keeping balanced in Buenos Aires

hola mis amigos, here we are, our last day in buenos aires, where the men are handsome as hearthrob movie stars and the women are as stylish as parisian haute couture.  of all the places i´ve travelled to in the world, and i haven´t seen much of it, this city reminds me more of paris and new york combined.  the streets are congested and the stores abundant as in new york, yet the people are over-the-top fashionable as in paris, Vogue-ing their way down the hibiscus-lined streets in polished shoes (los hombres) and sky-high heels (las mujeres). the greatest thing of all, though, as an American travelling, is … to see no, and i mean NO OBESITY. everyone here is slim, or perhaps a little plump, but nowhere do you see the tremendously disconcerting fatties that line the streets of america from portland, oregon to portland, maine.

i was happy to recently read in the new york times that high fructose corn syrup, the culprit many consider to blame for the epidemic of obesity and also, i read, ADD  in countless American children, is being taken off the market by many more conscious-minded manufacturers. thank you so much. i hope Congress will step to the plate soon and outlaw this corn syrup, which, along with fast food, has ruined the health of so many and caused our nation to be one of BIGness instead of enLIGHTedness.

i´ve been editing my book in my hotel room as my consort Carter goes off for business appointments with his young protege Mike from Minneapolis, who speaks better spanish than me, but not as sympatico as carter.  in between edits i´ve been blessed to connect to a most unusual yoga teacher, marcela, who has a devoted following here in BA where she´s taught hatha yoga for over twenty years.  i have great photos to share with my readers when i return to st. augustine and download them onto my computer, so hang in there!

i am again realizing how lucky we are to live in a place like America, where democracy is almost taken for granted. of course we´ve heard of all the coups and dictatorships in south america´s long troubled history…but i never realized to what an extent the treachery of totaliarianism has affected this country of Argentina, as i´m sure it has in many other places  around the globe i´m still not hip to.

in argentina, beginning in the mid-seventies up until the early eighties over 30,000 people, las personas perdidad, ¨the disppeared, the lost people,¨ were ´gone, without a trace, so to speak—just like that!!–believed to have been killed by … ¿¿¿¿ quien sabe???? ¿¿¿¿Who Knows????  No one knows, people say when i ask, bewildered by such an atrocity. of course all these people were done away with. Killed. Their bodies hidden. Some were discovered in pieces, by my friend Marcela, who was so freaked by witnessing the killing of her dear friends that she fled for her life. others were not so lucky, they were killed, disappeared. All this unsolved, unknown, completely mysteriously, surreptitious killing happened during the dictatorship that came after the Perons. who were the targets? the artists, the writers, the thinkers, the progressive types who ask, still to this day, for the politicians to not be so greedy, to look after those who can´t provide food for their families, those who are not able to have an education even if they wanted it.

today there is still much sadness, anger, resentment, denial, and remorse. recovery is slowly going on here in argentina about the disappeared people. marcela, who is today in her fifties, tells me that NONE of her friends are alive today that she grew up with, hung out with when she grew up here in buenos aires. she came from a very respected Buenos Aires family (as che guevara did also) and was an alternative type as a young woman, but a dedicated spiritual yogini today.  but back in the 70´s she was a singer, a performer, and like many of her friends who disappeared, she protested publicly about the unfair practices of the dictatorship at the time.  only because marcela´s father was a military man, albeit a retired one, was she saved when the killings and disappearances began.  wisely, she left argentina and didn´t return until the regime had been overthrown, and the disappearances stopped, in the mid eighties. i don´t have the information yet of what the names of those in control during this dictatorship, those who are to blame for these sins against humanity.  but i  when i do i will share them.  meanwhile, anyone who knows, please leave your comment below and share with us what you know about any of these lost souls, these 30,000 killed for believing in freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of living reasonably, without undue restraints.

today BA is undergoing a transformation as we all are in the world. Everyone looks to Obama´s administration, and to him in particular, to lead the world in its struggle to regain the dignity of our humanity, lessening the noose of oppression and tyranny, whether its origin stems from corrupt politicians only interested in fattening their own pockets, or religious finantics that want the entire world to operate under their particular code of morality, rather than embrace the plurialism of a healthy, tolerant world-view.

i´ve been impressed by all the public art here. everywhere you go is another statue, most of them to commemorate someone who was important enough to warrant all that bronze (politicians mostly, sadly) but every now and then i´ve found some that honor the indigenous, the myths that keep the spirit of humanity alive, even in adversity, and even a whimsical notion now and then—like the HUGE mechanical ¨flower of the sun,¨ la flora del sol, which is about seventy feet tall, made of stainless steel, and duplicates the look and action of a colossal hibiscus flower–opening and closing its gigantic petals as the sun crosses the horizon. wow, now that´s public art!!

so much more to share about–the food, the music, the tango, the smiles of everyone´s faces, the plays, theater, concerts (Radiohead played last night, Peter Gabriel the night before), but this is all for now. Buenos noches, mis amigo del alma.

in the Light, en la luz, lordflea (photos and more to come upon our return! enjoy the videos at right of post if you like)

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