A Fantasy House | Mexico | Living in Mexico

A Fantasy House

La Cieneguita (the little swamp) is a tiny satellite community of San Miguel. A few miles west of the city, it sits among meadows, woods and hot springs, attracting those who would like to live on a little acreage.

The pueblo itself consists of a line of poor houses strung along an old road, and a humble, decaying church that appears to be abandoned. The inhabitants have no apparent means of livelihood.

On a recent Sunday drive, Jean and I encountered an interesting gate along the road to La Cieneguita.

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The left door bears a toothy face and the right depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe. An arch over the gate contains an image resembling a foreshortened Jabba the Hut. A steer skull tops each gatepost.

Someone interesting lives here.

Peering through the gates, a pleasant garden of mesquites and native plants frames a view of distant farmland.

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This is a peaceful, quiet place. Until you see the house.

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A free spirit built this place. Rampant creativity. Style run amok. Unconstrained by convention, this is a home built solely to satisfy the whims and urges of one person. Nobody was considering "resale value" when designing it.

And a good thing, too. It's more art than house, and we spent a pleasant hour inspecting it from the outside. (No one was home, and I'm not sure we would have overcome our reluctance to disturb the occupants if they had been.)

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The place is jammed with wonderful details. A wall with faces...

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... a colorful fountain...

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... an arabesque tower...

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... and a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe adorned with wine bottles.

I admire the person who made this. He built a little spot that hums with good vibrations. As an old, linear-thinking engineer, standing there looking, I was oddly comforted by all that creativity.

Go figure.
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