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Who was Cassandra?


  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.

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April 14, 2014

Comments

Lovely. And thoughtful. I enjoyed this.

Beth, the inequality between the obscenely wealthy and the desperately poor has always been a problem in Mexico but it has grown worse with the rise in power of the drug barons and political corruption in general. The poor turn to petty - and not-so-petty crime - to try and escape the poverty trap and so the chain escalates. Tourists bring in some needed cash but also contribute to the problems by barricading themselves behind security fences in enclaves such as those which have sprung up in San Miguel. It's a vicious circle and, as you saw, racial discrimination also plays a big part. Maybe another Zapata is needed! But when there was a sort of people's revolt some years ago, it was quickly put down.

There are places in America becoming more and more like Mexico as people can no longer find decent work. As the rich keep getting richer I believe the U.S. will soon be much like Mexico or other third world countries. I find the poor Mexicans and Indians to be extremely special people who work hard to survive. This is a wonderful post.

I am new to your blog. This was a lovely, thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

Hattie, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Natalie, thanks for adding your perspective and experience. How can the rich and powerful think that such great disparities in wealth are sustainable? And yet throughout history, they have, with disastrous results. I wonder what's in store for the poor in Mexico. While we were there we witnessed a Communist Party rally in the Zocalo. While I don't agree with them, I can certainly understand why that message continues to have strong appeal.

Rubye, thank you. What you say is true, and it makes me very sad.

Mardel, welcome! Thanks for letting me know you're here, and please know that I'm always grateful for comments and try to reply to each of them.

Here are two places you can support hand crated textile artists

http://mosqoy.org/programs/qentesociety/

http://www.farandwidecollective.com/

​Thanks so much, ET! I didn't know about either of those programs and they both look very worthy.

Your unwillingness to be paralyzed by your openness to this all gives me great hope, Beth.

​In the end, love is what we share, and that needs to motivate our reactions, doesn't it? It's not hard for women to make connections around handcrafts, for instance -- a few moments of appreciation and attention say a lot, as does a sincere exchange of gaze. I wonder if modern western men and women actually need to be taught how to connect with people who are different from themselves. The whole "white savior" complex may be rooted in genuine compassion, but it lacks the realization that we aren't superior; we need to learn from their strengths just as much. I came home with a lot of questions to ponder about my future relationship with Mexico and the Mexican people -- in that way it was a pilgrimage for us and I think it will continue to be.

So thoughtful and nuanced, Beth. I am deeply discomfited to have more in my suitcase than many persons there own. Coping with that gap and making a real human connection have at times felt almost insurmountable. I've deliberately avoided travel to certain countries because of my reaction; that does not solve the problem though.

Before last April, on my previous visits to Mexico we'd talked to locals, visited a small town, got to know a bit of the real Mexico. Then last time I stayed with an American friend in one of those gated communities in San Miguel, and visited with ex-pats in even more swank homes. And it was all beautiful and lovely, but I felt uncomfortable and missed the immersion in an another culture I'd had before. I'd have very mixed feelings about going back there.

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