We are all survivors. I read somewhere recently that 70,000 years ago there was a huge volcanic eruption which darkened the sky around the globe for several years wiping out entire species, and reducing the human population of the planet to a mere 1000 persons. Those thousand had some insight about surviving which enabled us to be born in this era. Maybe they made piles of jerky from the many dead critters — more of it than any casual person would have thought practical. But then, the sky stayed dark for several years, and creatures and the casual people perished. (Or maybe divine providence gave those elect mana from heaven. Who knows? Not me.) 

But survive they did. And the local folks here in Merida have reverence for those who bore them. They seem to know that destiny has shined on them, allowing consciousness to continue here on Earth in their person. They celebrate their predecessors tenderly, contriving altars and provisioning them with foodstuffs and mementos, while burning incense to invite the spirits to the feast. It all seems very proper to me, who might just be a bit too casual about the gifts my ancestors have passed my way. A friend once observed that “gratitude is understanding.”

Altars can be seen around the city and in homes today, The Day of the Dead. And there will be a parade in their memory tonight. I’ve gathered that western aspects of Hallowe’en have begun to infiltrate with ghoulish deadness what has long been a living celebration. But the foundational sentiment is real and palpable and on display in plazas throughout the city today, inviting us to remember what has been done for us by our parents and grandparents.






When I was in art school, I took a 3-d design course with a guy who also taught cardboard furniture design. The material is amazingly strong. This bicycle product will revolutionize manufacturing. It has been developed by a manufacturing engineer, and the story has great promise for developing nations, as the manufacturing can be done locally. What a great project! Here’s the full account:

CLICK:  Cardboard bicycle can change the world, says Israeli inventor – Yahoo! News



Well, the season is reminding us that change is afoot — crunching under my feet, as I walk this morning. The air is crisp, and the birds are gathering into charter flights for the passage south. Yes, we’re only two weeks away from winging it to Merida. Hooray!



My absentee ballot arrived today. I’ve been torn about how to proceed: Libertarian, Green, Justice.  The Justice Party is not on the ballot in NY, but these candidates endorsed by the Justice Party have qualified for recognition as write-in’s in NY. Ever the idealist, I’ve decided they are my choice.

Sorry, Barak, but I just couldn’t pull your lever again, after you appointed Summer and Geithner to fix the economy that they ruined. These Justice guys don’t stand a chance, but at least I feel good about what they say they would do (which I felt about you, until you betrayed our trust).  ~eric.



Last year I took an intermediate level Spanish class with Marina. But I can’t believe that I have no photos of her to attach to this post. She is so animated and enthusiastic about everything she does. She’s a joy to listen to, and an expert guide, as discovered during a short bus tour during Spring equinox at Chichen Itza. Debi Kuhn’s blog mentions that Marina is organizing a tour to Chiapas which looks very attractive. From Debi I now notice that Marina has her own blog. So, here’s a link directly to the tours she is currently offering:


Video: How to Grow a Mandala (from “seed”)


If you enjoy the creative visual arts, you may find the link below delightful. It’s a five-minute video of drawing using the simplest elemental shapes. It encourages a meditative approach based upon gentle listening rather than your own personal “artistic juices.” Sorry I wasn’t able to embed the youtube video right here, as the mandala that gets drawn is more intricate than what I’ve shown below, which is NOT from the video; and watching one come into view is fascinating. But if you click the link, I promise that you will be transported: