I turn off the highway onto a dirt road at the Corregidora Tech University. Here is where I work as a professor. The long and low sand-colored and rock-studded buildings meld into the landscape of desert scrub valley with distant blue mountains. The only sound is the wind. I savor the silence.
While moving this week into a new house in the verdant rainforest that encircles my university above the Oaxacan coast, your author stumbled upon notes scribbled at the desert ranch I inhabited for two years before coming here. I think you'll find them quite interesting. The notes explain how I came to devour scrumptious desert delicacies that include much prickly-skinned cactus and one smooth-skinned stripper. Here we go with what I might call the nonfiction hunger games.
This magazine has already provided snapshots of the tiny tip of the huge iceberg that is the lifelong ideological and moral bancruptcy of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A word to the wise is sufficient. It's now time for wise people to come to grips with why so many Americans have enthusiastically embraced a knuckle-dragging guy with a fascist strong-man aura and a scandal-laden hag with a socialist mother-superior attitude.
The next morning, I’m driven to the small town
of Coxcatlan by a new friend named Lily. She’s not exactly hard on the
eyes. Our road traverses agricultural fields with multiple mountain ranges on
both sides. The top ridges are stark and knobby. Heat and humidity increase
until we reach the town turnoff at a fountain inscribed “Coxcatlan: Cradle of
Getting permission to visit the cave of the
oldest corn fossils means following the 5-step process required for most
authorizations in Mexico: submit to authority, make new friends, wait and wait
and wait. Confrontation and demands can get you results but more often get you
I spend all morning at the Museum of the
Tehuacan Valley. This shrine to the history of corn is located in the former Convent
of Carmen, where I stroll happily from exhibit to exhibit in a geek’s paradise. Today, the Tehuacan Valley is a dusty nook
between the states of Puebla, Veracruz, and Oaxaca. Yet, people have camped
here for 12,000 years. When ice-age chill dominated North America, this
cave-dotted hot spot was a migrant tribe magnet and seasonal tourist
destination. The museum documents a transition of humanity from hunting and
gathering to irrigating and farming. Mighty important stuff for those of us
unprepared to track, stalk, kill, and skin our dinner every day.