Night moves

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SITTING ON the living room sofa last night with most of the lights turned off for mood and comfort, the two of us split a brownie, which was sweet and good.

I noticed this scene. The light comes from small bulbs behind two huge, pressed-tin masks on the wall just above. One is the moon. The other is a tribal face.

This artwork is by Arturo Solis who lives here in town.

Dishwasher moon


I’M THE CHIEF dishwasher at home. My wife can wash dishes, of course, but her method lasts 10 times longer.

I imagine it’s something she learned as a child, living with hundreds of siblings* where dishes were allowed to dry in the sink a spell before getting washed.

Tossing dishes into the sink after a meal to be washed later creates a far greater task than simply washing them on the spot. Once food dries, it’s way more work.

Procrastinators are their own worst enemies.

Don’t even mention automatic dishwashers, a dreadful invention that is not Earth-friendly, takes up space, reduces your exercise, and is just plain silly anyway.

Decent people wash their own dishes and the best of them do it immediately. I am one of those decent people.

I was washing dishes yesterday evening when I looked out the window over the sink and spotted the moon. That’s what I saw in the photo above. It wasn’t even dark yet.

Since good things tend to come in twos, I decided to take another photo, so I stepped out to the veranda — the dishes were done — and snapped the photo below.

The hat on the left used to be mine. The one on the right belonged to the Rachmaninoff Cowboy, and on the hook between them are Hare Krishna beads. For about two seconds of my life, I considered joining the Hare Krishnas.

But I didn’t.

I decided to wash dishes under Mexican moonlight.


*Mexicans are hearty breeders, and the Vatican encourages them not to stop.

Night oxygen

starsOFTEN I AWAKE, usually temporarily, about 5 a.m. or so.

If I’m on my side, I turn to face up. If sufficiently awake, I take a deep breath. No matter the month, the air will be cool to cold at 5 a.m. And the air is remarkable, nice.

There is no central air at the Hacienda, of course. It’s pure mountain air. It is clean. There is no heavy industry here or anywhere hereabouts. Virtually none down the mountain at the capital city either. The air here is how the Goddess made it. It smells real good.

Here is another thing:  We see stars. I never saw stars in Houston, of course. Not a prayer. I remember decades back at my grandmother’s farm in Georgia, I would stand in the yard nights and oh-so-many stars. You don’t get that in big cities. Too much light competition and pollution.

If you’re out in the Hacienda yard on a cloudless night, there are stars from horizon to horizon. You spot dippers big and small. The moon is as it should be, from a sliver to full, depending on its druthers.

In Georgia, fireflies were common. They’re rather rare here, but sometimes you see them too. But it’s the air that’s particularly striking, its clarity, coolness and good smell.

Morning moon


The day dawned good, so off we went for our morning walk.

I noticed the spectacular moon of the last few nights is reluctant to go home at dawn. There it hangs between the tallest banana fronds.

November is usually the best month of the year here on the mountaintop. Normally, the rains have gone, leaving all green and blue and bright and cool.

This year, however, the rains, like the moon, are reluctant to go away, go home, go wherever they go, perhaps to a rainforest somewhere.

They are far lighter though. I think they are giving it up. One hopes.

Returning from the morning walk — six laps around the plaza — we sat on the terraza and peeled tangerines.

I don’t even remember what it was like to work for a living.