Opera On The Bus

By Gary Donaldson


mexican bus 400There is a certain serenity one feels from time to time when the universe opens itself up to you and shows you all of its possibilities. There are minute cracks in the seemingly perfect order of things. God and the universe are perpetual and harmonious bodies in motion, and occasionally they pause ever so briefly and allow us a glimpse into the stillness and vast, endless realms of opportunities to accomplish and construct nothing.

These brief interludes serve to remind us that we should, and must allow peace and humor into our lives. It is not necessary to analyze it, nor find anything other than the willingness to accept the imperfections of all things and persons as perfection.

Our input is neither solicited, nor needed. I believe God smiles and laughs as broadly as the smile of a clown’s bordering of white on red face make-up, whenever we accept our own limitations, and understand that our purpose here is one of fundamental selflessness, and an awareness of all that is good in the world. I believe this is joy.

Recently I experienced my own divine revelation on a bus in an impoverished area in central Mexico, and if with your indulgence I would humbly relish the opportunity to share it. It is not uncommon for street artists to ride public transits, in the hopes of earning some pesos to put food on the table, so when a woman dressed as a clown got on at a stop, I wasn’t overly surprised.

At the onset of our trip our beautiful and talented mirth maker was entertaining children, with balloon making and facial gestures only kids and the simple minded, (myself) find amusing. It wasn’t until a couple of miles had passed that we would be fortunate enough to experience the hidden behind the make-up, true talents of our performer.

Seemingly without provocation from anyone on our bus, our clown, our muse, our angel, burst into an aria Pavorotti would have been hard pressed to follow. All of the passengers on the bus, including our driver, and the small children, sat as quietly as church mice during a mid morning mass. Not an easy task for such a normally over enthusiastic, and overt people as Mexicans.

As we listened without a sound the bus driver still continued to make his stops, and as people came on they passed through their world and into ours, and were also overcome and became quiet themselves. When the bus reached its stop, our clown departed and collected whatever money poor people could spare, and walked down the street as if she were on her way to visit the mayor. No one on the bus seemed to find this unusual, or out of the ordinary in any way, and they all left to go about whatever business they needed to deal with.

It was only me that was taken by surprise, and I felt envious of their ability to experience this joy without muddying up the water by over thinking simply another moment in the day.

The universe opened—and I was there.

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#2 monte 2012-05-12 18:54
....yep. Once in awhile the old magic of Mexico, its humanity, bursts through and the gringo-ization of experience lessens its hold. Nice vignette.
#1 G 2012-05-12 16:28
Very nice. Yes, these moments in a normal Mexican day, do not cease to amaze those of us who do tend to 'over-think'. cheers from your former stomping grounds. g.

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