Meet The Park
One of the wonderful things about Mexico, and the culture here, is the ever-present nod toward the spiritual, the ancient, the unknowable answers we all seek. The indigenous people of Mexico have, as do their neighbor tribes to the north, deeply-rooted beliefs in the interconnectedness of all things. This idea that we are all divinely placed in amongst the other parts of the ecosystem. That Mother Earth holds us sweetly in her hand, and we work in harmony with her, and with our fellow inhabitants, toward peace. Symmetry. Ease.
Herbal medicine is very prevalent in Mexico, as is the understanding that food is medicine. For example it seems everyone here knows papaya seeds are great for digestion, and they take steps accordingly. Same with nopales, cactus paddles. Loaded with nutrition, they are actually the base for the green juice many of us drink every morning. Our bodies need what the earth provides, and this understanding seems more apparent in the behavior of folks here.
Ayahuasca is a powerful, very potent ceremonial drink which has long been used as medicine in many Latin American countries. The active component is DMT, which is present everywhere in nature, including humans. When directly ingested DMT will send anyone, and most certainly humans, on quite a trip.
DMT is said to put a person closer to a state of nirvana, an innate understanding of that interconnectedness I was just talking about, allowing you to rest sweetly in the palm of our Mother’s hand. Peyote, and peyote ceremonies, are extremely important to the indigenous Huichol people. Peyote offers adventurers that same glimpse of divinity, that same lesson in Oneness, in a slightly different package.
Yes, the fabric of life in Mexico is definitely one of harmony with Mother Nature and of spiritual engagement. The importance of that plant, flower or herb… importance not just to you, but to the whole ecosystem. Symmetry. Order. Everything in its right place.
“Did you know there’s a hallucinogenic toad that’s only found in Mexico, whose glands contain the power to heal a person’s mind, and the thing is totally loaded with DMT? That’s amazing.” says Nat, while she and I are touring the park one day. I have no idea how we arrived on this topic, but she and I both talk and move fast, and often have a lot to get through when we meet, so long ago I stopped asking silly questions like “how did we get here?” We’re a whirlwind of ideas and activity and we’re just here. And the topic right now is drug toads. Work it out girl.
I love that in Mexico, a land which is so fluent in that language of the ecosystem we are all a part of, is where you’ll find the Magic Kumbaya Frog. Of course it would only be found here, the frog that makes us all One. Of course Nat would think that’s cool, all she’s ever doing is bringing people together.
Natasha, steeped in Mexican heritage such as she is, is all about the symbolism… interconnectedness... the hidden gems in things and people. So when it came to the design of it, this park did not stand the remotest chance at being unaffected by all the sacred geometry and psychedelic frogs she’s got rolling around in that head of hers.
There is a story behind just about every little thing here at the Tile Park. Yin and yang, light and dark, there is order and symmetry everywhere in what seems like chaos. There are secrets, messages and signs hidden all over the place. I could tell you all about them, but as the saying goes, I’d have to kill you.
I can tell you some anyway.
Those with a keen eye may have already picked up on the fact that there are dark versions and light versions of some pieces, placed on opposite sides of the park. But the park is not just divided in half, it’s actually quartered. We’ve been focusing a lot of effort toward the west end of the park, but we still have the whole east side with its two corners yet to go.
Even if your eye is not so keen, you’ve likely noticed there is a gazebo in the center of the park. And now that you know the park is divided into quarters, that of course means the gazebo too is quartered. While the park’s outside corners offer a nod to the light and the dark, each quarter of the gazebo is dedicated to a natural element: earth, wind, fire and water. Look closely next time you’re in the park and you’ll see distinct offerings to each of these very important aspects of our shared existence
Vortexes are believed to carry a healing energetic vibration about them, and depending on their design they hold different meanings. We have two in the park so far, a Spiral vortex and a Torus vortex.
That amazing black and white spiral vortex in the northwest corner has great significance about it. A spiral vortex invites the idea of revolution, change, revolving, evolving. Comprised of 21 white and 21 black lines, this vortex offers significance on a numerology level too. The number 21 is associated with creative self-expression and inspiration, as well as promoting optimism and healthy relationships. It invites us on a journey into ourselves. Self-reflection.
Hummingbirds signify freedom, and the park has a light one and a dark one. Because no matter where you fall on that light/dark spectrum, we all need wings to fly. We all deserve to feel free, unencumbered, wild.
Near the hummingbirds, bookending the seating area of the theatre, you’ll find light and dark versions of what Natasha affectionately calls “the fingers”. Imagine a gargantuan Muppet-esque creature beneath the stairs, holding the whole thing up from underneath, Atlas-like, only his fingers and nails visible, each more oddly-sized and colored than the one next to it. In my head he looks kind of like Mr. Snuffleupagus and Animal had a baby.
Note the blue finger with yet another baby vortex and the addition of 3 circles: a widely recognized symbol of peace.
And of course we have all the benches throughout the park, almost 70 in total, that will each tell their own story. You might already know this, but when you sponsor a bench, you provide the story and the design for it. Your sponsorship actually comes with a private workshop too, so you can do the tiling yourself if you wish. In the coming seasons, we’ll highlight some of these really special people and the unique stories behind their benches.
Take for instance this one, which many folks think is a very Georgia O-Keefe-esque flower.
It’s actually the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings. Why? Stay tuned my friend.
Just as the idea that we are all connected is so deeply rooted in life here in Mexico, it is rooted in the Tile Park too. This park is everyone’s park, and the groundwork of inclusion and peace is woven right into the design. It is a place of balance and healing, connection and love. It honors the light in all of us, and the dark too. It invites you in and bestows you with gifts. It is a place to go for inspiration, and a place to share it too.
It’s our home. Welcome home.