Day 4, September 20, 2014
Saturday morning kicked off with a carrot and orange juice from Turtle Bay Café, followed by a 2 hour Hatha Flow yoga class with Dani from 9:00 to 11:00am. The class was wonderful. We worked to cleanse every chakra, visualizing each color, working from the root, all the way to the top of the head. I wish I could write down all of the wisdom that Dani gives during class, or even just remember a certain quote. We had to do one pose where we stacked our knees on top of one another to release the hip joints and hamstrings and the root chakra. Dani said that if this pose was particularly hard for us, it meant that we were carrying too much past baggage. So, it was another class dedicated to letting go of what no longer serves me.
After yoga, all of the artists and I headed to Playa del Carmen with Paul to pick up groceries and necessities and to exchange money. Having done a lot of research about natural scorpion, spider, and cockroach deterrents, I picked up a huge citronella candle (for the mosquitoes), bay leaves (which cockroaches hate), citrus cleaner (spiders do not like citrus), and a new bottle of all natural bug spray. When we returned from the grocery store, I cooked up some red quinoa, chickpeas, and garlic (yum!).
After my late lunch, I had a moment of overzealous excitement about a potential art project, which turned out to be too much. A group of people had participated in an International Beach Cleanup, and had collected about 15 bags full of trash – mostly plastic bottles. I had the idea of taking all of these bottles, washing them, and then hanging them in our studio space somehow, to demonstrate to people HOW MUCH waste we put into the ocean (from just a one hour collection on one day). After Michael and Diana helped me drag like 6 bags of bottles to our dorms, I began washing the bottles. The stench of the garbage combined with the incessant mosquitoes and flies quickly caused me to lose my vision, and it has been abandoned. Instead, I have chosen to work with a pile of white tiles that I found in the trash. The tiles were not exactly white when I found them, buried beneath leaves and dirt behind our dorms. But, after a good scrubbing, they are good to go. Now the plan is to use the patterns found on dead coral that I have collected to make a series of coral pattern paintings. I began painting one today, and it feels good, relaxing, and like the proper medium. Paper feels like it just curls up in this climate.
We ended the day with a presentation by Marta Fabrigis, an amazing marine biologist who is studying coral reefs with Nature Oceans of the Americas (https://www.facebook.com/NOAoceans)! I hope that I can help Marta get out the message about the importance of saving coral reefs! Especially after having seen Mission Blue on Netflix, and learning about the important work of Sylvia Earle. The most amazing fact that I learned is that leatherback turtles can dive to a depth of 3,280 feet! Incredible! Also, did you know that the number of male and female turtle hatchlings depends on the warmth of the turtle nest? The warmer the nest, the more female turtles there will be.