Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pictures And Commentary

I weeded some and cleaned out the chickens' houses and put the poopy hay next to the squash which, perhaps through benign neglect is actually doing well this year. Then I weeded over where the potatoes lie so I could get a damn shovel in there. By the time I'd done that and dug up about half the potatoes I was done. Weaving and tipsy from heat I came in and showered, took a little nap with Maurice. I simply cannot believe how this cat has insinuated herself into our lives. She is not needy as some cats are, nor does she suffer a fool gladly. Let me just say that she does not like to be kissed on the face.


She has settled down from being in heat and slept quietly last night and at six a.m., she walked over to Mr. Moon and gently tapped his face, asked, "Brrrowl?" and jumped off the bed and ran to the door. I was thinking about what good company she will be for me this winter when Mr. Moon goes to Canada to hunt. And honestly- I've never even seen her pee or poop outside and certainly she does not go in the house. She is very tidy and private in her ablutions as befits a finely bred lady.

Yeah. I'm stuck for life. And no, I never thought this would happen.


Here are a dozen of the fourteen chickens. I went out and fed them grapes and their immense hunger for those little red orbs overcame their disdain for each other as applies to flocks. Sort of. Elvis shows no signs of aggression towards the babies but they keep their distance. 


One of the flowers of the Magnolia Grandaflora by the garden. Mr. Moon keeps threatening to cut it down because it blocks the sunlight from the garden but I refuse to let him. We compromised in that he trimmed the branches way, way up. I don't even know how he did that but he did and although I would rather have the blossoms where I can pluck them (that picture was taken with the distance lens), I can still smell them and there is that and it is fine enough. 


One of the lace-cap hydrangeas. If I would get off my lazy butt, I would plant some of the more traditional ones because I love them but where would I put them? There is no place in this yard that gets enough sun to ensure proper blooming. At least, that's what I tell my lazy-butt self. 


The oak leaf hydrangea. These were here when I got here and I am so glad. I occasionally weed around them but that's all I have to do. I pick them when they dry and the dried flowers last for years. And years. And more years. But I tell you this- I would grow them for their leaves alone. 


The wisteria is enjoying its sparse second bloom. A few purple exclamation points in the thick greenery. 


From my hens and the garden which I think of as being completely useless at the moment. And of course there are the potatoes and as I said the other day, the eggplants and peppers look sturdy and happy. The tomatoes are definitely hurting and need staking badly and are dying on the vine. There are approximately seven bean plants which are putting out tiny beans. The peas in that picture are way over-mature but I am going to shell them and make a stew with them along with last night's venison, potatoes, onions and carrots. And cook some squash with onions and basil, also from the garden. Mr. Moon has reported in and he was unable to fix the Toyota but his new boat motor is running beautifully. He'll be home eventually. 

So here I am, feeling languid and grateful that no yellow flies are biting my ankles tonight. Time to go chop and simmer and shell and heat and thicken and stir. 

The great hot, funky stew of summer. Dip your spoon in. Enjoy every bite. 

Feet On The Ground, Heart In The Trees


The oakleaf hydrangea are in bloom and I plucked one of the lacy-tipped branches last night and brought it into the house to put into a vase beside Owen's flowers and that was the sweetness that made me feel finally and at last, truly home.

It greeted me this morning when I got up at almost nine o'clock. I am still on Cozumel time, home or not. But so what? It is Saturday and my almost-neurotic need from yesterday to set things right, to unpack and wash and put away, to reclaim the small kingdom which is my kitchen, has passed. I have a vague desire to wash the tablecloth here on the back porch, to water my plants, to perhaps (perhaps) get out into the garden and try to set some things to right there although between the bugs and the heat, that specific desire is extremely vague. And I MUST de-poop the chicken houses.

Mr. Moon is getting ready to go pick up his boat which has a new engine to go to Dog Island with our partner there to fix the old Toyota which is not running despite almost a month of work on it here and at various auto shops. This is all in preparation for the annual Big Bend Fishing Tournament which is coming up quick. I had thought they were spending the night but they are not. Supposedly. One never knows what will happen when one gets to Dog Island. He says that either he'll be able to fix it quickly or not at all. He asked me if I would like to go with them for this excursion. I looked at him like, "Do you even have a clue as to who I am?" and he laughed and said, "Well, I thought I'd ask."
Standing around while the yellow flies bite in the direct sun as two men curse over an ancient Toyota, wielding tools like weapons does not sound like a good time to me.
Messing around here and then taking a nap does sound like a good idea to me.
I'm not going to be in any fishing tournament.

I've been reading Tom Robbins new book.


As I have said before, I used to be a member of the Cult Of Robbins. I read Another Roadside Attraction back in the truly olden days and had my little hippie mind blown to smithereens and didn't like Even Cowgirls Get The Blues nearly as much but fell in love and deeply with him again after reading Still Life With Woodpecker and then Jitterbug Perfume and Skinny Legs And All but after that my interest waned, my curiosity stopped being as piqued and my sense of disappointment grew with each successive book. 
Tom, Tom! I wanted to say, my face in my hands, my eyes lifted skyward, What were you thinking?
But this new one is a sort of memoir, a sort of autobiography (although he denies both) and I am enjoying it. It is not blowing my old hippie mind in any way but it rolls right along and the man has led an interesting life during interesting times. And to be frank- any author who has provided me with as much delight and wonder as this man deserves my gratitude and respect, not to mention the fact that he claims that after seeing his first Tarzan movie starring Johnny Weissmuller that Jesus was forever after superseded for him. I had a very similar experience as a child myself. And I cannot believe he will be 78 years old this July which means that man, I am getting old too and that's all there is to it but he reminds me to keep a fresh mind, to never forget the joy of seeing the humor in the absurd, the divine in the most prosaic of events and objects whether kisses or beets.

I just went and got the mail which has stacked up for two weeks and have reading material galore but plan on downloading Maggie May's new book, Atmospheric Disturbances, Scenes From A Marriage today. I know it will delight and amaze me. 


Maggie is one fine and fierce writer as I am sure all of you here already know.

And now the men have left, the crickets' rising and falling hum is growing louder and the day is heating up and I need to get out and do what must be done. When Mr. Moon left he said, "Have fun digging the potatoes," and damn, I had forgotten their very presence in the dirt, but there they lay, as divine as Robbins' beets although not as red and thus, it would be a sort of sin to leave them there to rot.

As we all know, my religion consists of dirt and poop, the things which grow out of those be they trees or beans or mushrooms whether culinary or mind-expanding, as well as love and light. And yeah, water.

Makes sense to me and I think Tarzan would agree. 





Friday, May 30, 2014

Weather Report: Sultry

All right. I'm done.

Not really. Still doing laundry, have to put the kitchen back together after mopping, more cooking to do.

Turns out I do still know how to do things around here. And I feel like my house is my home again, I've done my metaphorical peeing in the corners and have restored a few things to rights.
It feels so good.

And tomorrow- ONWARD!

Perhaps even to the yard which Mr. Moon is mowing as we speak. I'm on the little front porch, not to be confused with the large front porch or my usual back porch because he's back there behind that porch, kicking up dust and making all sorts of racket as he mows and I wish he'd just be finished but he's set himself a goal and he will achieve it.
How quickly we return to our routines, our habits. I feel sorely under-kissed today although my little men gave me a few. Owen even bought me flowers. Well, he picked them out at the grocery store when we were there and his mama paid for them. He was so happy. And then he convinced me to buy him marshmallows which he doesn't even like because he wanted me to make him some hot cocoa with marshmallows when we got back to my house which of course, I did.
He did not eat the marshmallows but I was glad to prove my love for him which is what the whole damn thing was about, of course.

So it's been a good day. Maurice has followed me everywhere I've gone, inside and out. Right now, she and Luna are having a stand-off a few yards away. They have not made their peace yet. They may never, just as the young chickens may never truly make their peace with the older ones. I will be interested to see how all of this plays out as Drogo (who is definitely a rooster) matures.


Would you LOOK at Eggy Tina's feet? My god. And Missy's are the same way. If I could bring those chickens in and spray a little Pledge on those feather shoes and get  them to dancin', this place would be shiny in no time!


There's all the young ones. From the left, Missy, Eggy Tina, Butterscotch, Chi-Chi, Lucille, Nicy, Cha-Cha and Drogo.

Well, I've put the carrots and potatoes in with the venison and put the kitchen back together and put the last load in the washer excluding rugs and now I think I'm going to slice up a cantaloupe which I bought today (along with one of everything else in the store) because it smells really, really ripe and I'll put it in a bowl in the refrigerator so that Mr. Moon will eat it when he's hungry because it will be right there and cold and delicious and easy, and make a salad which is something we ate very little of in Mexico although- if pico de gallo isn't the best salad there is, I don't know my vegetables. It's a little lacking in the greens department but Human does not live on kale alone. At least in my world.

So here I am, wearing men's cargo shorts and a tank top, dirty as hell, my ankles swollen and itchy from a yellow-fly who dined on my blood, smelling of Fabuloso, completely exhausted but...you know...happy.

Senora Luna, in a parallel universe is looking at something like this


and thinking about what to wear when she goes to supper with her handsome husband and she is happy too. She will line her eyes with turquoise or midnight blue and she will get on the scooter behind her husband and drive into town, the sea to her left, the shops to her right, the air smelling of salt and stucco and garlic and the jungle and the entire bouquet which is Cozumel. She will lean forward and kiss that man's back and he will reach back and hold her leg for a moment and she is me and I am her and when Mr. Moon and I sit down to supper tonight, I will kiss his face and he will kiss me back and we are home because we are together, which is how it is.

In Lloyd or in Cozumel and we can show our love with freshly mown grass and clean floors or with long afternoons spent doing nothing but holding each other while the sea sighs and moans within hearing distance from our bed.

So yeah, I'd say it's been a good homecoming.

I'd say I'm the luckiest woman on earth.

Dang. I might even make that man biscuits.

Sweet dreams, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon








Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig-Jig


Look who was at the airport to meet us last night!
They were so happy. So were we. Owen said, "Mer, don't go away for two weeks ever again."
I could not make that promise but if I do ever go away for two weeks again, it won't be for awhile.


This child is talking up a storm. Not always English, but his hand gestures make everything completely clear. 

We didn't get home until about midnight, exhausted, culture-shocked, and red-eyed.

The good news is that all of the animals are still alive.
The bad news, of course, is that all of the animals are still alive including Buster and Dolly and I started off my day cleaning up pee and poop.
Then I called Animal Aid to get an appointment for poor Maurice to get her "procedure" done on Monday. Tom cats are coming out of the woods everywhere and she is a nervous wreck.


Bless her little heart. Every time we moved last night she wanted to be petted. Mr. Moon actually removed her from the room at one point but she cried so piteously that he let her back in. He's so mean.

Instead of blue and green and teal and turquoise and green water I am looking at green, green, green. Man, we live in a verdant area.


Instead of Sergio asking what we want for breakfast I HAD TO MAKE OATMEAL! 
Jesus. No huevos Veracruzana, no huevos rancheros, no huevos con tortillas, no fruta y yogurt. 
Oatmeal. 

I found a squash in the garden as big as Godzilla's man part and the peppers and eggplants are doing well and the tomatoes are not and I think the beans died and it's hard to find the plants for the weeds and who the fuck cares?

The baby chickens have grown up so much and are now 3/4 sized full-grown. I let them out of the coop and they beat it past Elvis and the sister-wives and I have no idea where they've gone but somewhere.

The laundry is going, the magnolias are blooming, it's overcast and not too hot and all-in-all, it is good to be back. I shall be going to Publix, doing laundry all day, mopping with vinegar and Fabuloso, getting myself back into this good life of mine.

I'm glad we went away, I'm glad to be back.

But damn, where IS Sergio? Mr. Moon just reported that the bottle of rum we brought back spilled into his suitcase. And that it was made in Cuba. Say what?

Anyway, we're back.

I hope all is well in your world, wherever that may be.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon







Thursday, May 29, 2014

Last morning and I am as darty and anxious as a tiny fish in the coral. We've had our breakfast, Mr. Moon is in town returning the scooter and I am in the process of packing up.
It's going to take me the entire weekend to do the laundry. Fourteen days worth of laundry. Do I remember how to do laundry? Do I remember how to cook? Wash dishes? Shop in English? Do I have a broom? A mop? Are my chickens all still alive? Is Maurice still in my house? Has my garden died? Are my phlox in bloom? Have the boys grown up to the point where I will not recognize them?

The cruise ships enter the channel, the dive boats come and go, collecting the divers, the tanks clank against cement, the birds sing. The sky is getting cloudy, the waves hiss at the shore, LaLoo wants to escape from her leash which is secured to a chair leg.

Mr. Moon is back from town. One less thing to worry about.

Are we really leaving? This is like coming here, only in reverse. The little bitchy bird who demanded food from his mama with squawks has graduated to finding and eating his own food but still hangs out with his mother. The turtles have not been seen for several days. I found out just this morning that the incredibly sweet guy who works in the restaurant whom I thought was twelve years old is actually twenty, married, and two months a father. Life here will go on without me just fine.

Life everywhere will go on without me just fine when I take my leave from it.

This is good to know.

We will be flying home soon.

It has been the best vacation ever in the history of the universe. For me, at least.

See you in Lloyd.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And So...


So much today and so much emotion. First thing- finding out that Maya Angelou had died.
Maya.
Here I am in the land of the Maya.
I took my children to see her speak once and how can I even explain the power of that woman that night? The grimace of her face as if imploring angels and dancing with devils at the same time. She was woman in all of her forms and of course I had read her books, knew of the incest that robbed her of her voice, knew of the powers that brought it back, knew of her mother and that fierceness, of her son and that fierceness. She was the most grace-full of people I had ever seen in my life and to this day, she stands as the highest bar in that regard for me.

When Bill Clinton chose her to read a poem of hers at his inauguration, my respect for him went over the rainbow and into the heavens and for that glorious moment, at least, I had such hope.

As I watched the sunset tonight I thought of her, as I had thought of her all day long and I sent up a deep prayer/wish that whatever heaven is, if it is anything at all, that she can choose to participate in any sort of magnificence there is in this universe or any other and was grateful that I was participating in this particular one.

I began to cry this morning when Sergio, our waiter, asked when we were going home and we said, "Tomorrow," and he said, "I will be here to serve you your last breakfast," and I began to weep and he remembered to bring me not only pico de gallo but also the macha sauce for my eggs.

We drove down to the most beautiful of a fantasy of Caribbean beaches ever in this world. Playa Palancar.




We read, we swam. We were stunned with the beauty of it. 

We drove back north through the jungle to Playa Corona to have a quick lunch but Rogelio wanted to talk and so we did and oh! the stories I could tell you. He showed us pictures of his father, he talked about making that old man happy in his old age. I cried when I got there, I cried when we left. 
"We love you!" I shouted. 
"I love you too!" he said. 

Then we drove home and took a nap and got up and watched the sunset and went to supper and the restaurant where we went had pictures inside of roosters and roosters and more roosters. I took a picture of the painting above there. It was all a good reminder of what I am going home to which is a fine and lovely place. This time tomorrow I will be there. 

When we walked into the Zocaro tonight, the man who sold me my bracelet last night saw us and asked how we were and I said, "Sad. We have to go home tomorrow."
"I know," he said. "Well, have a good evening and have a good time when you go home, too."

We hugged. 

It is if the universe is conspiring to give me a gentle re-entry. 

Perhaps it is. I discount nothing at this point. 

And in news from home, Vergil passed his exam to be a certified architectural engineer (I think) and Jason has been promoted to assistant meat manager at one of Tallahassee's biggest Publix's. If not THE biggest. 

Ay-yi-yi. 

And soon, very soon, I will have my grandsons back in my arms and I will give them more kisses than they will want and I will sleep in my very own bed with my very own love and we have had absolutely the best vacation of our lives and I am grateful beyond measure for all of it and for the life of Maya Angelou too and for every damn thing which is of love and pure grace. 

Thank you all so much for coming with me on this trip of love and grace and beauty. I keep thinking about what a guy I met on that incredible trip to El Cielo said last week which was that when you leave Cozumel, you just have to remember that you are that much closer to coming back again.

Ah, si.
Es verdad. 

Talk to you tomorrow from somewhere. 

Much love...Ms. Moon



The Night Before The Last


Mr. Moon got to go fishing today and he caught that little tuna and it was the first tuna he ever caught and I'm so glad he got to go.
It was odd, though, being away from him for a few hours. He's been within arm's reach of me for two weeks now and I like it like that. I can reach over and kiss him anytime I want, or touch his wrist, or hold his hand. One of the more difficult adjustments of being home is going to be our necessary separation while he lives his daily life and I live mine.
As we rode to town tonight I hugged myself to his back, took in the scent of him and said, "Oh, how I am going to miss this."
We were talking about how we have been here for two weeks and never made it to the mainland once.
"Just tell everyone I wouldn't let you out of bed,"I said.
Not that much of a stretch of the truth.
He's taken such good care of me here. He makes the coffee and gets the ice and makes the drinks and I thank him over and over again for such sweetness.
Tonight he bought me a bracelet to remember this trip by but I will probably remember it more by the scar I am sure he is going to have on his calf from burning his leg on a scooter tailpipe when he parked our scooter one day. I almost wish I had a scar although of course that's ridiculous and I could have gotten a tattoo, which I always threaten to do but never have.
Well. We have one more day.

Here are the guys who sold me my bracelet.


Yes. It took three of them. They were about to close up and there we were and the bargaining began but not before they admired my armful of antique silver bangles and the guy on the left told me that his mother used to make bracelets like the biggest one I own which I bought at an antique store in St. Augustine, Florida a long time ago. The bracelet I bought barely weighs a thing, hammered silver and we didn't pay much for it. The guy on the right grew up in L.A. and he lives here now and the guy in the middle is about to become a father.
Ten minutes and you learn all of that. 


And you own a new bracelet. They were joking with us about how I manage to kiss my husband because he is so tall. 
"When we're lying down," I told him, "we are the same height."
They groaned and covered their eyes. 
"Too much information!" said California guy. 
Hey. They asked. 

There is a woman who works here. I have talked about her. She runs the desk during the afternoon and into the night. She has one son who is four years old and her English is amazing and every night, just to see her and say hello to her is a joy. Her smile is gorgeous. She is such a beautiful woman and her beauty is the sort that shines from her heart and just beams right on out to the universe.


Her name is Lirio Gomez and she is off tomorrow and so I will not see her again after tonight. I went and hugged her and took her picture and gave her my e-mail address and the address of this blog and she already left a comment on my post about Just Pictures. 

This. This is why it is so hard to leave this place. 
The sky and the water are enough to hold and enchant you. The people though are what bring you back over and over again. Or at least, bring me back over and over again. And when I am here, I am one of the people. Not an indigenous person, but a sweeter, better person than I am anywhere else. 

Well. One more day. We have to go tell Rogelio good-bye. We have to snorkel one more time. We have to start to pack. We will have one more day of me riding on the back of the scooter, one more day to watch the sunset, one more day to love and eat pico de gallo and finish up our liquados. One more day to have my husband within arm's length at all times. 

And then we will fly home with is a fine place to be and it will give me great joy to think that the life here in Cozumel will go on and on and the water will lap the rocky shore, the white beach, families will continue to live and grow as will the flowers, the trees, the turtles, the fishes, and the jungle will continue to thrust itself fiercely out of the limestone as it has for so very many years. And I hope with all of my heart that between Ixchel and that beloved Virgin of Guadalupe, it  is blessed and continues on for many, many more. 

Good night for now.

Love...Ms. Moon




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

There's a place on the square which serves absolutely the best pizza I've ever eaten in my life. It has the thinnest, crispiest crust and is just incredible. The service at this restaurant is, to say the least, slow. But you know. You're right downtown and can go around and look at things and take pictures and when you order Bacardi anejo and coke they bring you a glass of rum and a can of coke and hey- I've spent worse hours. I walked down through the flea market and took a picture of the Virgin where they have her entrapped in a small cubicle. The door was locked but I took this picture.


Then I took this picture.


Her face is so sad and I think it's because there's a tapestry hanging on the wall to her left wherein her son Jesus is hanging from the cross with thorns in his head. 
I just can't help but think...how cruel. 
She can't get away from that sorrow for one second. 

It's not fair. 

As we sat at our table waiting for our supper, an entire drama played out in front of us. An older couple- and when I say older, I mean older than we are, so you know, ancient- sat down. They were French. I figured this out quickly. They not only spoke French but they used their hands, their arms to convey what they were talking about and at first, they were sweet. The woman had a flower which the man had obviously bought for her and they chatted and she posed for a picture with the flower. But then, as time went on, their conversation became more and more heated. Voices rose a little bit and the gestures became more and more animated. I couldn't tell if they were becoming angry or just more excited. I do not speak French. Then suddenly, the man slammed his hand down on the table and spewed forth an entire speech and then the woman also hit the table and her words became forceful and she jumped up from her seat and threw the flower at him and walked off, holding her hand which she had hurt when it collided with the table in her anger. 
She eventually walked back to the table and took a napkin from it and wiped her eyes and cradled her hand in her other hand and he paid the bill and they did walk off together but it was sad and I felt so sorrowful for them. 

In all of our trips here, we have seen three scenes of domestic anger and every one of them has involved not Mexicans but tourists. I am not saying that there is no domestic violence here. I am sure there is. I have just never seen it. 

I remember when Mr. Moon and I were young and we always had at least one argument or disagreement when we were here. This is one of the wonderful things about getting older- we no longer do that. We haven't had so much as a minor dust-up. We are both so very quick to say, "I think you may be right." Or, "I have no idea. What do you think?" And I cherish every moment of us being here together and I think he does too.

video



The days of our trip are winding down. Dos mas noches. 
I can't even say it in English. 

And tomorrow Mr. Moon is going to go out fishing with the guys who work here who will be fishing for the restaurant. When we were discussing this opportunity with Eva yesterday she said, "If you catch fish, I will feed the hell out of you." This is completely and utterly the best place we've ever stayed. When we came in tonight, the sweet lady who works at the desk said, "I was worried! You are so late!" 
I said, "Oh, mama. We are fine." 

And then I changed into my bathing suit and got into the pool and floated looking up at the stars and dove under the water being a mermaid and I am going to go to sleep very soon. We have been sleeping so much and so very well. Eating like kings and queens. For lunch today we went deep into the 'hood and ate at a favorite sidewalk place where the shrimp sandwiches (Tortas de cameron) are made in front of your eyes and you can get a grapefruit soda (Toronja) with them and there is habanero mayonnaise to go on the sandwiches. 

That's all I have to say about this day. 

It has been so very good. And I hope that the French couple has made up by now and I am grateful to them for reminding me of how lovely I have it, how incredibly sweet it can be. 

Love...Maria Luna 
For now. 



Monday, May 26, 2014

Just Pictures

Words may follow later.






Sunday, May 25, 2014

I sat on the dock tonight to watch the sunset and the water belched and chuckled and sighed underneath me and although a low layer of clouds hid the sun's final setting, I was as content and happy as I suppose I have ever been. The beautiful red crab was on the rocks and there was another crab as well. This one very camouflaged but when I took his picture, I realized how startlingly dramatic he was. Please click on it to see what a beautiful creature he is.


I sat at dinner tonight and I was filled too full of all of it to eat any more, to take in any more and I began to weep. The novelty of being here has passed and now it all seems so familiar and so sweet that I really can't imagine leaving although I know I will and I know I love my own home and it goes without saying that I love my children and Owen and Gibson and yes, the chickens, and my cat if she is still there. And I hope she is. But...this reality has overtaken me to the point where Lloyd is like a dream. A good dream. A fine and lovely and splendid dream and I think of the oak tree in front of my house so old that one of the main branches has a completely healed-over hole in it which I watch the sky through. But a completely different reality and I am not going to kid you- it's a good goddam thing I love it or I would not come home.

We drove down to Playa Corona again today. I hoped to see Rogelio and Elsa's children and they were there. Such an incredible family. We greeted Rogelio and went to sit at a table under a palapa and Rogelio sent an employee over to get us to come and see his children, his wife, and to meet his priest who was there to bless their new car and I am not kidding and I shook hands with the priest and said, "Very nice to meet you, Father Frederick," (I think that was his name) and he was wearing a white guayabera and holding his box of holy water and whatever else he needed to bless the car and that was certainly a first for me.

Oh god. The sweetness of these people. I took a picture of the family and I couldn't stop saying, "Such a beautiful family! Such a beautiful family!" and they are.


I remember seeing Elsie when she was pregnant with Jeremiah. I remember when we went to Playa Corona after he was born and his daddy had him cradled beside him in a hammock for nap time, a tiny little nino in his papa's arms. 

Here is the second home of this family. Playa Corona Beach Club where they have been raised in the water and with tios y tias. Jeremiah is a dive instructor now while he is getting ready to go to law school. 


Mr. Moon and I put our snorkel gear on and glided into the water to see once again the corals, the fishes. There is nothing like the world beneath the water. It is as alien and familiar as the womb and I love to look up at the boundary between water and air and the way the skin of the sea bulges and dips with the current. When we were still on the beach, a little crowd gathered to watch the moray eels who live under the steps vie for territory. One brown one, two chain morays. I said, "Snakes on a plane!" as the two chain morays tangled up with each other, the brown one staying in his tiny cave to defend his property. 

Fuck. Enchantment. 

I love to swim with mask and fins and snorkel. I feel like a mermaid, gliding instead of chopping, graceful instead of graceless. An old man came down to the beach while we were there and he was awkward, getting into the water but when he got his fins on, his mask, he was a thing of beauty, crawling across the water with strong and powerful strokes.

Oh god. There is so much more. The honor and humor of these people. The way the parents coddle and hug and cherish their babies, daddies as well as mamas so that the children strut and stroll but are not ever, ever brats. The way the food smells as it cooks- no matter how full the belly, the mouth waters as the garlic and fish and meat cook. The way people hug you, kiss your cheek, say, "Amiga." The woman who owns this hotel and dive operation who has forty employees and who speaks of the all-inclusive resorts and how they pay their employees 50-60 pesos a day for a twelve hour shift (that's like five dollars, y'all and NOT enough for beans) and how she cannot and will not do that. She is German, I think, and an entrepreneur like I've never met and she wears the most outrageously sexy clothes but looks as classy as a Kennedy, her darling LaLoo at her side. The way it feels to ride down the road on the back of the moped behind my husband who is more beloved to me with every waking and sleeping moment, to look into the jungle, to see rock walls and imagine that the rocks were part of other walls and buildings too in times so far back that we cannot imagine. 

I am dripping with it. I am filled with it. The lizards, the birds, the turtles both of sea and land, the sky, the clouds...the water. 

And this.


Could I not learn Spanish from subtitles?
"You want four fried chickens and one coca-cola."

Buenos noches. I am thinking about trying to lure my husband into the pool. We know where the switch is to turn the lights off. Do you think they would notice, they would care if we got in the pool naked? 

Oh hell. 

Probably. 

And I would never want to do anything to get kicked out of the Blue Angel. But let me tell you something- you can be thirty-one years old or you can be fifty-nine years old and the magic of the love of this island will still affect you if you are open to it.

And honey. I am.

Love...Ms. Moon






Second Sunday


It is Sunday morning and so tranquil. No cruise ships today to eat the skyline, to hurry the island into activity.
Mr. Moon says he is going to eat fruit for breakfast. I think I will get eggs rolled up in tortillas. With pico. And some of the delicious chili sauce they make here. Last night as we were eating our chips and pico I asked, "Do you ever get tired of this food?"
"Nope," he said.
Neither do I. I ordered Chuleta Yucateca for supper because I wanted to say those words out loud. They were delicious thin pork chops cooked with a spicy sauce. Mr. Moon got shrimps.

A blackbird's whistle breaks the air with music.

Maybe we will snorkel today. I hope so.

Happy Womens Dancing

We went to Chankanaab Park today which is a state park and I have very mixed feelings about it, the park, not the place. When we first started coming here it was very small and there was a beautiful little pristine laguna which even in those pre-environmentally aware days, was protected as a treasure. A small, tiny eyeball of a body of water and the fish swam from ocean to lagoon and there was a place to get into the water to snorkel and a huge palapa underneath which was a restaurant and a little garden to walk through with plants labeled and not much else.

Now it is huge and there is a SEA LION show (so many sea lions here in Cozumel, you know) and a giant beach to hang out on where waiters will bring you food and drinks and some of those drinks come in carved out pineapples and some in coconuts and they are beautiful, a sort of beach-bar fantasy of drinks (although I have never had one but I do want one you know- who wouldn't- fruit hanging off the edges everywhere, come on) and lots of chairs under palapas to sit in the shade and still places to snorkel and I don't know how many restaurants and the gardens hold replicas of archeological treasures and a zip line and there is also a swim-with-the-dolphins thing.
Ay-yi-yi. I have no mixed feelings about dolphins in captivity whatsoever. It is wrong and it should not be allowed. At least these dolphins are in a penned up part of the ocean rather than a tank but that is cold comfort and still so very far from right.

We went to the park today because I thought that today was the day the Mayan women were paddling over from the mainland to recreate the pilgrimage of their foremothers who came to Cozumel to worship Ixchel and I was all about that. There were to be sacred ceremonies and I don't know what all but damn if it didn't happen yesterday and they paddled off again this morning back to the mainland at nine a.m. and we missed it all.
This is your brain on Mexico.
Or something like that.
So we walked through the gardens and the little replica Mayan house and kitchen. And we posed in front of the archeological replicas. My favorite is the one which I always call the Alux House which is actually here in Cozumel down by the southern part of the island which is now also in a park but when we first came here, we were able to simply climb all around it and I actually have a picture of me inside of it. INSIDE OF IT!
Oh well, no more of that.




And it was hot. We got in the water for a few minutes but we are still watching our sunburns and we sat in the shade and read for awhile and then we got hungry and came home.
Our neighbors here at the hotel left this morning and I was sad to see them go. They were interesting people and very kind and they love Cozumel with all of their hearts and visit here several times a year. They actually own a condo farther down south but stay here at the Blue Angel because it is so peaceful, so perfect.

And so it's been a good day. We went into town tonight and had our supper on the square because there was a band playing and people were dancing and families were walking around and there were children and grandparents and dogs and teenagers and couples of all ages and it was lovely. I said to our waiter, "Everyone is so dancy."
He said, "Happy womens dancing."

Exactly.

And it is time for bed again.

Here is what we looked like before we went out.


And here is what we saw in the clouds tonight at sunset.


Now if that's not a dog, I don't know what is. 

Yeah. Magic on the Big Screen. Every night here in Cozumel. 

Sleep well. I will.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. I finished reading Life After Life today which made me so sad to finish. I tried like hell to string it out as long as I could but finally, it had to be done. I am tempted to just start the whole damn thing again. If you haven't read it, do. Kate Atkinson. One of the most fascinating, well-written, delicious novels I have read in forever and ever. 
I promise. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

This Girl


It is Bob Dylan's birthday and I am happy to celebrate Bob but mainly, for me, it is my daughter May's birthday and I am sitting here in Cozumel, watching the water and the boats and my husband crumble up some leftover breakfast toast for one of the crackles and I am thinking of this girl, my second child born to me at dawn as the sun was just rising, born in our tiny trailer in Lloyd and how completely and utterly happy I was to meet her, to see her face, to take her to my breast, to have her to truly love and hold.
The sweetest baby, the most gracious-of-heart children.

And she sure has grown up good.

Happy Birthday, May. And oh yeah, Bob- you too.

May, I will make you your pie(s) when we get home, I will give you your presents. I will kiss your face a million times.
Meanwhile, my heart is filled with you.

Love always, backwards and forwards in time and years and eternity.

Mama


Friday, May 23, 2014

Eating The Light


Quite honestly, I did not see the animal eating the setting sun in that picture I took this evening until just now. I was talking to one of the women who has been staying next door when I took the picture and we were trading such intense stories that we just snapped randomly as the sun went down and there you go. Is it a snake? A lizard? An iguana? A dinosaur?
I don't know. I just know that I see images in the clouds here unlike anything I ever see at home.
And maybe I'm just not paying enough attention at home. It is quite possible.

But here I do pay attention and there is that.

We had a fairly lazy day. We wanted to stay out of the sun as much as possible but we had a few things in town we needed to do and so we got on the moped and took a little drive up north and then came back, ran our errands, came home and got in the pool briefly, ate leftovers for lunch, took naps.

One of the places we stopped today was at the marina. Or one of the marinas. There are quite a few, I think. But this one is odd. There is an entire paved and walled area as well as a castle of sorts. I have no idea what any of it was for. It has been this way since we first started coming down here and it is an ongoing mystery. There's a plaque which states it was built in 1970 "Para El Pueblo de Cozumel."


That style of sea wall is very indigenous here. The one built in the main part of town is entirely painted white but in some places, the balls atop the wall are different colors. Last time we were here, I think those were turquoise and now they are green. 
Another mystery. Another part of the charm.

I learned some things today. I learned that despite how I think about myself, I judge books by their covers. I sometimes make snap judgements which do not turn out to prove true in the least. I feel a bit humbled. This is good. This is what life is all about. To learn that we do not know anyone's story until we know their story. And I thought I knew that. I was almost cocky in my belief that I knew that.
And yet, I discovered that although I may know it, I do not always practice it. 

So yes. Humbled. And richer for it. 

We went back to El Moro's tonight. The food was good but the welcome and good-bye of the owner were better. People here know how to hug. 
And they smell good.

I'll leave you with that. 

Buenos Noches...Senora Luna


Giving Notice


Now at the point in the trip where I am pretty sure I'm not going home. Ever.
You'll know where to find me. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Boat Ride To Heaven


Today was quite possibly the best day of my life so far in which neither I nor my daughter gave birth nor I nor my children got married.
In fact, it was so good that at one point when Mr. Moon and I were standing in the palest emerald, clearest water I've ever seen, I wrapped my legs around him and said, "Let's renew our vows," and so we did and the party going on was our party and no one even had to know it.
"I will marry you again," he said.
"I will love you forever," I said.
And we kissed.
And it was perfect.

I was...um, apprehensive, going out on the boat. Who WERE these people? What was it going to be like? The boat crew were three guys, two of whom found and resuscitated some poor fool who decided to go out night-diving by himself a few nights ago. They came across him floating in the water, dead by all appearances, pulled him out, brought him back to life. I'm telling you- Mayans.
They gave us the rules of the boat which were:
1. If your dog pees or poops on the deck, they can't clean it up because they're handling the ice and drinks and food.
2. Keep your hands out of the ice and drinks.
"Better to have one Mexican's germs than a whole international bunch of germs," as one of them said.

Made sense to me.

And then one of the women on the boat, a woman who lives here, said, "Bitches, let's party!"

Well. It was eleven o'clock in the morning and although I'd already seen one woman eat a pop-tart with a beer for breakfast, I wasn't quite there yet and spent most of the ride out to the dive spot simply looking at the water, the coast. Mesmerized.

Some of us snorkeled over some reefs and we saw fishes and a turtle and then we got back on the boat and headed down to the southern tip of the island and I have never seen a more beautiful beach or more beautiful water. By this point, most of the folks on board were extremely happy and we all got into the water and those boat guys brought us drinks IN the water and then came around with chips and guacamole IN the water (well, above it) and then delicious quesadillas and we never went to the beach but just stayed in the water and everyone chatted and laughed and took a little swim if the mood hit and well, it was completely and truly fun. I just kept saying, "This is the best day. The very best day."
And I heard so many stories of people who live here now who fell in love with Cozumel the way I am in love with it, only perhaps more so because...well, they figured out how to live here.

Pictures:


Green. Like liquid emeralds.


The man I just re-vowed with. 


A perfect party. 


On the way back in where the water turned to liquid turquoise. Seriously. It is almost a color not found in nature. Except that it is. 

And chile- I am sunburned. I put on sunscreen and I kept a long-sleeved blouse on a lot of the time and yet, I am purely burned. Haven't done that in years and years. But you know what? It is worth it. 

One last picture. All of the plants were trimmed today and I took two of the pieces cut from one of them and stuck them in water. Voila! Decoration. 


In our room. Where I am just about to go lay my head down. 
A best day. One of the very best ever. 

And the love story concerning island and husband continues to bring me joy and astonishment.