All of us are under stress. Regularly we can suffer feelings of disappointment, frustration, anxiety, and guilt. It’s pretty much a function of being alive just as having air in our lungs and a beating heart in our chest. The NSOL combination is designed to mitigate these stronger feelings and reactions.
At Arcanum Wholistic Clinic, we supply our patients with supportive dropper bottles (and timeline remedies) to help lap away at both emotional and physical distortions as a preventative measure. These are generally prescribed on a daily basis in your NSOL (Emotional Support Dropper Bottle) with instructions to sip on as needed in your water to help mitigate issues as they present in your daily life.
This is a big part of the ‘wholistic’ aspect of your treatment plan, as you go through sequential therapy using Heilkunst principles. NSOL addresses the most common emotions that we can experience regularly as human beings, that can skew our healthy life experience. Sometimes these emotions are also more intense during the healing reactions of certain timeline events.
This remedy helps to also soften and release of any of these accumulated feelings, in addition to events that occur in the present, making it easier for the individual to bear the emotional load more expediently, by speeding healing. The secondary action of this combination helps to mobilize these strong feelings for release on the curative law of nature, “like cures like”, which is homeopathic law; preventing more trauma from being incurred in the present.
Here’s the breakdown to each rx in our NSOL combo and the links for you to read about each remedy separately if you wish:
S – Staphysagria is for frustration, anger, humiliation, betrayal, and feelings of being victimized.
O – Opium* or Papaver is for feelings of fear, anxiety, and lack of initiative.
L – Lachesis is for guilt, shame, resentment (violations of trust) and jealousy.
It is important to note that by taking your emotional support dropper with “NSOL”, you won’t become numb or complacent to life; they don’t stop you from feeling the richness of life’s offerings. The height and breadth of feeling will remain intact. However, folks often tell us that they have better dominion and choice over how they want to act on those feelings after having the remedy at hand.
We also hear from our clients that the remedies have helped them to burn off much of the past grief, anger, fear, guilt, and resentment so that reacting to issues in the present feels more appropriate to the moment, instead of dredging up a myriad of unresolved content from their lives. Internally, they become more self-reliant and emotionally stable, an internal beacon to one’s own self. We know this ourselves to be true as NSOL offers a kind of liberty to be able to discern how we want to react in the present without all the historical baggage.
*Note: Just a reminder that no remedy has chemical residue from any of these bio-energetic remedies. If they were sent off to a chemist’s lab, they’d deem them “placebo.” We know that the high attenuations are actually effective, which speaks to the millions of patients worldwide seeking homeopathic treatment.
My hope is that this missive finds you well and enjoying the last weeks of summer.
Early morning fog burning off the Kennebecasis River
It finally warmed up and stopped raining here in Maritime Canada and we made it into the brackish waters of the Kennebecasis River for many swims. Building our Tiny House and clearing our land of many fallen trees and brush has been a big job. You should see us working together with the chainsaw and axe to get our Fall/Spring supply of wood to cut and dried before the season. We’re both much fitter and leaner from all the physical work!
Casa Pequeña both inside and out
We’re expecting six loads of clean fill in the next few weeks in order to start working on leveling the hill that we’re on for our food forest. We’ve already got some raspberry bushes, lavender, mint and wild roses planted. I’m (Ally) in seventh heaven with being able to craft my own land into a rejuvenating ecosystem. The plan is to have enough flowering plants and fruit trees in order to sustain a number of hives of bees. It’s a work in progress and we’re learning much about permaculture principles.
This week, the solar array is being installed. We’ve been doing most of the work ourselves with the help of our friends, however, we’ve found an electrician who works with her carpenter husband to get the solar panels mounted on the roof and the battery, charger and inverter installed.
The view looking up from the Kennebecasis towards our densely treed property
We’ll be putting in the 120 amp wiring ourselves as our friend, Marla, worked for Bell Canada in Toronto and wired houses and offices with fibre-op for decades. Thankfully Diane is keeping the front lines at Arcanum in toe as we’ve literally been jumping in our clinic seats after a quick hosing off in the shower!
We’re pretty excited as later this month, our children are coming for a visit with their partners. It’s been 3 years since were all together and we can not wait to spend the week together. There will be a good ol’ lobster boil, bonfires and sausage roasts for sure!
We’re heading up to the Tiny House for the evening. Jeff has promised to play his classical guitar for me as the sun goes down. Life is so good!
Patriarchy can attempt to divide us; however, I know for a fact that folks can not be so easily broken apart by walls and borders. We’re lovers of the international state of mind.
I’m thinking of the Airbnb couple in Victoria, BC, who took us to brunch and wanted to know more about what we do here at Arcanum. I’m thinking of the woman who cut my hair in Guanajuato, MX, who hugged and kissed me as I left her shop because we’d become instant friends in an hour.
I’m thinking of the young fellow at the MacStore in León, MX, who said, “I like your happiness” and hugged both of us and took our pictures for their Customers Of The Month wall. I’m thinking of the couple in Cottonwood, CA, who worked in medicine and shared pictures of their beautiful children before making us breakfast at their Airbnb. She also shared her magnificent permaculture garden and koi-filled ponds so I could take pictures. I gave remedies to their dog and did some Bowen on his sore hip, and he was feeling fine by the next morning.
Jessica and Rosie, our lovely Airbnb hosts. She is into permaculture, mom of five grown kids, and an aquafit instructor. We loved her!
I’m thinking of the cab driver in Guanajuato, MX, who told me that my Spanish is excellent and to keep practicing as my best education is out talking with people like him. I’m thinking of the couple in San Diego, CA, who rescue exotic birds and rehabilitate them out of the goodness of their hearts. I’m thinking of the mother and son in Eureka, CA, who run an Airbnb and also take in elderly folk who can’t afford nursing homes and how we all ate breakfast in their living room and laughed at the news on the big screen TV.
I’m thinking of how quickly folks rush in to help give us directions, help us with translation, and just simply make our lives easier all of the time. My heart is swollen to her brim with all these experiences and nothing in the news or television can erase what I know is the steeped kindness of others. Their wide, open smiles and caring eyes swim in my veins.
Put the remote down, shut the lid of your computer, and go on a walk-about to far off places that you’ve never been to before. Perhaps study a new language on Duolingo so that you can communicate better. You’ll no doubt find what we’ve found in our travels to be true; love and human kindness is a thing, and it prevails beyond borders and walls. It is something you can lean into and allow yourself to be carried along with for awhile. It’s what is going on all around the world in everyday lives.
We’re all trying to balance so much! Often times, it’s not just the business, home life and kids to keep organized, and on a schedule, often times we’re having to be responsible for the collective consciousness for the entire household. Consider how often you’re asked, “Ok, so what’s next?”. Or “You should have just asked me to do that and I would have gladly helped you out.”
So many women I serve, and some men too, will cite extreme exhaustion. Not only for the actual tasks they perform at the office or at home, but because they also feel like the CEO of operations. This unexpected job description often surprises us out of nowhere. Who put me in charge anyway? Where was that written? How do I exit this role without the whole damn ship sinking?
How did the job of knowing what’s next fall on me? I’d never asked my husband, “What’s next?” in over a dozen years of marriage. How is it that as a reasonably intelligent woman I always felt my corpus callosum log-jammed every time? Perhaps my lesson was to learn how to engage with my own instincts and activities, leaving intellectual management to other individuals. That, actually would make sense.
In those moments, I definitely know I could use help. The first thing would be to take the task-manager role off my shoulders. When was this bestowed on me? Please supply a two page answer single spaced while I dress this roast of bison and finish prepping the potatoes. Perhaps you’ve lived this too.
While the offer to help is, in itself, an act of generosity, it can annoy the living daylights out of a Mom in a Sepia state. How many CEO’s of multinational companies can think on the spot of the detailed activities to be executed by a worker who barges into his office while he’s on the phone and also in the midst of forecasting the budget for the next annum? You see it, right? It doesn’t happen. At the very least, you make an appointment or see a more junior manager. Perhaps your spouse might ask one of the kids. Ah, not a bad idea, a kid will always tell you precisely what to do to serve them.
I recall feeling totally burnt out in the early stages of my marriage. In fact, I had the feeling that if one more person asked me what they could do, I might run my laser eyes clear through their guts while launching enough swear words at them to burn off their eyebrows. They’d grow back, right?!
I once recall trying to prepare supper while nursing an infant on the breast, with a toddler pulling all the pots and pans out on the floor, stirring a pot of rice pasta with the phone in one ear speaking to the guy rescheduling to come service the dishwasher who I had stayed home all day waiting for. It was a Friday.
At that moment, my husband walks into the kitchen having just arrived home from the office, and wants to know what he can do. The first answer that popped up to the fore is, “no clue” and then, “isn’t it obvious?” or to silently turn back and offer a tear of frustration into the pasta. This gesture alone can create a ton of animosity and then spouses wonder why dinner conversation is a little stunted and the weekly sex is dwindling.
I spent years stuffing my feelings down and taking Sepia regularly until my breast finally swelled with a 1.5 inch tumour. Among this, and other dynamics, I’d say this phenomenon cost us the marriage. It wasn’t until these very same issues started to crop up in my second marriage that I began to “get it”. The whole family plumbed solutions to help relieve me of the burden of doer and decision-maker. At the time, I was running a household, half a business, part of the farm, a kids’ camp (in the summer), writing a book and doing postgraduate research. Brutal, I know!
The summation of this post is that we finally did solve it with some creative problem solving. It took a team effort, but you can read that article here.
Contemplation or meditation is about developing the sight of God. It can’t be termed anything else. When we speak of “seeing” as a bodily organ, we are more often alluding to perception or proprioception, discerning the essence of a thing.
When I looked at the sunset in this image , above, I heard the sound of the waves and felt my bare feet in the black volcanic sand. I aimed my camera west at the cascading light of the mountains that surrounded Puerto Vallarta. I also felt culture shock. The image brings back that feeling of thawing from the cold, wet, rain of the west. I drove thousands of kilometres to arrive at the taking of this image that thawed my feelings of shock. When I put on my proprioceptive goggles, I might have discerned some feelings of grief and fear that were in me and in the image. You might relate to that image similarly, sensing my mood at the time or perhaps conjuring up a time when you felt similar feelings.
Vision or being “sighted” has so much less to do with “seeing” than it does with an epistemological event swathed with feelings that are soaked with impressions (feelings, functions and sensations) sourced both from inside and outside our bodies. Reality, as it lives in me, and in you, can be subjective (as in Kantian terms.) We can actually begin to develop an objective science of sight, so to speak, and render those sensed impressions into to a science of spirit: Rudolf Steiner’s epistemology.
In essence, this is the arm of Heilkunst; termed Anthroposophical Science; or the study of man. When we achieve unicity between God and man through our“soul seeing,” we can begin to sort out what is a function of disease and what is health. We can see or more accurately apperceive, discern and diagnose, based on certain qualities of feelings, functions and sensations (the Physician’s response)- trusting more in our inner soul’s function to “see” and apprehend phenomena.
This is why, as Heilkünstlers, we have no issues working with patients by phone. Our organs have been honed over the last twenty years to be able to “see” with all our faculties – not just with our eyes. A change in tone, a sudden in breath, a pause, or even a swallow inserted at the right time will enable us to perceive what we can not see. It feels like a transcendental meditation, adopting the spiritual sight, a departure from ordinary cognition.
In essence, your soul wants my soul to obtain the truth about you, so that you can be whole. It reaches out to me through nuances in symptoms so refined at times that you may not even be consciously aware of them . The soul is entirely intact, and it’s job is to push discrepancies out into our midst so they can be fully apprehended – their meaning sucked clean from the bone and annihilated. For us, this is the functional nature of the “seeing” phenomena for proper discernment.
Rudolf Steiner states, “Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent, just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears.”
In this month’s articles, we speak about eyes and the meaning behind the “ocular” block as per Dr. Wilhelm Reich. Why don’t you take a look and see if you can wholly apprehend the phenomena around the meaning behind “pink eye” and why we don’t always use our eyes to “see” – when we are trying to avoid engaging with something in our lives.
When the kids were still at home, we had a couple of systems that worked well as we had two busy practices, both of us were doing postgraduate research and we had a farm to also run. Basic stuff had to get done, but I was unwilling to be the sacrificial lady lamb in the equation. Jeff, also, would not allow this to happen to me, either, so we developed some basic systems.
Every week we had a white board on the fridge and the four of us would divvy up the chores to be done that week, listed for each day. We also had laundry-folding parties where everyone would meet in the living room, the clean laundry spilt out of the baskets onto the floor and then everyone would help sort by pitching undies, shirts, pants etc. at each other until it all got distributed. Great hand-eye coordination and memory work with this one! Each person had their own basket to fold (or gather) their clean clothes into and then put them away in their drawers or closet.
If the kids needed help, they would ask as we buddied up when one child was smaller and more challenged with the task at hand, but they were generally part of the sorting party by the time they were 4 and running the washer and dryer by 12. Sometimes their clean clothes lived in that basket until they got to the bottom, but it had to be kept in their closet. It was their choice as long as it was “put away.”
The other thing that helped a lot is that we had a shared grocery/general shopping list app on our phones divided into categories like “market,” “grocery store” or “hardware store.” If stuff needed to get on the list, like ‘cheese’, the child had to use our phones to load it on there or it wouldn’t get bought. Over time, they both got better at spelling these items … but often either Jeff or I would be standing in the grocery aisle laughing ourselves silly as Jordan got good at writing items like, “monkey balls” or “penis pickles.”
When they were in their teens, they had the same shared list on their own phones and then when they drove, they also did the groceries. Yay! We helped to grow them into these shared roles from the time that they were little. They were also taught how to manage bills, make payments, and budget accordingly. Now, we’re showing them how to invest in ways that yield solid returns.
The idea was/is to make it fun, there was always some joking around, and the burden was never all on my shoulders to be the Queen-pin of our domestic operations. We also divvied up the cooking and everyone took a night or two preparing supper for the family. We ate a lot of the same things and our crock pot got a lot of use. Sundays, we’d get some music on, Adie would often bake (her Scottish shortbreads are to die for), I’d prepare one meal, Jeff another and Jordan would be designated sous chef or dishwasher. The key was that we worked together at all of it … including mucking out the stalls in the barn. It built a sense of teamwork and belonging. A dull knife and a carrot can keep a toddler busy for quite awhile!
In our practice, we see a lot of women chronically in a Sepia state (the careworn mother) or Cancer state of mind (rescuing others to the exclusion of self). It is important to activate the health and well-being of our essential selves so as not to default to this program often wrought by our fore-mothers. Trying to work full-time and/or homeschool and then also deal with all of the responsibilities of hearth and home (or farm) can start out as protracted stress and then become, over time, Sepia or Cancer states qualifying you for more aggressive treatments. Is it time to wake from your resignation?
Here’s the original article, by Lisa Wade, that this blog was inspired by ….
Many folks come to us to address a chronic issue; chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, chronic back pain; chronic sciatica, chronic depression, chronic anger, and the list goes on. This is where the journey begins, but it is not where it ends. Once the chronic symptoms are addressed, the patient generally becomes so curious that she wants to know how deep the rabbit hole goes into her psyche.
She wants to not only find out the aetiology for the chronic pain, but she knows intuitively that something lurks beyond the cause, something so rarified that she may have never known it’s purity this lifetime. Once the shocks, blocks and traumas are out of her way, she teases back the curtain to find where the joy resides. She observes this new way of being even though it frightens her.
She realizes her chronic symptoms kept her from knowing this state of being. What now? Over several weeks, she fans her newfound “growledge,” developing inch by inch her courage to know herself in a way that she’s never apprehended before. She cautiously reaches for the joy that resides just beyond her grasp. She pulls back, afraid. What if it’s transitory like all the other times she tried to know her wishes?!
She reaches, again, and it tickles her back. She wonders if anyone is watching, if they can see the Kaos in her. Her pure awe grows in the face of this newly realized essential self. She remembers feeling like this as the tiniest child. She realizes now, that the joy isn’t fleeting, but that the hardest task ahead will be to realize that she deserves it.
Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Scientist, and founder of Waldorf Education and Anthroposophic Medicine cites that children can’t in fact subsume, in a healthy fashion, reading, writing or mathematical concepts until well after the milk teeth have fallen out. The idea being that if you wake a child too early to intellectual machinations, you damage the fine tuning of their etheric (creativity and absorption) and astral (artistry and inspiration) integration.
In this over-intellectualized and mechanistic epoch in which we live, one of the greatest crimes I see in healthcare is over-intellectualized adults who struggle with accessing all of their organs for knowledge. They’re just not properly integrated! This produces anxiety and neurosis on a large scale as their capacity for trusting their inner guidance system (gnosis) has been tarnished due largely to the tyranny of forced education.
Parents who live in fear that their child won’t be able to compete in this global culture unless they’re bullied into unfolding their egghead processes early on, actually destroy their child’s innate capacities to become lifelong learners, something which ought to be borne as a self-inspired, inside-out gesture. Real knowledge has never been a successful outside-in game and never will be. You’ve heard the maxim, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
A natural curiosity is the stuff of health. It propels us from the Godhead of our ordination as human beings (not human doings) otherwise as children we’d never ask questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” If this innate desire is squashed, and replaced by government curricula and unproven homework that turns parents into hateful enforcers instead of advocates and protectors, we destroy a child’s delicate intuition.
When will we come to wholly trust, and have faith, that each of us will ask the questions – from an internal fount whose source is beyond our comprehension – that will propel the answers towards us? When will we come to the understanding that as we progress through our spiritual unfolding, our nuanced capacity to know will flow and ebb with each consciousness soul phase we blunder through so that we’re married to the functional purpose that evolution pours through each one of us?
When will we know that the gesture to bully and shove round pegs into intellectually limiting square holes is on its way out and that feminine wisdom is mounting a luminous trail so self-sustaining and rejuvenating that the silos of patriarchy are being revealed, and breaking down at an amazing rate? When will we know that the desire to “know thyself” is so flipping compelling to each one of us that its intrinsic nature is something to be preserved, not browbeaten or terrorized with ridiculous tests.
When will we preserve the essence of our innately curious being-ness as wonder-filled seekers?
While attending University, way back when, I used to board with a great big Irish Catholic family. Actually, there were once seven children at home but when I arrived on the scene to rent a room, only the mother and one daughter were left at home. The young woman and I both attended the University of Toronto at the same College.
When I came downstairs one day the mother, H. (I’ll call her), wearing a surgeon’s mask, was stripping the paint from around the oak window casings with a small blow torch and a paint scraper. She was singing softly to herself. I tried to creep by without disturbing her as she seemed so intent on her task. She called out, “Is that you Allyson?” I replied, “Yes, I’ve come down to make some breakfast.”
I recall commenting on the incredible amount of work she was doing and that it might take a year, or more, for her to strip all the windows in the house, including the stained glass ones, and wasn’t she afraid of burning the wood or torching the glass? She responded that it was therapy for her after the decades of work at Queen’s Park as an assistant to a prominent political member. She was now retired and it seemed stripping windows of their white paint was how she’d decided to best fill her days. At the time, I didn’t understand why a retired person wasn’t out scuba diving or lunching with a whole gaggle of friends.
She continued, saying that she wove her prayers into the vapour from the torch, that they would be carried heavenward with each bubble of paint that she scraped from the sill. During the hotter summer months, she’d often strip the paint for 8-9 hour stretches in her panties and a loose t-shirt. I wondered at this sixty-five year old feminist as if she was a most curious object. Sometimes, I knew that she could feel my eyes on her and I could feel her smile; she’d just continue humming as she worked without saying a word. One time she did ask me if I had issues with feminism, and for three decades after I was mystified by her question.
Late one afternoon, I came home via streetcar along Gerrard St. East, to find on my bed a book entitled, “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller, Jr. about a simple shopping list left behind by a monk and how its seemingly benign items like, “Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels–bring home for Emma” speaks to the rise and fall of humanity in the face of atrocities like a nuclear holocaust. At the time, I didn’t have a clue why H. would want me to read such a book, however, since she seemed to take an interest in me (I had been orphaned the year prior) I forced myself through its pages. We never spoke about why she gave it to me.
To this day, I still don’t wholly understand the ramifications of what was written on the pages of that book, so I took it on as a gesture of intention, a meditation of sorts. Just as this woman scraped paint day after day, perhaps not wholly understanding why or what her function or purpose was at the time, she was investing her thoughts into the practice. I tried to bring the same gesture to that book, and many other books and practices since.
H. taught me that to be a woman in the 21st century, it is sometimes enough not to will something into existence with a great fury, hell bent on accomplishment. That sometimes, seemingly meaningless, repetitive tasks can allow for the space to contemplate, ruminate and even pray. That sometimes, whispering your hopes and dreams into the whiff of vapour, or exploring the incongruous meaning behind why a person is canonized by patriarchal religion is similarly mysterious.
It is the task of remaining open and receptive, in a state of gratitude for the simple things in life, where laying down the rod of doing in exchange for a state of being is an act of utter courage. It is the meaning of the “mass” portion of Christ-mass. When I look up Mass, I get a whole conglomeration of meanings in Wikipedia that look something like this:
“The English noun mass is derived from Middle Latinmissa. The Latin word was adopted in Old English as mæsse (via a Vulgar Latin form *messa), and was sometimes glossed as sendnes (i.e. “a sending, dismission”). The Latin term missa itself was in use by the 6th century. It is most likely derived from the concluding formula Ite, missa est (“Go; the dismissal is made”); missa here is a Late Latin substantive corresponding to classical missio.
Historically, however, there have been other explanations of the noun missa, i.e. as not derived from the formula ite, missa est. Fortescue (1910) cites older, “fanciful” etymological explanations, notably a latinization of Hebrew matzâh (??????) “unleavened bread; oblation”, a derivation favoured in the 16th century by Reuchlin and Luther, or Greek ?????? “initiation”, or even Germanic mese “assembly”.Already Du Cange (1678) reports “various opinions on the origin” of the noun missa “mass”, including the derivation from Hebrew matzah (Missah, id est, oblatio), here attributed to Caesar Baronius. The Hebrew derivation is learned speculation from 16th-century philology; medieval authorities did derive the noun missa from the verb mittere, but not in connection with the formula ite, missa est. Thus, De divinis officiis (9th century) explains the word as a mittendo, quod nos mittat ad Deo (“from ‘sending’, that which sends us towards God”), while Rupert of Deutz (early 12th century) derives it from a “dismissal” of the “enmities which had been between God and men” (inimicitiarum quæ erant inter Deum et homines).”
It is really a tough piece for me to sort through. I don’t fully understand its holy historical references; however, if I am patient enough, some vaporous light may illuminate it if I’m meant to know more. The other day, in a foreign country, where the language is foreign to me, I slipped into a two hundred year old church during mass. I sat in a back pew, closed my eyes in the cool stoney air and felt the wisps of incense wash over my fatigued bones. My camera draped at my side, I closed my eyes and fell into a meditative state as the filthy, homeless person with a ratty beard prayed next to me in Spanish on bended knee.
In the past, when directed by my mentor, Steven Decker, to study Rudolf Steiner until I drifted off to sleep more mystified and confused than ever, I’d become comforted without knowing precisely why I was studying such heady texts. It was like being tussled and tossed about in the washing machine of mystery. While I don’t always know in the moment, I trust that a canticle of meaning will eventually find me during the seemingly most mundane of tasks, a whispered prayer, poem or song received in the corridors of my heart.
I no longer have issues with powerful women. They don’t scare me. H. was right. It took me years to understand that just because I wasn’t counted as a wizened woman in my early twenties due to my weakened, diseased state doesn’t mean that I didn’t have the potential to eventually become one. After thirty years, through the portal of my own health, I learned to breathe many prayers into countless sill windows. Although ongoing, I now feel the answers to my own feminine mystery; a sweet place where I might serve in my ontological confines in this present space and time.
A canticle of seemingly endless lists filled with pastrami and sauerkraut in the face of political holocaust can join together to produce strong, capable and assured women, who whisper prayers for the salvation of self and other into the vapours of time. This unifying presence through family and intention is the Divine feminine ignited.
This year I am thankful for rest, health, verve, ease, strength, quiet, creativity and an inner grace that is ripening. I am grateful for inspiring women, and men, in my life who hold the candle of the mysteries of life in good stead until they’re ready to be wholly illuminated. I am able to fall into meditation, offering prayer-filled alms to the Spanish beggar for he shines the light on what is still my greatest challenge: the quickness with which I judge the sills of time to be too many to make a shred of difference.
“Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent, just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears.”
Well, we’ve put 19,000 kms in total on our car since June travelling across Canada and down the west coast of the United States and into Mexico. We’re finally settled in the most remarkable city that we’ve ever been to in both Europe or North America. Think ancient Italian port town nestled on a rocky bowl with mind-blowing food and culture for less than a few pesos.
Guanajuato, Mexico is built in a steep teacup that is an ancient caldera of a volcano. It was the seat for the Spanish invasion, and subsequent revolution, due to the wealth of the gold and silver mines documented in the art of Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband).
In the week that we’ve been here, we’ve already been to several concerts, with a world class symphony, with performers that hail from Russia, Europe as well as Mexico. Yesterday, I went to a piano recital that blew my socks off, afterwards there was a wine and tapas offering in the spectacular garden with local folks peppered with expats. It cost me $10 Canadian.
I’m learning to muddle through with my broken Spanish, although it is tough being so effusive and so short on vocabulary. I will start my tutoring online next week and hope to volunteer here with local youth who make organic soaps and olive oil so that I can learn more of the colour of this expressive romance language.
Our two room casita, with fibre-op, sits at the very top of the bowl with mountains jutting up on three sides. Any stroll to the the town takes us on a steep incline that makes me often think that I need a climber’s belt, ropes and several carabiners to make it back home.
Our morning hikes take us down cobbled streets through a dam, salted with patos blancos (white ducks), a gorgeous park past several schools and universities for art, political science and engineering. Of course, there are churches with huge iron bells and haciendas dotted in between with old colonial styling and balconies, man how I love a pretty balcony!
Jeff and I will scoot into Café Tal for a Sencha Tea (or the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had) and then we might have a couple of steamed tacos for breakfast from a street vendor. All totalling about $3.50 Cdn. A cab is 50 pesos (about $3.00 with tip) and the bus is 5 pesos (which is so little I can’t calculate it). Our groceries for the week come to about $30 – $40 Cdn at Mercado Hidalgo (built by Ernesto Brunel and Antonio Rivas Mercado with input by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel of Paris’ Eiffel Tower) where we get all our fruits, vegetables and meats.
It’s even cheaper if you walk the streets and locate the native indians, mostly women with babes in arms, who’ve brought their wares to sell down from the ranchos way above the lip of the caldera. One such young fellow, in front of his parent’s vegetable stall, stopped and asked me in broken English where I was from. I responded, “Canada,” gesturing way, way far from here, and he asked me if we speak English there and I said, “Yes, and French too!”
The weather is very cool here at night, dropping down to a nippy 5-8 degrees celsius which is in the mid 40’s on the fahrenheit scale. Like home, we have three blankets on our bed for warmth at night. And boy do we sleep! At 7,000 feet above sea level, we’re having to take the homeopathic remedies, Coca and Cundurango, for a touch of altitude sickness. You’re extra sleepy at night, the oxygen thinner so when hiking back up the 3,500 steps (about 15 flights of stairs … no, we don’t count them … we have an app for that!) from having tea, we need to stop a couple of times to catch our breath. Also, you can have headaches right where you’d have devil’s horns, if you were thusly inclined, on the top of your head and feel at times a little hungover with a stomach bug.
While it takes about six weeks, typically, to stabilize your blood oxygen levels, we’re already feeling amazing in our new locale. We travel like this to fulfill our astral desire function to know new people, culture, art, music and language. It builds the ontic (sense of autonomy/immunity) by holding our essence in check as we’re exposed to many different circumstances and seeming social incongruencies to our more conservative Canadian sensibilities. Also, living in Canada, frankly is just too familiar, and also very pricey now that we’ve just paid off all of the “investments” we made into our education.
We’ll see what the next five months here in Mexico yields. In our opinion, we’d much rather be on this side of any walls to be erected by boisterous (better if I don’t add the other adjectives I’m thinking of) politicians.