There are few conditions that scream with such volume or shrill insistence as being employed in the information media business. There are deadlines to meet and important stories that need telling, right now.
Urgency becomes common. Common becomes rare. Rare becomes tomorrow’s headline.
So, the offer to work with CuencaHighLife, and Cuenca Dispatch, could not have happened at a better time for me. The heat of excitement, enchantment, and wonder that glowed in my first year, is now cooling, exposing a wedding ring weld, a commitment. I will do my part by writing about home.
There are many stories that deserve to be shared, most by the many who live them. My focus will be to capture people and moments and bring them to you.
I look forward to another year in Cuenca that mummers my favorite mantra — chanting voices offering fresh fruit, a baseline of coughing buses, tradespeople hammering, sawing, bending, and shaping, — an unending song, a litany, a chorus, the music of one season folding onto another just as it has always been and just as it will still be.
I will look ahead knowing one needs to look no farther than tomorrow for positive change because youthful energy becomes Cuenca. Children and young adults adorn the city with an exuberance and confidence that shines like the morning sun. You can see it almost everywhere, you can feel the energy anywhere.
I will have good stories and mediocre stories for you this year. Some will be happy ones, and a few not so much. And, as I have said time and time again,
“I promise never to let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
You can keep me to that.
But, above all, I promise to write honestly.
A few weeks ago I penned an article about having influenza and wondering about seniors who, for one reason or another, have no one to call on for immediate assistance, or any assistance at all. Within 24 hours, over a dozen people emailed me offering to help support a solution, and a movement was born. Significant infrastructure is already designed and implemented, highlighting available opportunities and innovative ways to develop and grow a connection, a lifeline to seniors most in need. It appears that Serving, Honoring, Assisting Retired Expats (SHARE) is reaching escape velocity, will have a stable take off and will join a pantheon of other self-sustaining life-affirming resources built by and for our neighbors.
SHARE meets monthly on Tuesday.
I treated myself to breakfast at the Windhorse Cafe the other morning, an indulgence I rarely allow. Lucy showed me a copy of a book I read at least forty years before, it was very important to me then, and as I skimmed among the pages, I recognized that it is essential reading again. The title is Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal talks on Zen meditation and practice. By Shunryu Suzuki.
Students are studying the book over the next six weeks above the cafe. Sounds like an excellent morning exercise.
Class meets on Thursday.
I plan on dropping in on some old friends who live in an assisted living facility close to my home. We will play bingo for a couple hours while munching cookies, sipping juice and playing like the children that we are. As I think about them, it is not their faces — a radiance of sunset and oranges — that come first. It is the scent of thyme and nasturtiums. A melange of graceful age and spice.
Bingo is played on Saturday.
This is how I hope to spend my second year in Cuenca: gliding on a simple plain of easy days fueled by cafe con leche and the spirit of our neighbors.
Each day is sure to be seeded with miraculous occurrences that, I hope, will keep us all enchanted, watchful for fresh sprouts, and thankful, for a very long time.