Friday, December 08, 2006

Dzibilchaltun, Temple of the Seven Dolls
I'm back, from here
This was the highlight of a rather lackluster trip. The temple above was/is a Mayan observatory of moon and sun cycles. During the equinox the sun rises and passes right through the doorway. We also saw pictures of planets and the moon lining up with the stones. As always in ancient places there is a feeling of the lives that were lived thousands of years ago in that place. A place that was once a vibrant city full of people who understood their lives to be contemporary and immediate and all that is now left are ruins and the jungle which still claims much of what archeologists are even now trying to recover. It made me feel small and very aware that the time I have been given is short. It also points to the hubris of believing that our great acts here on the earth as individuals will gain us some sort of immortality. Nothing lasts forever.
In a more superficial vein the mode of transportation to this amazing site was a cruise ship. I never imagined I would go on a cruise, but it was an opportunity to spend 5 days with my mom and the kids and I took it. I now know why I had a preemptive aversion to this particular craft; I felt like I was trapped in a hotel. To add insult to injury you are taken to fabulous places and given exactly 6 hours to explore them and then must get back on the floating hotel/casino/contest palace. It made me crazy to get out there and travel again, but on my own time, in my own way and definitely not with several hundred other people many of whom mistakenly took this experience; where you never changed money or had to speak in anything but English, for an exotic foreign adventure. Don't get me wrong I acknowledge that if I go somewhere to experience another culture I am a tourist, no matter how much some people try to differentiate between tourist and "traveler" in their attempts to feel more sophisticated than thou. That said, the way I prefer to visit places is more solitary and more interested in what the people who live there are doing and less on what there is to buy, drink or compare with what I do or don't have at home.
And in news on the home front we finally replaced our broken digital camera. It arrived today and I have plans to put up some pictures of stuff I've been working on.
Last but not least I was excited to see this book in print
I have fond memories of this artist's work in Flipside, sadly yes now some 20 years past!


Blogger Laura said...

I'm not a fan either. I think it's just an excuse to eat a lot.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Jeanne --

I am with you on the cruise experience. Definitely felt trapped, a bit claustrophobic, and never had enough time to see everything. Plus, did you find yourself treated more than ever like a "tourista"? In Alaska, I kept trying to strike up conversations with the local guides, and they all treated me like the tip money I represented. It was insulting to them and me. Much love. Glad to see photos of your work and Christmas tree. The kids must be giddy! Love you! sarah

6:54 AM  

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