Life is a hand of cards issued by a crooked casino, and where, eventually, the house always wins. Before reaching that inevitable end, some of us are lucky enough to win with the combinations given to us. Others still, use skill, deceit, charm, or perseverence to win despite the cards given to them.
Our lives are dictated by the hand we are given and the intersubjective structures we have created in our society, whether that be capitalism, socialism, welfare, tax-breaks, transport, technology, ideology or virtual-reality, cannot issue you cards that are not in the deck. We are bound by the parametres of our existence; we do not exist outside of the material reality we inhabit just as we cannot imagine a colour that doesn’t already exist.
My partner and I were handed reasonable cards, ones which on the grand scheme of things enable us to feel lucky in relation to most of the players on the table. With the cards in our hands we took our chance and moved out of the United Kingdom to spend six months in Mexico. Merida in the Yucatan to be exact: the Mayan kingdom of a state with Aztec and Colonial rulers.
Both in our early 30s, we have found ourselves at a time in which big decisions are being taken; decisions which transcend us one from a world of plurality into a life of coherent singularity. In this process of singularisation, options dwindle and morph into one life path, and to ensure we are embarking on the right one, we have set-off on a new adventure.
Mexico is a fascinating country, a huge state, whose characteristics have been carved out by centuries of war, conquest, revolution and present-day violence. The modern iteration of the Mexican state has attempted to embalm the wounds of society by unleashing the ‘modernity’ of neo-liberalism and has sanitised them by developing the tourist industry. As all medical procedures that concentrate on surface wounds, the layered reality of the country oozes through the cracks left behind by an incomplete job. In the cracks there is a smell, there is a noise and there is a way of being that seems alien and even dangerous to the outside world. However, it appears to me, that within these cracks, the crux of Mexico, or what it means to be Mexican, lives.