Alfonso Provides CLUES On Treasure Hunting

Additional Clues–Or–Grasping at Straws

Our Quaker friend suggested, “Tomorrow we should walk to the Zocalo and stop at Bellas Artes.  The Zocalo is Mexico City’s central plaza where the National Palace is located. From excavations in the Zocalo area its importance and history is evident dating from the earliest indigenous populations. On the way we will pass the newest Diego Rivera Museum.”

 Since my cousin required that we walk a short distance and then stop so that she could rest and recoup, it provided me several opportunities to establish specific points along our path to note the distance and direction from our accommodations. 

As we made our way, I became aware of a particular scent that caught my attention. We entered this area to get a schedule of events for the month of November that would be taking place at the Centro Cultural Jose Marti. My cousin, needing to rest, was glad to sit while I walked around the area to discover the source of the scent. Our Boston friend was the first to spot some smoke blowing, and we concluded that the scent was coming from an incense burner.

As I approached the source of the smoke, I saw a man, with a cloth spread out on the ground, surrounded by group of people. I returned and shared what I had seen, “There is man who appears to be doing some type of ritual that requires the incense. Let’s go see what is happening.”

My cousin declined to go with me to investigate the ritual being performed, “I am content to wait on this park bench and you go and investigate the ritual being performed.”

Our Boston friend kept my camera saying, “I will take pictures from a distance.”

As I approached, I saw the man had his head wrapped with a bandana, there was an incense burner that he kept lit, a bag of incense, a carton with several eggs, some limes, several wooden knives, and a mat decorated with symbols of circles. I no longer remember the specifics or rationale for the ritual; but I did find out that it required that the man use the eggs while burning the incense. He motioned me to stand by the mat with the circles. I seemed unable to understand his instructions, so he gently moved me showing how he wanted me oriented. I stood where he placed me; he picked up an egg that he began to rub on parts of my body while chanting words specifically related to where he rubbed the egg. As he rubbed the egg over my eyes, which I had to close, he chanted words saying, “Take away the lagrimas, tears of sadness, to restore the sight”.

I was trying to remember the words he chanted, as he rubbed the backside, both sides, and the top of my head, then my shoulders, and stomach. When he rubbed the egg round my head and chest, the words he chanted were directed at bringing peace and harmony to the world. He rubbed the egg on my legs and feet and then said, “Hold out your hand.”

He placed the egg and a lime in my hands saying, “This is to cleanse you.”

Then, holding out a bag he indicated, “Throw the egg in the bag and keep the lime in your pocket for a week.”

He emphasized, “You must keep the lime in your pocket for seven days to fulfill the cleansing.”

 Next, he took one of the knives and rubbed it down my legs and feet saying, “Take away the illness.”

 I wondered if he somehow knew, although I had not shared that I had sprained my ankle a few a months before this trip.

He completed the cleansing and I asked, “What is your name?”

“I am Alfonso.”

 I introduced myself and we shook hands. “Alfonso what do I owe you?”

 ”Whatever you want to give me.” I paid him with pesos.

 ”Alfonso, Why the eggs?”

He replied, “The egg is the complete representation of the life cycle.”

 ”What about the incense? What is its purpose?”

 He shared, “Burning the copal, incense, is critical for me to be effective.”

“Alfonso, can I buy some of the copal?”  He smiled took some of the copal and indicated that he was pleased to share it with me at no cost.

Alfonso told me how to use the copal that burns very hot. “Copal is incense which has been in use since the days of the Mayan and used by many other ancient civilizations.”

 It has now been several years, I still have the copal that I got from Alfonso, and am waiting to burn it on the day of celebration, which is when I know that I have completed the Treasure Hunt and have shared the message that my ancestors are requiring of me.

 

Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alemeda Park

Like so many children, I loved going with my family to the Alemeda Park. When the man who sold ballons came, I always experieced the same dream. If I could buy all his ballons, I was sure that they would lift me up and up, until I would be like a bird looking down over all the people and seeing most of the park at one once. Perhaps, this explains why I’ve always liked Diego Rivera’s fresco which shows him enjoying the Alemeda Park.

This brings us back to the story about my dad:

During the two and a half weeks of vacation, a series of synergistic events confirmed a commitment that would alter my life. I had tried to visit the Diego Rivera Museum for several days, but found it closed to the public due to renovations. Finally, the museum was open to the public. I eagerly entered and began to record the experience using my camera. As I clicked photos of the famous Dream of Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Park, 1947-48, a plaque to one side of the Fresco stood out. I clicked the photo, and then became aware of the contents printed on the plaque. The information seemed to jump out like a neon sign. The plaque listed my father as one of the artist who worked on the fresco. I asked the museum guard how the information on the plaque had been confirmed.  Pointing to the plaque, I said,” it is acknowledging my father’s work on the Fresco!”

The guard replied that I should speak with the Director of the Museum and escorted me to the second floor. The Director was in a meeting and I was guided to a sitting area with a large table and offered a refreshment. The secretary later returned offering me a book, written by Américo Sánchez Hernández, which she said I might find interesting to at look while I waited.[1]  The book had several citations and a section dedicated to my father.  I was enthralled with the information I was reading, when I became aware of a man who was taking a seat across from me. I do not recall how we began a conversation. I was only aware that this person knew so much about my father, sharing specifics that I had not heard. At least one time I asked if I could use my camera to record a short video, while he repeated facts that he just shared.

He seemed pleased at my interest in the book the secretary had provided me. After what seemed only minutes into the conversation, he suggested I contact the author of the book and the artists mentioned in the sections discussing my father’s involvement in the frescos produced in Mexico and the United States. He provided me with information to contact these individuals. When the secretary returned informing the man that the Director was free to meet with him, he invited me to join in their meeting. The Director of the museum expressed gratitude for his supporting their project in developing a new video updating information for the public about Diego and his frescos. What an incredible experience to be listening to the development and viewing the video being created about something that was such a part of my heritage. I was totally accepted and yet only moments before I had not known anyone present, the artist, the Director of the museum, or the producer of the video. It was difficult to encompass the series of phenomenonal events unfolding, where I like Alice in Wonderland had fallen, and found myself in the world of the Mexican Muralists. A place that was a new unfolding adventure and yet an environment I could recall having experienced as a child.


[1]Hernádez, Américo Sánchez. Andamios y Muros: Ayudantes de Diego Rivera en su obra mural. Mexico,D.R. Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 2001.


Invitation: Listen, Share and Comment on Pod Cast

Picture of my mother and father featured in Snap Judgment’s the pod cast.

Visit — http:snapjudgement.org

Seeking – Snap #407  number 4

Apr 05, 2013 The following is quote from Snap Judgement’s web site:

An all NEW Snap!  We proudly present
“Seeking,” amazing stories from people searching for
that which they may never find . .

Rocio Flores was raised in Coyoacan, Mexico. Her father, Andres Sanchez Flores, was an assistant to Diego Rivera, and she spent her childhood hanging out with Frida Kahlo. But it all was ripped away from her when she mysteriously moved to the middle of nowhere in the United States. The reasoning behind her move is a mystery that goes unsolved for almost 50 years.

Producer: Stephanie Foo

Read Rocio’s article about her father and see pictures of his gorgeous work at Rocio’s blog.” (rociofloresmoss.blog.com)

“Intro” in Spanish and Broadcast News!

I’m now posting the Spanish version of the “Introduction”, previously posted, from the article to published in Mexico with the title “Andres Sanchez Flores: Three Aspects of the Life and Work of My Father”. I thank each of you that have commented on posts and will reply as soon I learn how that it is done.

News: Information regarding my writing articles and Series about the Artists/Artistas will be broadcast on NPR. I understand one can find out if it is being aired on your local station by checking Goggle snapjudgment.org. I will update more specifics as I receive them.

Andrés Sánchez Flores: Tres Aspectos de la Vida y Trabajo de Mi Padre

                                                              Introducción

Toda búsqueda de aventuras y caza de tesoros tiene un comienzo, un catálisis, que inspira a su protagonista a completar su búsqueda. Mi catálisis sucedió en la Ciudad de México al experimentar una serie de eventos en el lugar y el momento precisos. En el 2007 regrese a México y visite lugares que fueron muy significantes en mi niñez, el famoso Palacio de Bellas Artes y la Alameda. Recuerdo cuando mi mamá nos llevo a mi hermano y a mí a visitar a mi papá quien trabajaba en esos lugares. Coyoacán “El Lugar de los Coyotes” era parte del itinerario de viaje, yo estaba muy emocionada de regresar al lugar que vio nacer.

El primer lugar que visite fue el Museo Nacional de Antropología. El inmenso Museo consiste en Salas de exhibición permanentes cada una dedicada a un grupo cultural como los Mixtecas, Olmecas, Mayas y otras civilizaciones. El primer lugar que visité fue el Museo Nacional de la Antropología. El Museo inmenso consiste en Salas de exhibición permanentes cada una dedicada a un grupo cultural antiguo como los Mixtecas, Olmecas, Mayas y otras civilizaciones. La primera Sala exhibía temporalmente piezas antiguas de las primeras civilizaciones y el arte de Diego Rivera. La exhibición me pareció muy interesante puesto que tenía joyería de las culturas pre-Hispánicas. Había visto a Frida Kahlo y mi madre usar joyas similares. Tomé fotos del Diego Códice Burbónico, (un libro de las primera civilizaciones) cual era parte de la colección de Diego, porque tales trabajos habían sido una parte del ambiente de mi niñez cuando viví en Coyoacán.

Cuando salía de la exhibición, di vuelta a la esquina y vi un cartel de tamaño natural donde aparecen Diego Rivera, mi padre, y otro artista pintando un mural. Tomé una foto de la escena, una vista familiar que no había mirado desde el tiempo que de mi niñez cuando vivía en México. Intenté contener mi entusiasmo para tomar una segunda foto. De repente sentí como si alguien me agarro el corazón con sus manos y lo exprimía con fuerza. También en ese momento, seguramente mi papá estaba allí dándome la bienvenida a mi hogar, “Estas donde perteneces, y aquí es donde necesitas estar “.

Leí la citación en el fondo del cartel: Diego Rivera pintando el mural ‘el agua de la vida’ en el Cárcamo del río Lerma, Chapultepec-Colección Fundación Televisa. Supe en ese momento que iba a buscar la pista del cartel y Chapultepec a donde quiere que me llevara.

Welcome/Bienvenidos to the art world!

Photograph of Diego Rivera painting the  mural  ‘the water of life’ in the
Cárcamo of the Lerma River, Chapultepec–Coleccion of Televisa Foundation. Photograph
taken by Rocio Flores Moss at National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City, November 2007

Welcome to  the world of artists/ Bienvenidos al mundo de artistas!

“Introduction

All journeys and treasure hunts have a beginning, a catalyst, which inspire and require the seeker to complete their search. For me the catalyst was a series of events of finding myself inMexico City at the right place at just the right moment. Mexico on vacation and planned to visit the famous sites like National Palaceof Bellas Artes and the Alameda, which had been a significant part of my childhood experience. I remembered my mother taking me and my brother to see my
father who was working at these sites. Coyoacán, ‘the place of the Coyotes’,was part of the trip itinerary and I looked forward  to returning to this my birthplace.

The first site I visited was the NationalMuseum of Anthropology. The immense Museum consists of permanent exhibit areas each dedicated to a specific ancient cultural group such as the Mixtecs, Olmecs, Mayas and others. The first Sala, in which the display is not permanent, was exhibiting Diego Rivera’s collection of artifacts from the ancient civilizations and some of his artwork. I found the exhibit very interesting since it had jewelry from the pre-Hispanic cultures which I identified with having seen Frida Kahlo and my mother wear similar jewelry. I took pictures of Diego’s Códice Burbónic because such works had been a part of childhood environment when I lived in Coyoacán.

As I was exiting the room, I turnedthe corner and I saw a life size poster of Diego Rivera, my father, and another artist painting a mural. I took a picture of the scene, a familiar sight I had not seen since the time I was a young child living in Mexico. I tried to contain my excitement as took a second picture. Suddenly it felt like someone grabbed my heart in their hands and were squeezing it hard. Also in that moment, I was sure that my father was there to welcome me home, “You are where you belong, and this is where you need to be”.

I read the citation at the bottom of the poster: Diego Rivera painting the mural ‘the water of life’ in the Cárcamo of the River Lerma, Chapultepec. I knew at   that moment I would seek where the clue regarding the poster and Chapultepec would lead me.”

This is my First Attempt to Blog: The  “Introduction” is for an article to be published in Mexico. My next posting will provide this Intro  in Spanish  and much more.