Lost in Etherland
Apr 27th, 2011 by robert

This site has languished for months. It’s not that there has been nothing to write about; with everything going on in the Arab world and analogous developments in the U.S., there is a TON I have started writing, at least in my mind if not here or on paper.

The truth is I have been focussed on music lately, learning how to convert my record albums into pristine digital recordings. In fact I have developed another blog site to share my obsession. I encourage you to go there for a taste. Clicking on the album image to the left will get you there!

Now that that site is more or less under control, I’ll try to focus on weightier topics. Like the Woman in Red, for example. If you are reading this, you probably are one of the few because the infrequency of my writing here does not invite return visits. I have learned the value of frequent posts. Since focussing on developing my other site, in one month it has gone from receiving zero to over 300 visits per day. I’ll see what I can do here. . .

Life’s Transitions, Peregrinations and Writing/Blogging
Aug 12th, 2010 by robert

If you are one of those who checks this page occasionally, you will have noticed it has been dormant for over a month. In fact my writing has been sporadic since returning from Mexico in May, and as any web site consultant will tell you, the failure to keep your site fresh results in people losing interest and not returning. My goal is not to create a blog that attracts heavy traffic, but I want to avoid disappointing those of you who appreciate my writing and generously encourage me.

The drought on this site is partly due to my normal lack of writing discipline, and certainly the unrelentingly dismal summer weather, but it also results from life’s upheavals that seem to have dominated my life for the past three years. Read the rest of this entry »

site evolution
May 5th, 2010 by robert

Reentry into “normal” life at home has been challenging. Spending seven weeks in a completely different environment, immersed in another language and amidst a fluidly changing group of new friends: I guess it should be no surprise that a return home could feel disorienting.

There are four more posts to come, covering the last couple of weeks of my stay in Mexico, including a fantastic trip to a biosphere reserve called El Triunfo. I created this blog as a writing tool, however, so I hope to continue posting regularly. I will be adding the archive of my music writing for The Beat magazine and other journals, and I also will review new music from the African diaspora. Yet the horizon is broad; the scope of this blog will evolve. Even the writing may vary, such as the experimental previous post.

Over time this site will offer more, particularly more in the way of sound. For example, below is a recording of howler monkeys greeting dawn in Palenque. I was unable to upload the recording while on the road, but now I have attached it to my earlier Palenque post, where it belongs. Enjoy!

Howler Monkey Dawn

San Cristobal de las Casas
Apr 26th, 2010 by robert

I arrived in San Cristobal (about two weeks ago)  just in time to go out to dinner with my friends Peter and María Elena, who I hadn’t seen in sixteen years. Peter and I worked together in Costa Rica and Nicaragua during the turbulent 1980’s. Peter´s mother was visiting too, so I began a needed period of regrouping: laundry, writing, talking with friends, and just hanging out. There was no lack of social opportunity, as every night there was an engagement with some of their friends. The conversation in Spanish was rapid and intellectually stimulating, lots of it centered on politics in Chiapas. Read the rest of this entry »

Mérida, la música, and life
Mar 31st, 2010 by robert

Valladolid was hard to leave, but I needed and wanted to shed the car that seems both useful and a hindrance. Once again I entered the cuota highway, but this time with a purpose. I had to get to Mérida in a hurry to make the rental deadline, and with almost no cars on the expensive route, I could go fast. Think autobahn. Read the rest of this entry »

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