Monday, May 5, 2008

Life´s Greatest Koan

Mind you, the sea is as enchanting as ever -- walking through the coco trees and flowering hibiscus, and immersing yourself into the luminous crystalline silver liquid and having it play BACK with you... Yes, life is good.

But it has been challenging lately in other ways... Here are three examples which illuminate life´s greatest koan...

SHARK ATTACK
The day after the news hit, the swell was so spectacular that everyone was right back in the water (if indeed anyone actually did stay out after they heard). The villagers were stopping Robert and myself as we rode by on our bikes with our boards under arm -- warning us of the shark attack. Even Omar scurried to find us and warn us...

...but when we all reached the beach and saw the bay'wide towering rows of shimmering green and white right up to the boogie beach, we ALL went right on in. Omar, too.

The shark attack was not at our beach. It was at Troncones... which is a mere, sobering, three miles as the shark swims, from where we play. This is very rare news. First time in living memory (of anyone!) to hear of one so nearby. A Tiger shark, the cruising lethal kind of shark that bites to kill... Four guys were out at that bewitching sunset time when the world is purple and yellow liquid and your eyes are enchanted and your heart flowing with the waves. They were at a very very popular beach.... The shark struck fiercely, of course, and took out his thigh. Amazingly, the guy was able to stroke for shore but there was no saving him...

The local fishermen, it is said, went on a hunting spree and hauled in 15 sharks -- but if they did, and rumors do fly, still, all they caught were the Nurse Sharks, bottom feeders. No one even saw the cruising lethal Tiger. He´s still out there, and it could be a she, I suppose.

RIPTIDE
Same day of the big swell -- of course -- two young gringo girls went out to play in the surf, knowing nothing of the sea. They went in at the far end of the beach where I NEVER swim, where the waves close out hard, and where there is almost always a riptide current that will pull you out, as we say, all the way to Lazaro Cardenas.... It was our beloved Matilde who spotted them. (For those of you don´t know our cast of characters, if anyone at all even reads this, Matilde is a gringa from Texas and everyone´s dear friend. She does not go in the water these days.) She was expecting trouble and had her binoculars handy.

She called out to passing surfers along the beach -- who took off on a run with their boards, yelling to other surfers further on down, and so forth... til guys with boards right at that location heard them, and took off straight out. When they brought the girls in, they fell sobbing to the sand, hugging it, unable to thank ANYone enough for having saved their lives.

By the way, for those of you who sent me birthday greetings -- the shark attack was on my birthday, while I lay sick with a headache and quick cold. The many happy returns was the swell. I am not being sarcastic or snide. Life here is too open, too clear, for that... Gifts are in the eye of the observer. I learn from these disasters, too.

MOTHERLESS CHILD
Last night Robert and I were awakened as usual, by a sobbing little two year old boy who lives right next door to us. We´ve known him since before he was born, but WHY did his mommy who had been so very loving and attentive, abandon him to his great'grandfather? His sobs are existential and earth'shaking. This child is shattered. The great´grandfather is a very likable gentle and soft´spoken man, but he is no mother. He treats this forlorn and lost child like he were, say, 15 years old. Threatens to hit the kid for crying. Orders him to stop. Walks away. Leaves the kid there, frozen in emptiness...

Omar once told us that the Mexican way is to leave people alone to live their lives the way they see fit. ... So I don´t know how to reach this child. When I see him now, that once happy outgoing little boy acts as though he has never seen me and hides both Robert and me. I call him my little friend, my neighbor, the little Heart of Gold every time we come face to face. I remind him of how he loved to play with blocks at my house next door... He peeks out at me and I give a little smile...

This is another kind of death going on here....

Which brings this entry back around to its title, Life´s Greatest Koan. It is Death. We all sit with it, in the verymidst of paradise, in the verymundaneness of life. Om....

love, Rosalia Rescate (the kids now call me by my translated passport name) y "Chango!" (a better Spanish name for Monkey, they tell me)

4 comments:

Tomas Dennis said...

When I was a teenager I got pulled by the strong undertow of Long Beach in California. Pull you in and smack you type of waves during high tide. Struggled very hard to get out of the water and survived the surged to speak again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,

I just read all your entries this trip - what adventures you are having. Don't ignore that shark - he/she could be out there somewhere. I'm happy that you have a new cat and it sounds like you have a whole village of children! It takes a village (of children) to look after a gringa such as you!

I'll visit again to get a Mexico fix, since Denver is rainy, cool, and political.

Love, Kathryn

Art Goodtimes said...

saraswati

wonderful to be steered to this blog of yours, so i can keep up on the wonderful life you and robert lead. your writing sparkles like the shimmer of sun on surf, with just enough sadness to remember there are sharks out there too.

Louise said...

Sara, so sweet and bitter your stories of kittens and sharks, riptides and watermelon... perfectly Mexico. Thanks as ever for the stories! Ram, Ram, Jai Ram, Louise