Wisdom Can’t Adhere

In my last post I mentioned the lack of respect for wisdom and experience that I feel here in Cancun. There’s a deeper level to this than just problems with retailers.

I sometimes feel that living here I myself can’t get wiser, can’t gain wisdom. I feel that I spend so much of my energy here just trying to live a “normal” life that there isn’t extra time for study or reflection and there isn’t cultural support for growth. I feel that the problems I have because I live here are often so big, so un-fixable and so ultimately hopeless that the only way I could prove to myself that I was taking a positive step forward, that I was using my wisdom, would be to pack up and leave.

The shortsightedness in the way Cancun businesses are run is just the beginning, just the tip of the iceberg. The bigger issue is the way that society operates here. Life is hard enough here that you have to become selfish and shielded in order to survive here. And so most people think only about themselves, they don’t concern themselves with the betterment of society, they don’t concern themselves with other people’s well-being and they don’t value (or even notice) the wisdom of those around them.

Of course I’m generalizing. Of course I can name 10 people right now who do care about others and to whom wisdom does adhere. But I can name 100 who are so self-involved, so stuck in the rut of just surviving here that they are not learning, are not getting ahead, not helping make this a better place. It makes me really sad. And it makes me question my own judgment for staying here this long.

[Before you bitch at me that I should pack up and leave let me say that you are right, and we plan to, but we need to finish some projects, sell the house and plan the move. And it will probably take us a year to get out of here. So in the meantime, I’m here, like it or not.]

As I was thinking about this lack of wisdom issue the lyrics to Pearl Jam’s song “Immortality” kept running through my head. So I thought I would share the song with you (especially with Susan and Joyce). The video is here and the lyrics are below. This song is rumored to be about the suicide of Kurt Cobain. The video a little rough, but Eddie is masterful as always and Mike’s guitar solo will make you remember that there is a God. Enjoy.

Immortality by Pearl Jam

vacate is the word…vengeance has no place on me or her
cannot find the comfort in this world
artificial tear…vessel stabbed…next up, volunteers
vulnerable, wisdom can’t adhere…
a truant finds home…and a wish to hold on…
but there’s a trapdoor in the sun…immortality…
as privileged as a whore…victims in demand for public show
swept out through the cracks beneath the door
holier than thou, how?
surrendered…executed anyhow
scrawl dissolved, cigar box on the floor…
a truant finds home…and a wish to hold on too…
he saw the trapdoor in the sun…
i cannot stop the thought…i’m running in the dark…
coming up a which way sign…all good truants must decide…
oh, stripped and sold, mom…auctioned forearm…
and whiskers in the sink…
truants move on…cannot stay long
some die just to live…

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11 Responses to “Wisdom Can’t Adhere”

  1. Joyce
    June 29th, 2008 22:20

    Ohh Eddie. Eddie, Eddie, Eddie.

    My situations were different than yours, both of them, but one unwaivering thought always in my head while living there was just that – my brain is not being used enough and is turning to mush. Even while “working” there – it wasn’t stimulating enough for what my brain needs. And you have a lot more going on than I ever had there. It really is an amazing thing once you return to an environment that supports everything you need. You know I always wish you good luck with that plan.

    Ohhhh Eddie.

  2. Scott Bulger Photography
    June 30th, 2008 06:31


    Do your feeling extend to the rest of the peninsula as well? Say, Merida or Progresso? or are they limited to Cancun and the immediate vicinity?

  3. RiverGirl
    June 30th, 2008 09:49

    Thanks Joyce!

    Scott – I really don’t know. I think Cancun has unique cultural problems, it’s got lots of tourists who are not invested in this place, a booming economy (so it has uncontrolled growth) and a largely transient population. I think Merida is more stable population-wise and probably a lot of the things that hurt me about the culture here are not even present there.

    I haven’t lived elsewhere in Mexico (yet), so i don’t know if other places would give me more of what I need. I know that Cancun is just simply too shallow for me. Not to say I haven’t made deep friendships here, because I have. But this place doesn’t sustain me.

  4. Islaholic Trixie
    July 1st, 2008 06:52

    So do you think the selfishness comes from Cancun being such a tourist destination. The mindset that “we will never see these people again so let’s take from them what we can while they are here?”
    Don’t let your mind be a waste while you are there. You seem to be such a smart gal with a lot to offer and I love reading your blog.
    Hope to meet you some day before you leave Cancun.

  5. RiverGirl
    July 1st, 2008 09:35

    Trixie – I think you are right, that lots of this has to do with the fact that people don’t worry about keeping clients, they just want the sale now.

    Also I think that people need to be selfish here because it’s so hard to live here. If you don’t have your own needs met you can’t be generous.

  6. Susan in Cancun
    July 1st, 2008 11:53

    Since my name and Eddie Vedder’s were mentioned in the same post, I think that clearly makes this your best blog entry EVER! 😉

    Thanks for the Eddie fix. Sigh…

  7. RiverGirl
    July 1st, 2008 12:11

    Susan – We aim to please…I’ve got another PJ post coming tomorrow…

  8. kathy
    July 2nd, 2008 10:39

    Ok, I am going to be completely frivolous because I read the first word of the lyrics, “vacate” and stopped. What the hell could that mean? Cow yourself? And just as instantly I remembered, Oh yeah! ENGLISH! Must mean something unrelated to reflexion and cows. 🙂

  9. kathy
    July 2nd, 2008 10:42

    Oh, and to address the rest of your post, we are terribly spoiled here as our neighbors are a mixed couple – a Meridiana and an Spaniard, both bhuddists and speaking very little English so our conversations are always philosophical and in Spanish. After a couple of those I need to give my brain a rest. 🙂

  10. Mary
    July 3rd, 2008 05:28

    Funny, but when I’m looking for someone to talk to (okay, listen to) I come to the blogs. I’m on my way south, and after a while, folks up here in the frozen tundra just don’t want to hear it anymore.
    I realize blogging isn’t the same as having a best friend or two to have cafe with every morning, but it’s a network.
    It made me sad to hear you so depresssed. If I were there, I’d have you over for coffe and venting…..

  11. RiverGirl
    July 5th, 2008 17:46

    Thanks Mary, that coffee sounds good! Have a safe trip down my dear.

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