May 5th, 2008

monarch butterfly

Good Morning!

Do every act of your life as if it were your last.

- Marcus Aurelius


I have had this cold-cough-flu now for many days, and have kept plugging along, but last night I completely lost my voice, and now this morning I have a sore throat and very little voice, so I am sipping hot lemon, ginger tea and beckoning it to clear, as I have a very talky day planned, and it is what it is.  I do see when things are not flowing as smoothly physically that I am very aware, so it will perhaps be more easy to do each act and task today with the mindfulness that it might be my last.  The fog is in and the wind is howling, and the plants seems to be saying, "Brrrr, it may be cold, but I am grateful to be alive."

alan's marigolds

Cinco de Mayo

A day to drink beer and eat guacamole.

Editorial from the NY Times!!

Have a Happy Fiesta

Published: May 5, 2008

What would holidays be without commerce? Hallmark turned Mother’s Day from a call for peace into the day of the greeting card. De Beers turned Valentine’s Day into a reason to buy diamonds. On this day, Cinco de Mayo, we celebrate Corona’s prowess in helping craft the nation’s most famous Latino fiesta out of a battle in a Mexican city many Latinos have never heard of.

Officially, Cinco de Mayo marks the Battle of Puebla, in which the Mexican Army defeated invading French forces in 1862. The Mexican government never made much of it. That’s perhaps because the French returned a year later, trounced the Mexicans and installed Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria as emperor of Mexico for the next four years.

In Mexico, on Cinco de Mayo only Poblanos — as the people from Puebla are known — find something to celebrate. In the United States it has become a very big deal for the nation’s 45 million Hispanics, with celebrations across the country. President Bush has held Cinco de Mayo festivities at the White House.

For this north-of-the-border success, we have to thank the persuasive powers of beer. Cinco de Mayo is probably Corona’s biggest day. It has a national TV and radio campaign running and Mexican rivals like Tecate are right on its heels. Anheuser-Busch picked Cinco de Mayo to launch its new Bud Light Lime.

The party is also about tequila — with 60,000 cases sold during the first week in May last year. And, of course, guacamole — even bigger than the Super Bowl, according to the California Avocado Commission. In Atlanta, sponsors of the big Cinco de Mayo fiesta include State Farm Insurance and Hyatt Hotels.

There’s a touch of genius in the appeal of a minor historical celebration to a collection of peoples that often share little more than language and the ancestral experience of having been colonized by Spain. Had something big like Mexican Independence Day been picked for Latino Day, other Latinos would probably not have come.

Still, the identity politics can get complicated. We have heard Mexican-Americans explain how Cinco de Mayo celebrates the solidarity of California’s Hispanics with the Mexicans fighting the French in the 19th century. We’ve heard Puerto Ricans argue it has nothing to do with them. Some Latinos are offended by how American consumer culture has turned a symbol of anti-imperialist struggle into a marketing tool. Mostly we’ve seen happy revelers and happily reveled ourselves. It does make one ponder the awesome power of the profit motive.

barack obama

the tail of the day -

I had no beer or guacamole though I did have a little wine.  I realized something today.   When people ask how I am, I reply in comparison to chemo, so I am almost always well, but when they hear my voice, they think I may be sick, and possibly contagious and when I contemplate the sound of my voice, perhaps I am.

I drove to Guerneville today, the long, intricate, interesting way and walked a secret labyrinth by the sea, actually many of them.  It was a most unusual, spiritual sort of day and I am still struggling to speak words out loud but I can certainly feel and communicate.

If aliveness is the test, well, here I am, in joy, in well.  

A Nest by the Sea

Among the stones, shells, grasses, daisies, and rattlesnake grass,
a labyrinth's tail, curved comb for the moon.