I’m back from Mexico, but I can still feel the intense white light that burnishes the back of your eyes after just a few hours in that unabashed sunlight. Baja California Sur is a glorious combination of two large arc themes, operatic in a visual sort of way. On one hand you are never far from the minimalist landscape of the desert, a terrain iconic for stripping it down to the bare essentials, for survival and stamina, for the perennial seeking for spiritual insight and a higher knowing. And on the other hand, there is that ring of dazzling color, both the Pacific and Sea of Cortez, that moves through all the shades of blue, green, turquoise, and back again. The contrast is relentlessly beguiling.
Light on adobe walls, on the cool green shades of the agaves, on the textured palms and cacti, on long stretches of sandy beaches–light that intoxicates my cocktail of (mostly) Northern European genes, genes passed on to me from generations of ancestors who never lived their lives anywhere this lush, this guilelessly sunny, this far removed from an Ingmar Bergmanian ambient angst.
Perhaps a yearly swim with the unabashed sea lions on the islands of Espiritu Santo–alongside a few other human celebrants–is all I need to manage a truce between the large arc themes of my interior life (although the private dialectics are never as cleanly defined as the desert/ocean duality I just spent a week edging between.)