Another morning as Bill and I were walking in Chapala, we came upon a clunky old Mexican car that had seen much better days. It was dull and rather ordinary, as many of those old cars are. As I walked on, chatting with Bill, I was not really noticing the car except for the inconvenience of squeezing past it. Just as I angled my body between the car and the tan stone wall, the sun crept from behind a cloud. Suddenly a sparkling light caught my eye. The windshield of the offending car was a dazzling maze of cracked glass. The car had most likely picked up a stone which cracked the windshield, a not uncommon event for car winding their way on narrow cobblestone streets here in Mexico. But there, dead center, amid the blazing spider web, the owner had placed, a large star-shaped sticker. It delighted me and made me laugh out loud. "Look, look at the star sticker!" I call to Bill. But he is in his head lost in his thoughts and doesn't see. But I am reminded, this is why I love Mexicans. They do not passively accept life's misfortunes. Often, with humor and wit, they transform the mundane into the sublime, and make us smile.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Pixie's Corner: A Dog and a Star
While on our morning walk, Bill and I walk in a wide circle (into traffic in the careterra) to avoid an especially vicious roof dog who seems determined to jump off the roof with the singular intent of tearing out my jugular. As we fearfully pass the menacing dog and return to the sidewalk, I see a Mexican man and his son approaching the roof dog from the opposite direction. They amble, as Mexicans tend to do, down the street, apparently unaware of the dog. Curious, I turn to watch them pass the dog. The father continues walking, but the boy, maybe 7 or 8, falls a few steps behind. He carelessly bends down and picks up a rock, as boys are apt to do. Then, unexpectedly, he hurls the rock with deadly accuracy at the menacing dog. The dog, promptly put in his place, retreats to the back of the roof with a pitiful yelp. Meanwhile, the father continues walking, seemingly unaware of the heroics of his young son, until the boy picks up his pace and, once again, is walking next to his dad. At that moment, I see the slightest straightening of his shoulders and I realize the boy had done what was expected of him. There was no pat on the back, no "atta boy," but still I understood that the father was proud of his son, and the boy basked in that pride. Lesson learned: This is how you handle nasty roof dogs.