The Little Gypsy

I cleaned out my bookcase today, and found a book that I thought to be lost; actually it had simply slipped down behind some of the bigger tomes up front.

The missing volume that I happily repatriated to the “México” section was “Peregrina,” Alma Reed’s account of her years in México and her love affair with the governor of Yucatán in the 1920s. I discovered “Peregrina” hiding underneath a big coffee table book, “Italian Painting.” If I didn’t know that books cannot teleport, I would suspect that Alma had decided to take a little holiday and placed herself there. Or maybe she had an argument with her shelf-mate Frida Kahlo?

In Yucatán, Ms. Reed is considered to be one of the classic femmes fatales. Governor Felipe Carillo Puerto, by most accounts, had been on his way to an assignation with her when he was ambushed and killed by political rivals. The story of Alma and Felipe can hold its own next to the country’s other mythical romances like: Frida and Diego, La Malinche and Cortez, and Carlota and Maximiliano.

Mexico’s history is peppered with women like Alma. Whether they were born in the country, or arrived as young women looking for adventure, they created a genre all their own. Passion was the warp thread, and bravery, the weft that wove their life tapestries. What made them this way?

I believe the culprit to have been the little gypsy – that quiet but insistent voice we all have inside… the one that challenges us to be more than we are. The little gypsy tells us we should paint, act on stage, or write books or learn to Tango. She doesn’t insist, but if we don’t pay her heed, she makes us feel dissatisfied with ourselves.

When we listen to her, she opens up our hearts and souls, and gives us the unique experiences that we forever after repeat, relive and relish.  For the rest of our lives, we are changed.

And the little gypsy loves México. Here, where its warm, where music swirls all around, where bold color is the only kind of color and sensuous textures surround us… she whispers and waits for us to listen and let her out.

Photos: My thanks to Google Images…



Filed under Vida Latina

8 responses to “The Little Gypsy

  1. Deanna Lagroix

    Hmmmm……….to learn to grow that gypsy in us……..!

  2. Alas for the dull historical facts… Alma Reed was in the United States shopping for her trousseau when Carillo Puerto was killed. Which, in some ways, makes the story more poignant.

  3. Such an interesting idea, Joanna–the gypsy within us. I’ll be thinking of that for some time.

    The song about Alma Reed, too, is lovely. Sure hope the workers next door like it, because my two versions might be playing for some time this afternoon. “Peregrina, que dejaste tus lugares….”

  4. So that’s who’s responsible! Thanks for giving her a name. I am looking forward to reading Peregrina – I’m sure we have it here somewhere as well.

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