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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Why of Guanajuato

A troupe of performers
Sometimes you just need a break. If personal stories and mending of relationships is something in a cruising blog you don't wish to read about, then you need to stop here. This post is not for you.

My trip to Guanajuato was unplanned... unexpected. Just because you live on a boat, cruising paradise, making new discoveries and relishing the time you have with your spouse, partner or family doesn't mean that personal problems don't get in the way of your self-made Utopia. Personal development (whether you plummet straight down to hell or whether you sail high amidst the heavens) is a requirement in life and it doesn't stop just because you are cruising. Jim and I were having some major communication problems... the kind that we suppressed and then watched as they manifested themselves into non-productive, tasteless dialogue and two different types of finger pointing exercises.

Bronze sculpture of a mariachi
If you think that endless boat projects take the place of personal work with yourself, your spouse, etc... you are oh, so wrong! This is not to air dirty laundry... but to clear the air and make it known that living on a boat sometimes may require a break and/or some personal space... something that there is basically none of on a boat. In this case, it was me. I had to get away... to reflect upon my actions and words, to look into my heart and be honest with myself about what I want in the future, and to acknowledge that I also must make some changes to my reactions so that Jim and I can move forward. Frankly, hard core boat projects are simpler.

William Congreve wrote in The Mourning Bride,
"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." 

The word beast is incorrect and misquoted frequently for breast, but in my case 'beast' is probably more accurate. I can't speak for Jim.
University student playing electric violin

Let me just say that the diversity of culture and art in Guanajuato is vast and the air is vibrant with theatre, song and dance. I was moved by the passion in the musicians and bards... the echoing of notes off the ancient buildings, and the rich hum resonating from the narrow stone walkways and underground tunnels. There were classical guitarists, an electric violinist, Ranchera and Huapango mariachis, and individuals strumming to traditional Mexican ballads or folksongs. It was moving and alive.

Being a university town, Guanajuato has a youthful energy to it that is fused nicely with its proud, historic background. The architecture throughout the city really is frozen music!
Local man soloing beautiful ballads for pesos
 There are multiple museums, my favorite being the Museo Casa Diego Rivera. The museum is the home in which the prolific Mexican artist was born in 1886. There are almost 100 personal works of his distributed throughout his childhood casa (oil, watercolor, sketch, pastel, etc...). His personal life was chaotic and  bordered on violent, including his marriage to artist Frida Kahlo (she is one of my best loved!).

A familiar scene in Guanajuato
My solo trip to Guanajuato became a metaphor for my future and what I see I want out of it. My future includes cruising and, more importantly, includes my husband and children.
I discovered how much I miss the Arts... how much I appreciate creative effort and design... how much I love the buzz you get from the excitement of a crowd... and
how intellect opens wide with the introduction of new thoughts and ideas.

I am newly focused and can't wait to return to Guanajuato with my family. I think they're going to love it! Jim and I have discussed the possibility of renting a place there temporarily. The boat would be left in a marina... also temporarily. This is not a definite plan set in stone, but one that is a possibility for later this summer.

I worked on my personal goals while I was in Guanajuato. One is Spanish fluency for myself and the kids... Guanajuato has so many options.

More on fabulous Guanajuato tomorrow...


  1. Meri, I admire your honesty; all cruisers go through this at some point (if they say they don't, I'm convinced they're lying!). I love your thoughtful and eloquent analysis and resolution of the situation. I'll be by soon to say Welcome Home in person. xoxo P.S. And I love that you went to Guanajato - I think I shared with you that that is one of the places I am sorry to be missing as we head west, but I will definitely plan a trip sometime in the future. So happy you got to experience it.

  2. Chin up. Persevere. Be kind to yourself.

  3. We have not met yet, and I just found your blog.....I think we may have crossed paths in La Cruz.....any way, thank you for making me feel like I am not alone! I blogged nearly the same blog when we were in Tamarindo.....we are in the Sea of Cortez now...and I hope our paths cross this spring/summer. I would have gone with you to Guanajuato!
    Take care
    Tammy s/v santosha