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Swimming Along

Ian Carter

April 14, 2024

by Dr. David Fialkoff, Editor / Publisher

Years ago, I drove back from an event outside of Atotonilco with my emergency brake on. When I arrived home and got out of my car, I could smell my error. I'd like to blame the marijuana I had smoked, but that would be letting myself off too easily. The brake doesn't work much now, so I'm careful not to park on hills.

Today, it was brought to my attention that does not show in Google search results. An author informed me, "When I Google the title of the article I wrote, it does not show up." A quick check elicited this message, "Your website has a rule in its Robots.txt file* that prevents Google from reading the page." I am in consultation with my webmaster.

A few weeks ago, I noticed considerable wetness in one of the patio's garden beds, just where the water pipe comes in from the street. Not exactly springing into action, eventually I discovered a sizable hole in the old corroded metal pipe that was positively gushing water under considerable pressure, I'd guess two gallons per minute.

If my landlady had received a water bill in the past year, she would have known something was wrong. The foreman of the construction crew across the alley, wound a piece of old innertube over the hole and clamped that down with wire. The alternative being a costly repair.  Case closed, except that the water bill, that finally arrived yesterday, was for $13,000 pesos.

I've been walking around the house in rubber-soled sandals since I got here. My landlady's comment about walking around barefoot with scorpions, and two of the creatures I found a decade ago, put me out of the habit. I understand the benefits to health of grounding, directly connecting with the electrical field of the Earth. I've been thinking of ditching these sandals for years, moreso in the last year because my health has been less than 100%. Now, an upcoming Earth Day article (by the same author who pointed out Lokkal's problem with Google) has me going around the house shoeless again.

Right behind the Church of San Antonio, my house, or a part of it, is the oldest building in the colonia, excluding the church itself. The room I use as my office was built as the residence for the church's velador, its caretaker (literally "candle holder"). Termites have eaten away much of one of the beams that hold up its roof. One of these days the ceiling will cave in on its own or some overweight individual will fall through from above. I would see to it myself, but my 84-year-old landlady keeps waffling on her promise to deed me this first floor.

Dad's saying, "You know what you know" (Get your current understanding out of the way so that you can learn something new) also works in its negation, "You don't know what you don't know" (What are you overlooking?)

Say this out loud a few times faster and faster: "I know now what I didn't know then, but I don't know yet what I don't know yet." Go ahead. Try it. It has a nice rhythm.

The observation that "Whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins," made about war, applies as well to life in general.

These days, my mantra, my Zen koan, is, "What were you expecting?" Where did I think that I would be at 66 years old?

I'm guilty, albeit with decreasing regularity, of the same foolishness in which most social justice warriors indulge; our experience of navigating this stormy, practical world falls far short compared to the ease of sailing some imagined, utopian sea.

A lot of people who have been all around the world, who could live anywhere they want, make San Miguel their home. How lucky am I to be here?

I'm fortunate again to be doing what I love, publishing, to be creatively involved in the community, producing a platform: magazine, event calendar, social network, that, especially since the demise of Atención, is increasingly important to our city. Writing my own article every week continues to be a self-transformative process. As Sherlock said to Watson, "I'm still getting by on my wits."

It's mathematics, if you are not making mistakes, you are not trying hard enough. My favorite line from one of my favorite movies, Pulp Fiction, is in the diner when Samuel Jackson tells Ringo at gunpoint, "I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard." I'm trying real hard, too.

Swimming in a lake back up in Connecticut 45 years ago, I had an epiphany. I had just put on a mask and saw that those shadowy dark masses below were just tree trunks and large rocks sitting deep down on the bottom. My body relaxed and I swam with a never-before ease.

Recently, things are generally coming into focus. Patching the leaks, releasing the emergency brake, Lokkal is rolling along much better. Pretty soon, we'll even be on Google. With new systems in place, the work is getting done without stress, and I'm swimming like never before.


Cultivate your Passion

Planning our next leap forward, Lokkal is looking for people with expertise (or who are interested in acquiring expertise) about subject matter in San Miguel: mezcal, vineyards, chocolate, architecture, history, boutiques, swimming pools, etc. Come on in, the water's fine.

Lokkal: Building Community, Strengthening the Local Economy - get involved!



Dr. David Fialkoff presents Lokkal, our local social network, the community online and off, Atención robustly reborn for the digital age. If you can, please do contribute content, or your hard-earned cash, to support Lokkal, SMA's Voice. Use the orange, Paypal donate button below. Thank you.


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