Originally published Friday, May 19, 2006.

Part I: Meditations on a Mexico Sunrise

 


April 12, 2006 (original journal date)

[Though I am not yet prepared to write about the specific activities and learning experiences we had under the tutelage of Tlakaelel and his Sundance Chief prodigés, Luis and Marco, I wanted to begin to revisit the settings within which those lessons were framed. I offer this journal/blog/podcast as an entré back into this world.]


 

The mountain we were on, located overlooking the small town of San Martin de las Piramides, had to have been chosen with serious consideration of its magnificent views of the valley, the Pyramids themselves, and nearly 180º views enabling both sunrise and sunset meditations. But even if that seems like a superficial assessment of the location, one need only step out of the Kalihuey just before dawn, to understand.

It is during that period of day where time seems to stand still, each second ticking at only half speed or slower. The stars are still visible in the lightening sky as the sun’s rays begin to creep over the eastern mountain ridge behind our rustic home. The full moon just begins to fade in its perch over the western mountain ridges that edge the valley below.Mott trip to Kalpulli, Mexica Culture, San Martin de las Piramides 3/06

A rooster crows its persistent call, one that began late last night, as if its own biological clock were turned inside out and upside down. Daylight Savings time is a meaningless term around here. The day begins when the day begins… as the sun rises. And no one ever told this rooster that he is supposed to crow only at dawn, a myth perpetuated by American Saturday-morning cartoons.

During our visit to this magical place, I awoke many mornings often just before dawn, a time of day when the air carried a chill from the desert night air, in contrast to the heat that would pervade our daytime activities later. Often what would wake me was not the intermittent crowing of our determined rooster and friends. And the stiffness in my back or shoulders could be expected considering I was resting in a sleeping bag laid over a slowly leaking inflatable pad on a concrete floor. But it was my own body clock (and mother’s bladder) that aroused me to a semi-consciousness, where I would be serenaded by the chorus of snoring by my companions who shared the floor of the Kalihuey (a longhouse structure of concrete block and tin) turned dorm room.

Mott trip to Kalpulli, Mexica Culture, San Martin de las Piramides 3/06Each morning, as I roused myself to wakefulness, and even before I headed out to take care of my personal duties, I would check the contents of two canvas bags I had set beside me the night before to assure myself that everything I would need on my short sojourn was all in order. One bag contained the necessary toiletries: a roll of toilet paper I kept in a ziplock bag, and another package of personal wet wipes (aka babywipes) that I’d use for a superficial morning bath. To undertake the morning constitutional necessitated a more spiritual approach in this mountaintop perch. For the concrete block stall in the unfinished half of the Kalihuey had no door, only a large piece of plywood not large enough to cover the doorway opening. Water to flush the toilet was conservatively rationed with small buckets that previously had to suffice for your bath water. And without a toilet seat over the porcelain bowl, one balanced oneself over bent knees in a yogic squat requiring concentration and balance.

However, to make up for the less than luxurious bathroom facilities, the “room” afforded a view across the unfinished unroofed half of the Kalihuey of the moon as it set over the deep turquoise blue lightening sky above the valley.

Mott trip to Kalpulli, Mexica Culture, San Martin de las Piramides 3/06The second canvas bag held my cameras, one video, one still, both digital, along with a few spare tapes, digital “film”, a mini tripod and batteries. I carried both bags on my quest for the peaceful morning constitutional so that I would have no need to return to my floor, and the snores of the dorm, and so I could head off up the mountain where I could spend some peaceful moments alone with the wakening world. I’m an artist, photographer, and designer. And, once I set my video camera on its mini-tripod, I could walk away and set upon a large rock at the edge of the tabled mountain and meditate upon the brightening sky, feeling the air currents against my cheek as the breezes moved the air from night to day.

Silently, I began to count… slowly… one… two… three… four… Then, in Fijian… dua… rua… tolu… va… And finally, en Espanol… uno, dos, tres, cuatro… as I tried to connect each number to my slowing breath…

Mott trip to Kalpulli, Mexica Culture, San Martin de las Piramides 3/06Every now and then, I would pause in my meditations… a change in light, the glow of the impending sunrise upon a tree branch, the flicker of fabric of the symbol flags of the new Aztec year, or a strip of fabric dancing in the four winds.

Eventually, the peace would be broken. Maybe from the sounds of the neighbor’s barking, growling dogs. Or from the morning hacking cough of one of my dorm mates. Or an inner sense of urgency and maybe a little guilt for having let this indulgence go on a little too long, while others were beginning to emerge from their slumber in preparation for the new day.

Part II: Agitations on the Mexican Autobahn (to come)

2006 © mara jevera fulmer

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