I have been living in central Mexico for a little over a year. And like anywhere else, there’s the good and the bad. But one thing that is inarguable is the weather. Imagine 75° – 85° F every single day of the year. 300+ days of sunshine. The weather is so perfect that the people here spend the better part of their day outdoors. And the architecture reflects that lifestyle.

Image

Most everything in Mexico seems to be in some state of benign neglect which imparts (in my humble opinion) the character that the Japanese call wabi-sabi: incompleteness, imperfection, asymetry, and transience. Traits that certain cognoscenti rever as an antithesis to sameness, conformity, predictability, mass-produced, and disposable. Those same cognoscenti preferring instead to confer beauty on those certain things seemingly worn out, irregular and/or idiosyncratic. The enlightened Japanese, both ancient and modern, see transience in all such things that express wabi-sabi. I think I need to re-read that classic  by Inazo Nitobe entitled ‘Bushido, the Soul of Japan’ as to better compare the Japanese death/dying mythos with those of the Mexican; which were so dispassionately dissected in Octavio Paz’s immortal work ‘The Labyrinth of Solitude’. (And how apropos with The Day of the Dead Fiesta just 2 weeks away.)

Another observation is how Mexican homes are not constrained by conventional floor plans. And I find that to be both refreshing and wisely practical. Concrete, bricks, and adobe are highly adaptive building materials. If you can imagine it, you can build it.

Advertisements