I could hear an accordion playing somewhere near the square ringed with neatly clipped trees. The melodies, however, were not neat, slipping from some sort of oriental belly-dance tune to a tango to a waltz. Impossible that this eclectic stream of tunes and chords could be canned music. Ah, there he was, sitting in the shade and playing the most beat-up instrument I had ever seen. With 20 words of Spanish and a liberal sprinkling of French and English we managed a ten-minute conversation, during which the musician told me his accordion was 100 years old. I recommended to him Annie Proulx’s wonderful book “Accordion Tales”. It follows the adventures of an accordion brought to the United States at the turn of the ( other) century. I wonder if he will be able to find a Spanish translation of this brilliant and, at times, terrifying book.
I wandered off to my lunch date where I met a talented weaver. Her website is at http://www.tapetelana.com and her name is Yumiko Murai. She dyes her wool with vegetable dyes and she agreed to show me her 70 year old loom, set up in a sort of open-air warehouse.
How fortunate that we enjoy the mild Mexican winter where these old, venerable objects continue to do their work, caressed by the hands of generation after generation of artists, creators of beauty.
One of the lunch party was a maker of silver jewelry. As I looked around the table, it struck me that others cultivated the art of kindness and an open heart….the most valued of all skills.