Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Patterns always tend to emerge after a while. Sugar in my coffee with skim milk, no sugar for my friend, always whole milk. The neighbor that cares about the latest automobile stocks, the one that cares about the last tropical forests. Patterns in numbers, in shapes and taste, in welfare and holidays. My small sister parting her hair like I do, I, parting my hair like my mother. I seek for patterns when I rearrange my purse, just after I’ve arranged my backpack, and sometimes I arrange them again. Colors in the sky sometimes match my sock drawer. It’s actually a surprise I don’t seek to foretell my future in the patterns of my coffee. I am always on the look for them, their details and trajectory, abstract forms turned into some sort of meaning. As I write, I’m looking at the clouds below and find the pattern in this alien landscape, the one you can only see from a plane.

Lately, the pattern that has caught my most detailed attention is the presidential elections in Mexico, my home country. Divided into North and South, Rich and Poor, White and Indigenous mixes, Mexicans have chosen to follow their own intrinsic patterns and have voted half and half, the right and the left wing supporters. A result of fear and hope, naiveness and aliveness, this pattern is my latest reason to distress, and wonder. I am most sensitive to those patterns caused by emotional inertia, astrological almost, and this one seems to be a result of just that. History and postmodernist agendas have pushed my people to vote and divide themselves into yellow and blue. Their vote is almost regulated by heat, sun and a confounding split in two peninsulas.

Most yellow left-winged votes rested in Oaxaca’s multicultural plazas, Veracruz’s famous coffee shop brushed by sudden ocean winds, Chiapas’ towns hidden by mountain fog. But also from the rowdy traffic of Mexico City, its hidden markets and street vendors of pirated DVD’s with Superman 2006, from Puebla’s 365 churches, their incense compelling evidence of our mixed past, and from the coast of Mazatlan, now a haven for tourists, its quiet streets a memory of a decade ago. It marvels me, how Mexico’s most rich cultural and biological diversity is there, in the yellow votes. Its most famous flowers, birds, butterflies, fearless waves of its oceans, its gastronomic and linguistic secrets, they are all in the south, and in the yellow square marked perpetually by an ‘X’ on the last weekend ballots. Awkwardly highlighted on the map, Yucatan, the proud Maya territory with splendid caves and waters, voted like the North, blue. Perhaps I should look for a piece of Mayan land that resembles the caustic and dry regions of the North, to find a common ground. Should I investigate their famous pork dishes, only matched by the well-known beef recipes of the North? Or maybe they are simply more conservative, afraid of gay marriage and divorce, afraid of other indigenous people regaining their old powers, or perhaps more practical but equally irrational, wary that investors will cease to believe in Mexico’s potential if a left-wing candidate won.

The North certainly thought that way, at least partially (there are not many indigenous left there) its vast land equipped with industrial sites, the fanciest companies absolved by the arid desert that surrounds them. Did their paramos cease to reach the ocean currents of their coasts for fresh thoughts and courage? Are they so disconnected from the South that they have only remembered their own jobs and dreams? Have their majestic canyons, their unique cactus forests, their own quiet languages been overcome by the Other North? How will the South, my South, ever reach the North? The blue will only mean the rich getting richer, the older forgotten once again, our natural resources subjugated to their whims.

Is it that both sides only really think about themselves and their local reality? Is the global thinking only reachable by some? Those abroad, the ones neither South or North voted blue. A selected few that can travel and leave, seek and discover outside their original home, they are also failing to see the global good, the sustainable future of the common welfare, that one that integrates all and ceases to exploit the ones that have less. I hope I was part of the exception abroad that helped change that. But I wonder, what will happen to my country, will the massive manifestations of anger and frustration help revoke the recent results? Will Latinamerica gain strength for once, with key players of the left positioned to fight? I’m about to land on that country, I see its expanded territory, conquering the highest mountains of the Mexico City valley, and I cross my fingers for a good future.


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