Despite 2000 miles between here and there, similarities abound between the two places I call home.
Art on walls. (Left) A massive new mural in Mill Valley, above the side wall of the Sequoia Theater, by Zio Ziegler. (Right) One of the many murals by Sanez (Fabián Calderón Sánchez) in Oaxaca. By the way, I’ve previously posted murals by both artists: click Sanez and/or Zio Ziegler.
Agave. (Left) Of course in Mill Valley (California), it’s solely ornamental for those meticulously landscaped gardens. (R) Whereas in Oaxaca, it’s vital crop — land without agave means life without mezcal!
Fluttering swags of flags. (Left) Cloth Tibetan prayer flags flying outside the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley welcome patrons to the Mountainfilm festival. (Right) Ubiquitous papel picado found inside and out in Oaxaca, in paper or plastic, for events special or just because.
Sacred mountains. (Left) Mt. Tamalpais, the Sleeping Lady and mountain of my childhood dreams, teen driving lessons, and adult peace, joy, and renewal. (Right) Cerro Picacho (in Zapoteco, Quie Guia Betz), brother/sister mountain — the sacred mountain in Teotitlán del Valle, where, among other times, villagers make a pilgrimage to the top on Día de la Santa Cruz (Day of the Holy Cross).
And, last but not least, colorfully costumed couples. (Left) Soon after arriving at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, I ran into this twosome. Turns out, in the “it’s a small world” universe, they are actually friends of a couple I know in San Miguel de Allende. (Right) During July’s Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, the delegation from Putla de Guerrero representing their celebration of Carnaval, is garish and gaudy and wild and wacky — in other words, fantastic!
Creativity is a challenge. It requires us to be fully human — autonomous yet engaged, independent yet interdependent. Creativity bridges the conflict between our individualistic and our sociality. It celebrates the commonality of our species while simultaneously setting us apart as unique individuals. —Greg Graffin