SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: TO SHARE CONTENTED TIME

What comforts us is that, after we make ourselves crazy enough, we can let go inch by inch into just being here; every so often, briefly. -Anne Lamott

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impromptu bookseller. plaza de la cultura. 
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i don’t want to forget what i look like. 

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i think he’s selling lottery tickets. many of these vendors are lined up on the main calle.

Almost everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, scared, and yet designed for joy. Even (or especially) people who seem to have it more or less together are more like the rest of us than you would believe. I try not to compare my insides to their outsides, because this makes me much worse than I already am, and if I get to know them, they turn out to have plenty of irritability and shadow of their own. Besides, those few people who aren’t a mess are probably good for about twenty minutes of dinner conversation.

This is good news, that almost everyone is petty, narcissistic, secretly insecure, and in it for themselves, because a few of the funny ones may actually long to be friends with you and me. They can be real with us, the greatest relief.

As we develop love, appreciation, and forgiveness for others over time, we may accidentally develop those things toward ourselves, too. -Lamott

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handmade jewelry on the main calle. reasonable prices, too. 

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This is how most of us are — stripped down to the bone, living along a thin sliver of what we can bear and control, until life or a friend or disaster nudges us into baby steps of expansion. We’re all both irritating and a comfort, our insides both hard and gentle, our hearts both atrophied and pure.

How did we all get so screwed up? Putting aside our damaged parents, poverty, abuse, addiction, disease, and other unpleasantries, life just damages people. There is no way around this. Not all the glitter and concealer in the world can cover it up. We may have been raised in the illusion that if we played our cards right, life would work out. But it didn’t, it doesn’t. – Lamott

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newspaper seller

The lesson here is that there is no fix. There is, however, forgiveness. To forgive yourselves and others constantly is necessary. Not only is everyone screwed up, but everyone screws up.

How can we know all this, yet somehow experience joy? Because that’s how we’re designed — for awareness and curiosity. We are hardwired with curiosity inside us, because life knew that this would keep us going even in bad sailing… Life feeds anyone who is open to taste its food, wonder, and glee — its immediacy. – Lamott

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main calle. there’s always a jimenez deredia sculpture around.
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cyclist on avenida 2

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We see this toward the end of many people’s lives, when everything in their wasted bodies fights to stay alive, for a few more kisses or bites of ice cream, one more hour with you. Life is still flowing through them: life is them.

That’s magic, or the human spirit, or hope — whatever you want to call it — to captivate, to share contented time. – Lamott

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inspired by a post from:

https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/12/05/anne-lamott-almost-everything-joy/

San Jose, Costa Rica. 1may2019

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SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA STREET ART: SELF IS NOT

HOW IT SEEMS TO ME
Ursula K. Le Guin

In the vast abyss before time, self
is not, and soul commingles
with mist, and rock, and light. In time,
soul brings the misty self to be.
Then slow time hardens self to stone
while ever lightening the soul,
till soul can loose its hold of self
and both are free and can return
to vastness and dissolve in light,
the long light after time.IMG_7503IMG_7502IMG_7501IMG_7499IMG_7498

work in progress by artists Gabriel Dumani and Hein.

San Jose, Costa Rica. 30apr19

 

SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA: THIS ACCUMULATION OF SCARS

There were things that burned away at me, not only as a private individual, but also as a citizen of our century, our pixelated age. What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we’re not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people, particularly if we don’t find speaking easy? Is sex a cure for loneliness, and if it is, what happens if our body or sexuality is considered deviant or damaged, if we are ill or unblessed with beauty? And is technology helping with these things? Does it draw us closer together, or trap us behind screens? ~Olivia Laing

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i wonder what kind of conversation they would be having if she wasn’t glued to her phone.
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busses are the central nervous system of the city
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he waits alone

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You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people. One might think this state was antithetical to urban living, to the massed presence of other human beings, and yet mere physical proximity is not enough to dispel a sense of internal isolation. It’s possible – easy, even – to feel desolate and unfrequented in oneself while living cheek by jowl with others. Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connection, closeness, kinship: an inability, for one reason or another, to find as much intimacy as is desired. Unhappy, as the dictionary has it, as a result of being without the companionship of others. Hardly any wonder, then, that it can reach its apotheosis in a crowd. ~ Laing

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he must be a good storyteller.
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this street vendor’s day is just starting. wonder where the bus takes him…

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Loneliness is personal, and it is also political. Loneliness is collective; it is a city. As to how to inhabit it, there are no rules and nor is there any need to feel shame, only to remember that the pursuit of individual happiness does not trump or excuse our obligations to each another. We are in this together, this accumulation of scars, this world of objects, this physical and temporary heaven that so often takes on the countenance of hell. What matters is kindness; what matters is solidarity. What matters is staying alert, staying open, because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last. ~ Laing

San Jose, Costa Rica. 30apr19.

inspired by:

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/07/11/the-lonely-city-olivia-laing/

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA GRAFFITI: KAM

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THERE ARE SO MANY PROLIFIC GRAFFITI WRITERS IN SAN JOSE; THEIR PIECES ARE EVERYWHERE! HERE ARE 6 PIECES FROM KAM.

feb-apr2019. San Jose, Costa Rica.

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA POLITIKAL GRAFFITI: SERGIO ROJAS

“On March 18th, 2019, Sergio Rojas, a Bribri indigenous leader, was murdered after being shot 15 times in Yeri, Salitre area, in southern Costa Rica.
 
As a member of the National Coordination of the National Front of Indigenous Peoples (FRENAPI), Rojas fought for the restitution of ancestral lands and the conservation of native ecosystems.”
 
“FUE EL ESTADA. SERGIO VIVE!” = It was the State. Sergio Lives!
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San Jose, Costa Rica. April2019

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: NIETZSCHE’S DEMONS

I want to write down everything I know about being afraid, but I’d probably never have enough time to write anything else. Afraid is a country where they issue us passports at birth and hope we never seek citizenship in any other country. The face of afraid keeps changing constantly, and I can count on that change. I need to travel light and fast, and there’s a lot of baggage I’m going to have to leave behind me. Jettison cargo. ~Audre Lorde

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What if some day or night a demon were to steal into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live and have lived it you will have to live once again and innumerable times again; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unspeakably small or great in your life must return to you, all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself…” ~Nietzsche

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a friendly platanito seller in the park. the kind of smile you welcome in the mornings.

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buying flowers
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eye contact

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Nietzsche’s demon, after all, comes to us when we are all alone, his question can be heard only in one’s “loneliest loneliness,” and therefore the answer cannot be given by consensus or on behalf of some impersonal institutions. It is, indeed, the most personal of answers — the one that always determines an individual choice. Of course you can choose anything you want, to raise children or get married, but don’t pretend to do it because these things have some sort of intrinsic value — they don’t. Do it solely because you chose them and are willing to own up to them. In the story of our lives, these choices are ours and ours alone, and this is what gives things, all things, value. Only when one realizes this is he or she prepared to face the eternal recurrence, the entire cycle, without the risk of being crushed. Only then is one able to say with Yeats, “[A]nd yet again,” and truly mean it. ~John J. Kaag

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a beautiful stranger walking by as i was taking pics of this mural in progress by gabriel dumani and hein. she stopped, smiled, posed, and then walked on without uttering a word. 

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i’d like to help this couple out, but i can’t be trusted with homemade liquor that i know nothing about.
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purple jeans made my day.

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street vendor leaning against his kiosk
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that mustache makes me uncomfortable. i’m sure he’s a nice guy, but…

 

Perhaps the hardest part of the eternal return is to own up to the tortures that we create for ourselves and those we create for others. Owning up: to recollect, to regret, to be responsible, ultimately to forgive and love. ~Kaag

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ticos like their subway sandwiches.

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every day is training day and don’t you forget it. 

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a tico walking by a crowd of tourists taking pictures of pigeons. 

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There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny. ~Pablo Neruda

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this guy is selling avocados illegally. i wouldn’t have known that had he not frantically blown past me with his avocado crate when two cops pulled up at the light. this pic was taken once he returned to his spot and the cops were out of sight. looking right at me. his eyes kinda saying “yeah, this is illegal. so what. buy some.”

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april 2019. San Jose, Costa Rica.

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA GRAFFITI: SOUN

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THERE ARE SO MANY PROLIFIC GRAFFITI WRITERS IN SAN JOSE; THEIR PIECES ARE EVERYWHERE! HERE ARE 10 PIECES FROM SOUN.

feb-apr2019. San Jose, Costa rica. 

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA GRAFFITI: VAPE

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THERE ARE SO MANY PROLIFIC GRAFFITI WRITERS IN SAN JOSE; THEIR PIECES ARE EVERYWHERE! HERE ARE 10 PIECES FROM VAPE. TO SEE MORE OF THIS ARTIST’S WORK: https://www.instagram.com/yxngvape/

feb-apr2019. san jose, costa rica. 

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: NATURAL MYSTIC (Bob Marley)

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i’ve tried to find the answers to all the questions they ask. i know it’s impossible to go living through the past.
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when the rain fall, it don’t fall on one man’s housetop.
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woe to the downpressors. they eat the bread of sad tomorrow.
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as a man sow, shall he reap. and i know that talk is cheap.
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are you satisfied with the life you’re living?
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every day we pay the price with a little sacrifice.
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i don’t want to wait in vain for your love.
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in life i know there’s lots of grief.
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let jah moon come shining in.
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don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing’s gonna be alright. 
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rise up this morning. smiled with the rising sun.
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is there a place for the hopeless sinner who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?

 

Captions = lyrics from Bob Marley’s “Exodus” album.

april 2019. San Jose, Costa Rica.