Saturday, September 02, 2006

Being Connected

Mazatlan Cathedral

I sit on the wall of my terrace.

Below me is a park full of flowers and bushy trees.

On each corner of the fenced central garden are octagonal fountains..

In the middle is a round performance pavilion made in 88. (18)

Children ride their tricycles around the broad stone perimeter.

Old men sweep the dust and the junk food wrappers each morning.

I see a young child, perhaps three years old walk alone.

Where I come from, that child would be lost.

But, she is most definitely not lost.

The giant evergreen tree in the corner of the park

Is 70 maybe 80 feet tall.

The next tallest thing in town is the great white dome

Of the church of Our Lady of the Clean Conception.

Slightly taller than that is the bell tower that rises next to it.

Slightly rare in these parts, is the four sided clock above the bells.

That makes Our Lady part church, part municipal building.

Well above the clock, with its non verbal veneration of time itself,

A cross stands triumphant on the top of the shiny zebra tiled cupola.

Until the last 100 years, most towns, villages, and even cities

had this same scale of people and parks and structure,

With domes and steeples and belltowers pointing to the sky.

The merchants and the money lenders were in the markets

on the street.

Today, the merchants and the money lenders tower over our cities.

We pride ourselves on these skylines that display our wealth and power.

A space visitor could look down from space and understand immediately

What is important to this culture of overgrown market structures.

Their skyscrapers, as they would be called, do in fact scrape the sky.

When I sit on the ledge of my terrace, some 20 feet above the park,

I feel the earth and I see the people and I hear the birds.

The sky is touched by the great round mountains and the clouds float

Like angels.

And I feel connected.

Good Architecture, sensible human settlement, graceful structure,

Pedestrian streets, and appropriate scale give us a sense of place.

And they connect us,

to ourselves, each other, our community, the sky, and our home,

The Earth.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the place you are describing. Can I come too?

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I see that plaza in a different light, that of the pessamist, the horses, the inadaquate sewage system and the ATV's raoring around. But it used to be quite nice until it was dfiscovered .

4:49 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

I think the key is the perspective. ATVs are actually pretty rare. I haven't heard or seen one all week. I like the horses and the inadequatel sewage systems keeps the development down, while providing an opportunity for a creative solution in the future.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my travels I noted that cities with univerally used mass transit have more connectness than in places where everyone is forced to drive cars. Ie. the difference between San Francisco, where even the rich take buses, and LA where no one does.

2:24 PM  

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