Sunday, July 15, 2007


Yesterday, a trip to a Mexico City suburb known as Tlalpan, which people say is like what Coyoacan used to be like before it was swallowed by the city. It wasn't out of the smog bowl, but atmospherically it did feel like leaving the swell and crash of the urban environment. We (me + Nicole + some of my cherished university friends) had a relaxed lunch at a cafe on the main plaza, where a gathering of international shamanic medicine was holding a reunion of drumming, incense, and placebo cures. What amazes me most is how similar these subcultures are all around the world. Ancient wisdom + goop = hope for the weary.

The main purpose of our visit, however, was not pseudoscientific, but architectural: specifically, the work of Pritzker Prize-winner Luis Barragán. Check out his biography at the link, and pictures of some of his work here. We were visiting the place listed at the bottom, the Convento de las Capuchinas. We were all awed by what he did with light: follow that link to the Convento and look at the way the gradient of light along the wall brings out the cross in relief in the picture at the lower-left. The effect was remarkably peaceful, and if one had to spend 49 years there without leaving (as the nun who gave us the tour had done), this might be one of the lovelier places to do so. We weren't permitted to take pictures in the chapel, but here's one of a fountain in the courtyard.

Also, look again at the effect of the light on the fountain:


Nicole said...

I really like your last picture. I had that idea, too, but I don't think mine came out as well as yours.

Also you know you can get ancient wisdom without the goop. I was kinda tempted by that woman doing the foot massages.

Mary said...

Sounds like a refreshing way to change one's point of view. Makes me wonder how often we miss seeing a "light perspective" in our daily routine. This artist certainly captured it well.