The Thread Art of Ajijic

The Thread Art of Ajijic

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An Ajijic artist, Maria Lupita Vega Velásquez, has perfected a technique for handstitched thread painting. Known also as needle painting, painting with thread produces works of art on fabric. Almost all of what is online about thread art refers to creating with a sewing machine. Vega Velásquez, however, and her current local thread artist apprentices, are creating their art imagery through thread painting by hand. Combining long and short stitches in dense hand stitching, using a palette of thread colors in…

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Astonishing Pertinence

Astonishing Pertinence

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In 1953 Rachel Carson wrote this letter letter to the editor of the Washington Post, which was picked up by the wire of the Associated Press, syndicated widely across the country, and reprinted in Reader’s Digest — the era’s equivalent of going wildly viral: “The real wealth of the Nation lies in the resources of the earth — soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife. To utilize them for present needs while insuring their preservation for future generations requires a delicately…

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Market Etiquette– Respect the Price!

Market Etiquette– Respect the Price!

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Today, from a Mexican friend born in Ajijic I received a humbling opinion on market bargaining. On many travel sites, tourists to Mexico are encouraged to haggle when they shop in markets. They are advised, in fact, that if they pay the first offer, the vendors will be laughing at them when they leave. Travelers to Mexico are told that with bargaining, comes respect. I quoted to my friend from one site that gives such ungenerous advice as this: “Haggling…

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Protest, 1914 poem

Protest, 1914 poem

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PROTEST by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850–October 30, 1919), from her 1914 book Poems of Problems written at the peak of the Women’s Suffrage movement and just as WWI was about to erupt. To sin by silence, when we should protest, Makes cowards out of men. The human race Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised Against injustice, ignorance, and lust, The inquisition yet would serve the law, And guillotines decide our least disputes. The few who…

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In the Center of my House

In the Center of my House

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For the second meeting of what I call the Juice Group, our writing prompt was “In the center of my house…” Six of us sat in the inner patio at a lakeside restaurant, together but separate in our writing worlds, and silently responded on paper to that prompt of the week. For the next forty-five minutes we followed our own thoughts faithfully, with our pens or on our laptops. Afterwards, we went around in optional sharing of our writing. In…

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How the Stars Get in Your Bones

How the Stars Get in Your Bones

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(a poem by Jan Richardson) Sapphire, diamond, emerald, quartz: think of every hard thing that carries its own brilliance, shining with the luster that comes only from uncountable ages in the earth, in the dark, buried beneath unimaginable weight, bearing what seemed impossible, bearing it still. And you, shouldering the grief you had thought so solid, so impermeable, the terrible anguish you carried as a burden now become— who can say what day it happened?— a beginning. See how the…

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Wall of the Dead (for the Living)

Wall of the Dead (for the Living)

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“If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.” (Noam Chomsky)                                                                 Muro de Los Muertos by Efren Gonzalez is a giant ceramic mural made up of bas-relief plaques shaped as skulls, each inscribed with the name of…

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