From Instagram: Dia de los Muertos festivities are kicking into high gear. Beautiful Catrinas everywhere! #guanajuato #gto #mexico #festival #culture #diadelosmuertos #catrina #wp

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Cervantino 

It’s the last weekend of Cervantino here in Guanajuato. I had been expecting just total madness in the form of thousands of tourist here for these last three weeks, but honestly it hasn’t been that bad. Centro is usually crowded anyhow, and the tourists don’t really stray into our neighborhood much. I am looking forward to it getting a little quieter though – Mexico is loud enough as is without adding more daily festivals. 

One aspect of Cervantino which I adore is the influx of art into the city. There were many special sculptures created and placed around the city especially for the celebration, so I had a blast wandering around and looking for them. 

Inktober and sketch therapy

The feature photo was this morning’s crazy windy sunrise. We’ve been here in Guanajuato for three months now, and we’ve had our ups and downs. I’ve been struggling, as I was told I would be, which is partially why I haven’t had the patience or motivation to keep writing. But, everything is okay and I have things to look forward to now, which helps. 

I’ve been sketching a lot since I found out about inktober- a daily sketching prompt for the month of October. These aren’t good by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m pleased with my process. It’s a very meditative  process in the fact that while it’s a challenging activity, it’s also very relaxing. Sketching and painting take me totally out of my head and the world around me, and I can absorb myself 100% in what I’m doing. No election drama trauma, no dogs annoying me, no stressing about meal planning, nothing. Just focusing on lines and colors. 

Here’s a few of the plain ink ones. 

“Orange County” – the prompt was “tree” 

“Lost”

“Broken” – this is our little Mexican street rescue dog recovering from myriad ailments 

“Sad” – from a photo I took of a woman begging here in Guanajuato. Even though parts of the city are affluent and cosmopolitan, there is still a lot of poverty, especially among indigenous people. 

“Old & New” – this isn’t a prompt, and it’s the earliest of these drawings so it’s not as good. This is one of the magnicificent sculptures  here, as I saw it one day with an elderly man and two little dogs taking a break. 

Month one.

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I walked back (up) from the mercado, all 332 stairs, in the penetrating afternoon sun, and gave new meaning to the word “trudging.” I put away the 12lbs of fruit, peeled off my bra, put up my hair, and sat down to my computer with a fresh strawberry daiquiri.

All of a sudden, it’s pouring outside, and thundering. Despite being in a desert, this is jungle-level rain, like the type of rain you see in movies when something shady is going down, or when two people in love find each other. This rain is enveloping, and inescapable as it pushes its way under doors and in-between the seals of windows. The thunder is not the ordinary, mumbling thunder of which we’ve grown accustomed to, either. Every minute or so, the downpour pauses to accommodate a shred of lightning, the dogs lick their lips nervously, and we all brace ourselves as the sky tears itself into a thousand pieces, its shots echoing magnificently off the surrounding hills. It’s the sound of cannon fire, fireworks bursting, glass breaking, metal crunching, boulders rolling, animals screaming  – all competing for the loudest decibel, all at once. It’s violent. It’s fantastic.

This is the rainy season in Guanajuato, Mexico.

It has been nearly one month since we moved in, and I’ve found that my level of content & comfort changes as quickly as the weather. As cliche as that seems, sunshine is not always the harbinger of happiness; often, the jarring crack of lightning and peal of the first raindrops rattle me back into a positive perspective. A friend asked me, not only if I am happy here, but if my “soul feels at home.” Without any offence meant towards this beautiful city and fascinating country-  gods no, my soul doesn’t feel at home. But, it has been a very long time since it did, longer than I can accurately remember, and there’s still plenty of time to find a piece of home (whatever that means) here in Mexico. It’s a pendulous country: a land of rain and sun, of dichotomies and conflict;  leaving much to be wanted, yet having a great many things to offer.

It’s best to be flexible.

I finish my daiquiri as I type, and by the time this post is complete, the dogs are lying out in the sunshine again.

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