"I felt like time was running out and that I had done nothing with my life. I felt like a man trying to catch the last train ... Mexico's clear air, bright colors, and warm people seemed a corrective for gray skies and anxious Americans ... I saw that my life was mere clay, not a thing carved in stone, and that with my own hands and those of Fate it might be reshaped." San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Memoir of a Sensual Quest for Spiritual Healing
Rick Skwiot understands that Mexico is not just a place but a way of life. Its surreal philosophy blends "Lord help me to accept the things I cannot change" with orgies to rival Caligula. Not all travelers have the heart to get Mexico. Not all writers have the huevos to put it into print. In this multicultural era, it is not fashionable to say that Mexico is bizarre and comical. Yet it is, and Rick does. In this politically correct age, it is not acceptable to suggest that Mexico may be no more insensitively machismo than gringos are hypersensitively neurotic. Yet Rick dares to hint at this unspeakable truth.
His work also sheds light on the unique pathology ... er ... I mean artistic bent that moves writers to devote decades to a career nearly as promising as blacksmithery. (I, of course, am the exception. With no wounds or chemical imbalances, I immerse myself in cigars, alcohol and putas solely for you the reader.) So, if you're interested in becoming a serious writer and/or drunk, this book can help. Let's add Rick to our tortured-artist prayer list. If anyone has his address, I'm sure he'd appreciate you giving it to some religious group for a much-needed Saturday-at-dawn doorknocking.
Rick's new volume is a fast and fun read that doesn't bore or exasperate like much touted literature, but offers meaningful insight without stalling the story. Plus, he is an author who writes like a man - a species more endangered than the panda. Still, one place where this book falls short of mine is that it lacks a photo of me exuding raw animal magnetism from the back cover. (Why Rick's publisher opted against this is unclear, but I think it was a bad call.) Otherwise, I recommend this work to guys, for those times when you don't have a cold one in the fridge or a hot one on the sofa, and to ladies who like it rough - literarily speaking.
In February, Rick will be featured at the San Miguel Writers' Conference. I also will be there reading from and signing copies of Sacred Ground & Holy Water. Come out and join us if you can. If you have an adventure travel or spiritual travel book which you'd like reviewed, talk to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you've written another kind of book, send it to Oprah.