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  • Rumor had it; she was a distant cousin of the Queen of England. Flora E. came with her husband to our town many years before I did. She came covered in expensive furs and exquisite jewelry, they told me. She and her husband had a recording studio in NY; they had recorded the Rolling Stones and many other famous rock bands.

    Then they fell in love with the Highlands of Chiapas, bought a beautiful ranch on the outskirts of San Cristobal and recoded indigenous Maya traditional music. They built a chapel on their land, where indigenous musicians from the nearby Tzotzil communities regularly played, they entered Tzotzil Mayan traditional customs and beliefs and gave outrageously gorgeous parties, where all kinds of magic powders and herbs entered people’s lungs and stomachs and souls and the Mayan brewed POX did the rest.

    They had a son, blond and blue – eyed and freckled. Then Flora got pregnant again. When the baby was born it looked so very different from his brother: dark skinned and black – haired and Flora´s husband took his things and left. It was never exactly known, it seems, who was the father of her new baby, and people said a man from Zinacantan or this son´s man.
    Flora shed furs and jewelry and started a hippie – marihuana – booze – life.

    When I arrived in town, her ranch was the stage of the most surrealist parties I have ever witnessed. Cuddled within the misty mountains and lush vegetation sons of once famous revolutionary and Italian intellectuals and film – makers played billiard, talked highly intelligently – or so they believed – and mostly drank rivers of Pox.
    I never felt it was quite my place. I did not like too much to sit hours and hours listening to drunks, I could not understand Flora, even when she talked in English, it all seemed confused and completely out of logic. She was with a different man whenever I met her.

    Fine, very fine painter, though, she is. She painted a huge mural in the Na Bolom museum. She also, at that time, fell in love with a very gifted guitar player from Veracruz. Bad coupling, though, they both drank too much and then became violent.

    Meanwhile her chaufer and his family, mestizo´s from near – by, took care of the cows, cleaned the chapel and house after every party and cooked for her.

    Once she left the guitarist, after more than 2 decades in San Cristobal Flora returned to the US. She just managed to do that, it seems, because she had found a Muslim guru in the US. This helped her to stop drugs and booze.

    She dressed as a man and went to Mecca!!!!

    That is what she told me more than 20 years ago, when we once sat down for a coffee. She is clean now of any drugs, but I still do not understand her, she still seems confused, she still paints beautiful paintings.

    She does not seem to be rich anymore, but lives with one of her sons in Arizona. I just meet her on Face Book and still do not get most of her messages.

    It is her land, which has gotten invaded.

    Rumor has it that by now the invaders are piling up fire arms in that little chapel she built so many years ago on her land, where she invited the traditional musicians to play for long hours....

    I guess by now it does not make such a huge difference to her anymore, if she owns or not these 7 Hectars of land in this buzzing town.

    It does make the difference of the world, though, to the mestizo family, who had their green houses and corn – fields there, the family of our maid and the nana of our children. They sleep on a kitchen floor of another family member now; they could just save the clothes they wore and nothing else. And even if this land gets liberated – today we are going to a march in downtown to press this – they have a death threat on them. They might never be able to return….
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Art by Kiki ( The Magical Life)

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