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A Funny Thing:
Painted into a Corner

Dec. 25, 2022

by David Fialk, Chief Cook and Bottle-washer

San Miguel is the only place where mothers tell their children to put on a coat before they go inside.

Cool interiors are a blessing of our "colonial architecture"... in the hot months. But one season's blessing is another season's curse.

The room I use as an office does have a gas heater, but, with all the air leaking in from outside, I'd have to run it continuously to make much of a difference, and, radical environmentalist that I am, I'm not going to do that.

I like to write in the morning. My mind not yet engaged in the hurly burly of the world, I do better work. Scribbling away for hours, even with tea and two pairs of long johns, I get pretty chilled. Then, late morning, having satisfied my creative urge, and numbed my toes, I go up rooftop to do my solar yoga

Coming down from my stretching and baño solar, I've shaken off the chill, and so has my house, the morning sun having shone long and strong enough to warm up the front wall of my place. At that point I open the front doors (there are two) and let the sun shine in, eat a hearty breakfast and continue working.

This has been my routine for over a decade now; today, December 21, the solstice, being the start of my 12th winter in San Miguel. But, out with the old, in with the new, today I broke my chilly tradition. Metaphorically and literally, I opened the door and stepped outside.

I opened the front door of my office, set up a folding work-station table in the doorway, and, am proud to report, dear reader, that I am writing this to you while maintaining a comfortable body temperature, standing in the sun.

The situation reminds me of two jokes. The first being this Far Side comic:

Like the lizard congratulating himself for having moved out of his sun, I would like to congratulate myself for having moved into mine. But then, like he was stupid to leave in his cool refuge, I was stupid not to leave mine.

The second joke has to do with an kind old alcoholic man, Al Boyington, my father paid to do odd jobs in the apartment buildings he owned. One day my father put Al to work painting a floor. Dad came back and found the floor finished and Al squatting on the far side of the room, having literally painted himself into a corner. Under my father's direction, Al finished painting the corner and touched up each of the footprints he left as he backed his way out of the room.

I remind myself of Al Boyington "trapped" in his corner, because after squeezing by the table in the doorway three or four times this morning, to get my tea and cellphone, I realized that I could enter and exit freely through my second front door.

And isn't that the way it is: our not seeing what is right in front of us? not taking the obvious route to escape from what traps us? suffering in some cold, interior exile, instead of stepping out into the sunshine? Or maybe I just have to won this myself.

It's a funny thing.


Dr. David presents Lokkal, the social network, the prettiest, most-efficient way to see San Miguel online. Our Wall shows it all. Join and add your point of view.


Discover Lokkal:
Watch the two-minute video below.
Then, just below that, scroll down SMA's Community Wall.
Intro / Mission


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