The People's Guide To Mexico

Tina's Mexico

Not Pie in the Sky

by Tina Rosa

Tina's Mexico:
On the Road Again

#1: Preparing to Leave for Mexico

#2: On The Road Again

#3: Dia de Guadalupe

#4: Gamboling for Cookies

#5: The Geography of Ghosts

#6: The
Baby Jesus

#7: Laughing Buddha

#8: Degrees of Acceptance

#9: Keys for the Road

#10: Not Pie in the Sky

11: Raison d'être

#12: Butterflies & Turtles

#13: Yes, Howard, We did eat Steve

#14: "56"

#15: Dia de Amistad

#16: Rio Purificacion

#17: Popcorn

#18: Ode To Odette

#19: Departure

#20 Pueblita's Flowers

#21: Rearview-Mirror

#22: Lingering


#24 1st Anniversay of Steve's Death

#25 The Mexican Left Turn Angelic Blues

Tina's Stories

Day of the Dead Altar
Ritual for October
All Us Desert Rats
January 29, 2000
The Beach

Insomnia wakes me at 3:30. Yesterday I noticed the oil pressure gauge was low. Was it even functioning? Does the needle just lie at 20? Has the gauge become disconnected? Sadhu told me it may indicate the oil pump is gone.

"Don't drive it until I can look at it," he warns.

I don't have a mechanical bone in my body, but I have been trying hard to pay attention since our in-house mechanic went off to car heaven, where nothing ever breaks down that can't be fixed with a fluffing of angel wings. I feel vulnerable before the Mysteries of How Things Work (or Don't.) It's tension that woke me.

After two hours of meditating, I crawl out of the camper to go make coffee. Looking to the sky in the west behind the lagoon I am startled by the big orange ball of the setting moon, almost full, hanging in the indigo inky dark. It looks like the sun setting in a blackened sky, amazing. I'm almost glad for the insomnia that got me up to see this sight.

The day is kind of weird, as wasted as I am. All the coffee doesn't jump-start me, just leaves me nervous and shaky, with the old familiar "hole in my aura" feeling that used to come with the morning hang-over. When I pay attention to the mind tape I'm running, it drones on for awhile with self-trashing. The "shoulduv's." I shoulduv noticed the oil gauge sooner, blah blah.

When Sadhu comes over to check it out, it's working normally. Isn't that always the way? When the mechanic's around, the car performs fine! He tells me to just keep an eye on it.

As the day progresses I notice that the slurry of my mind has passed on from telling myself I'm stupid because I didn't notice the oil gauge sooner to wondering where I ever got the idea I was supposed to be perfect? Do everything right? All the time?

If Steve were here he'd say, as he often did, "Tina, you're too hard on yourself."

And maybe he is. Because I'm remembering his words and telling them to myself! I say a word of thanks to Steve for saying this to me often enough that I can remember it now. A friend told me once that maybe Steve could die and move on, in part, because he knew I was ready to internalize some of what he gave me. When we embody the qualities of someone who passes, we give them that much of immortality.

The following night I am lying on the beach on my back on a grass mat with my shoes pillowing my head. I watch the black edge seeping onto the moon's curved bottom. It is happening so slowly I could be imagining it, I think. But when I look away for awhile, watching the white flash of waves curling over, exchanging remarks with Sara and Pico, sitting next to me in chairs, and then look back again, yes, it's distinct, that shadow of the earth eating the moon, like a giant wafer pasted to the sky.

"This is going to take awhile, " I say.

We decide to walk down and visit Patty and Jerry, also seated on the ubiquitous white plastic chairs endemic to the beach. Jerry's suited up in gray hooded sweatshirt like he's ready for a moon walk, and he almost gets us there with his powerful binoculars. Wham! I put them to my face and travel light years to the moon's cratered face. Patty feeds us delicately flavored wafers frosted with chocolate, a special treat, as we stand staring upward.

"The stars are really starting to come up," remarks Sara. With the slow darkening of the sky, the stars begin to shine again for us.

"I think I'll make some popcorn," she says.

We're all in favor of that.

"I'll help," says Pico.

I move back to my mat to collapse prone on the earth's surface, moving my gaze between the moon half-devoured, the stars and the waves.

Sara and Pico return with great bowls of popcorn deliciously seasoned with soy sauce, nutritional yeast and lime and bring some more metates to lie on. Patty and Jerry move their chairs over to join us.

We try to imagine how such a sight would effect primitive man. By now the entire moon's disk is shadowed, transformed into an orb glowing reddish orange,. Wouldn't this phenomenon be frightening to the cave man?

"But do you think they came out at night?" questions Patty. "Wouldn't they be too busy resting up for all the work they had to do just to survive?"

"Or wouldn't they stay inside hiding from the animals?" I speculate, thinking of primitive humans, prey to night time stalkers.

"Just think what it would be like if you just happened to walk outside and see this," says sara.

I think of my friends Tom and Madeline in a condo somewhere on the coast, a glass walled modern cave high up on the building's cliff. What if they haven't read about it, looked out of their glassed terrace walls with no warning to see this strange glowing bloody sphere. It really looks like something out of science fiction. It could look like the end of a world, if you had no "News" to tell you what was happening.

"It's so cosmic," says Pico.

"Yes, the moon and the heavens are kind of cosmic," I agree, and we all laugh.

But there is something potent and fierce about our silvery placid moon all transformed by her red veils borrowed for an illicit night's masquerade as Other.

"It's like we're getting to see the dark side," someone comments quietly.

What strikes us all is the moon as globe, how three dimensional it suddenly looks, truly a planet. This is no pie in the sky. The binoculars make me feel like I'm wearing the old 3-D cardboard glasses from the brief rage of '50's movies. If I stare awhile it's almost as if I'm floating in space too. Which, of course, we are, spinning here on our own planet. I try to visualize the ongoing flirtation of the earth and moon, forever circling and turning in their linked slow waltz around the sun as it moves too in its own stately progress.

I leave the planets to their dance and turn in my mat for my truck's mattress, peeking out the curtains for one last glimpse before I fall into the underside of my own world.

A few days later Deborah visits, and I have been sharing Steve's photo album with her and some of my writing. The pie man shows up with his round basket of delicious pay de queso, pay de nuez and pay de coco. Queso was always Steve's personal favorite, and Deborah tries one in his honor. After we have made our selections Chito asks me, "No vino tu esposo?"

When he hears the news he is contrite, apologetic. "I didn't know," he says. "I share your sadness."

He goes on to tell me that even though he never spent much time with Steve, he had a feeling about him, that he was a good person; he always liked seeing him.

This is not the more usual Mexican response of "when God wants you." I'm touched.

He gestures toward the beach and the ocean. "This is a good place to be," he continues, "where two worlds, the sea and the earth, meet. Here in one's solitude one can contemplate and learn, which is what we're here for. The presence of the sea is healing, therapeutic."

"Here we can learn to use our talents well," he continues. "We all have different talents. Some with guitar, music, some with words. Like a good cook," he says, "who prepares food just right."

"Like you and your pies," I say (and Steve' in his kitchen, I think.)

After some more conversation in this vein, our philosopher takes his wares on down the beach, leaving me and Deborah with a nice soft feeling. This is a good place to be, no doubt. Sitting on the edge of two worlds, healing, waiting for the pie.

....Continued with Raison d'être

© by Tina Rosa, 1999-2002
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Email Tina Rosa at tinar@mexconnect.com

Steve Rogers Memorial

Churpa Rosa Roger
School Days in Mexico