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  • 1.
    My new friend the ex – dancer and –actress introduces me to a Japanese sculptor, who lives here since 20 years, but I had never met him. Such outgoing Japanese – he seems to be completely Mexican, meanwhile his wife is completely Mexican but looks Japanese! She tells me that she is a niece of the famous Chiapanecan writer Rosario Castellanos. Her husband is from Fukushima, his family survived the Tsunami, and he believes the earthquake and tsunami were man – made. Together with handicapped people he is sculpting a huge dragon outside of his little home – town in Japan.

    2.
    Cecilia from Veracruz writes me that my friend Alejandro Cordova is dying. Alejandro is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, student of the great Erich Fromm, who introduced Zen Buddhism to Psychoanalysis. I met Alejandro maybe 12 years ago on a Buddhist conference in Veracruz, he was a constant meditator and one of the most loving people I have ever crossed paths with. Twice he came to Chiapas and gave us talks and meditation sessions. Last time, maybe 3 years ago, he told me that every morning he was aware that this might be the last day of his life and meditated on this, He seemed calm and fearless. He must have been in his mid – seventies then. Last year he suffered a major heart attack. Now, Ceci says, they operated on a tumor in his Pancreas. He was 10 days in intensive care and never ever complained about anything, he just meditated. His mind is gone now.

    I have him present all the time. The trace of pure love he has left behind….How I wished that I could be able to die like this!

    3.
    With many members of our Grupo Vision we went to visit the OM – Orchid Gardens in a Natural Reserve outside of town today. Some people were led by others, because they cannot see well, others came in wheel – chairs. Cisco, the man who has rescued all these orchids and bromeliads, because the local campesinos consider them TRASH and burn them after having cleared the forest, told us many facts and stories. Fascinated we listened for more then 3 hours! What most impressed me is that the orchid family is the biggest flower – family on Earth: it exists worldwide and includes more than 30.000 species. It offers itself to hybrids, you cross two orchid species and it is like this tremendously wonderful experiment, where you never know which new flower might be the result. There are more than 150.000 different hybrids and many of them fertile.

    What maybe most impressed me – considering death – if an orchid is in the right conditions concerning water and temperature, it can live thousands of years, a million years and more!

    Then we entered the orchid – house and got lost in the most delicious smells imaginable! One orchid you smelled opening your mouth wide and letting the molecules in, then you shut your mouth, put your tongue touching the roof of your mouth – cave and do you know what: you could TASTE the smell!

    4.
    When I returned home my lovely friend Susan from Laos had shared this beautiful poem with me, just at the very right life – moment:

    SMELLS
    If I said it once
    I said to John twenty times this month
    while we strolled the neighborhoods,
    drove through countryside,
    rode the suburban commuter train:
    I can’t stand it.

    And by that I meant:
    I am overcome by the wonderfulness of it all.
    And by that I meant --
    the wild, sweet scent of verge-side clumps,
    the heady perfume of just-mown lawn,
    the pungent aroma of fairways and top dressing.

    The grass, the grass, the grass
    of a late Midwestern summer --
    the smells of my childhood which unfailingly
    transport me to a place of deep happiness,
    of fond home,
    of unfettered ease.
    Smells which are virtually non-existent
    in my Southeast Asian life
    where I find solace, but no substitute,
    in queen of the night,
    tree-clung, ripening mangoes,
    frangipani and jasmine.

    Susan Ritter

    Well: what is the message of all these experiences thrown into just one pot to cook ONE soup?

    Wherever you are on this wonderful Earth: Smell the Smells of Life, love, enjoy, taste – while you can!

    ORCHIDS IN MEXICO
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    Photographs are from our excursion to the orquideario yesterday
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