An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
of July 4, 2010
issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort adjoining Chichén Itzá ruin, Yucatán, MÉXICO


Tropical Storm Alex passed over us last weekend so all day last Sunday it rained and was nice and cool. A friend agreed that hot tea sounded good and that she'd fix a pot of soup for supper if I'd tend the campfire. The topic of discussion was the question of what I, with my education, experience, and at age 62, am doing in a dirt-floored Maya hut with pole walls, staring in the face an old age without money.

But, it was a discussion with long intervals between words, so I put music on the computer, something to complement the sound of raindrops on the thatch roof, of robins singing in the rain, of the campfire crackling beside us.

It was a kind of meditation music, Zen in structure, the lone crystalline chime-tone suspended in space, its trailing, interrelating subtones and harmonics long-lasting, attended by random taps of dry wood on dry wood, the emptiness around the taps defining the shocking instance of each note itself, purifying it. I said:

The emptiness between this hut's dry wood wall-poles admits calls of frogs and robins from without. Those song-sounds are interrelating harmonics and subtones defining the shocking instance of my being here, and they purify me.

Then with campfire smoke drifting outside between the hut's pole walls, dispersing into wet greenness, there came Sufi music, music evoking the spiritual through dance. Hypnotically rhythmic dancing melodies easily and unendingly intertwining and unraveling, caressing and moving away, always there, more and more, but always letting go, the climax just beyond. I said:

My own dance of life, always simplifying, always intense, always letting go, has led me into this hut. My being here now is the music we hear as it is to us at this very moment, no past and no future, but is not its caressing and embrace and the dance itself a wondrous thing?

Soft, soft the night, without and within, the hut, the Sufi, the Zen. Facebook Icon.