Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)

Wonderful Day of the Dead comes around again! Here of some photos from my trip to the market to get my altar supplies:

And my altar dedicated to my grandparents. I even found a skeleton of a man driving a race car, for my grandfather who was a car mechanic and enthusiast. A businessman skeleton for my other grandfather, two lovely ladies with flowers for my granmothers, and other touches. yay!

Learning to Think

A few weeks ago I went to an exhibition of the English sculptor Anthony Gorman. It was one of the stand-out exhibitions I have seen recently.
Here is one of many sculptures of Gormley. He really plays around with space and bodies, and our consciousness within all of that. I wish I could have gotten more photos, but they were kind of forbidden. Everything was so participative. One of my favourite works was called "Learning how to Think", which was a number of life size sculptures of bodies suspended from the ceiling from their shoulders down (so their head was missing). I loved it. It made me think about the few meditation classes I´ve taken this year. They´ve taught me that the more we turn off the mind, the more we learn how to think. The more we re-enter our body, focus on it, realise its power, we enter our consciousness, or even our unconscious, and we learn to leave all the discourse and noise of our head behind.

I´m currently attending a short course on "Managing the Unconscious" that my good friend Nury raved about so much until I went along with her. It´s taught by her philosophy teacher and quite interesting stuff. Funnily enough, on the first class we did a really cool meditation and then the teacher asked us to draw a picture of ourselves. Afterwards she started talking about the different shakra points in the body and where are energies are. We looked at our self portraits. She took one look at mind and just said "you are all heart and all mind. Where is your grounding?! You gotta remember your body!"

One day after work I came out late with a particularly pestering and buzzing mind. I went straight down to the Angel of Independence, where the sky was like nothing I´s ever seen. I took off my shoes and stuck my feet deep in the grass next to the Angel. connecting with the earth, somehow. Somehow, learning how to think. I hope.

A couple of weekends ago I went to an old convent in the pined woods around Mexico City. I hugged a huge old tree and just breathed and turned off the mind. Who knows how to think, in the end. But I do know that these sorts of things, that I am only waking up to, work for me.

Viva México

Photo courtesy of Jorge, a UNAM student (National University) I made friends with at the light show in the Zocalo as part of Independence Day celebrations last month. It was such a funny night - with so many people there was quite a lot of hubbub and a few situations that were just so Mexican.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I never was much of a fan of "our Nic" but this is cool and applaudable:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Isn´t there a better way to do things Kevin??

Australia May Expand Detention Center Amid Influx of Refugees

By Ed Johnson and Jesse Riseborough

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The Australian government said it may further expand its offshore detention center for asylum seekers as the opposition blamed weak border controls for an influx of refugees from countries such as Sri Lanka.

The government has added 200 beds at the center on Christmas Island, more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) off the northwestern coast, where refugees are held while they undergo checks, the Immigration Department said today.

The capacity may be further increased “as part of our contingency plan,” Immigration Minister Chris Evans told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

The opposition says 41 boats carrying almost 2,000 refugees reached Australian waters since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Labor government changed asylum rules in August 2008. The issue of illegal immigration is politically sensitive for Rudd, who is accused by the opposition of weakening the policies of his predecessor John Howard.

“This Labor government is soft on national security and has completely lost control of our borders,” Sussan Ley, the opposition justice and customs spokeswoman, said in a statement. “What kind of message is this sending to the insidious world of people smugglers?”

Since winning office in November 2007, Rudd has moved to dismantle Howard’s “Pacific Solution” policy of detaining refugees in island camps and has pledged to speed up the process of assessing claims for asylum. The government last year closed detention centers on the Pacific island of Nauru and on Manus, a province in Papua New Guinea.

Intercepted at Sea

All asylum seekers intercepted at sea are now detained on Christmas Island, where they have access to legal assistance and an independent review of decisions. Asylum seekers who make it to mainland Australia are locked up only as a last resort while they are processed.

The opposition says the new policy has made Australia a more attractive destination to asylum seekers and boosting people smuggling.

The number of refugees on Christmas Island this week reached more than 1,000 and a further 56 are on their way after their boat was intercepted two days ago, the Immigration Department said. Capacity has been increased to about 1,400 from 1,200 and there are “contingency plans in place” to further increase accommodation on the island, the department said in an e-mailed statement.

The government denies its policies are attracting asylum seekers and says conflicts in countries such as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have led to a global increase in refugees.

Global Problem

“This is a global and regional problem,” Rudd told ABC radio today. “Our approach to people smuggling and our approach to asylum seekers is tough but humane.”

The prime minister said he speaks regularly with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on how to tackle people smuggling.

A boat carrying 260 Sri Lankan asylum seekers was detained by the Indonesian navy at the weekend after Rudd asked Yudhoyono to intervene, the Australian newspaper reported.

The refugees, who boarded the boat in Malaysia 13 days ago after flying there from Sri Lanka, yesterday threatened to blow up the wooden craft if the Indonesian navy forced them to disembark at the port of Merak, according to the report.

Australia says it’s working with countries in the region to stop traffickers smuggling people from the Middle East and Central Asia through transit points in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

R.I.P. Mercedes Sosa

"Today, from the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, we have to inform you that Ms Mercedes Sosa, Latin America´s most important artist of popular folk music, has left us."

- from her family´s press statement.

Gracias a la vida. Thankyou life.

And I encourage you to listen to this song, and turn it loud, as it continues to build and build up, and the drums come in, and you feel like you can take on the world: Todo Cambia. Everything changes. In these faraway lands.