The City of the Fallen Women


Did you know there was more to traveling than sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll? Me neither! But, as it turns out, when you are in a foreign country you can sit in a church, look at art, listen to music, dance, drink ginger lemonade, wander through markets, watch parades, soak in Hot Springs, hike botanical gardens, draw, write, dream, wonder, wander, and try all of the tacos at the taco stands. 

You can even find yourself co-leading a retreat with beautiful artist Linda Laino, at Casa de la Noche, a former bordello in San Miguel de Allende AKA the City of the Fallen Women. Casa de la Noche even hosts a celebration of Saint Bridget, the Patron Saint of the Fallen Women, every February 1. Our group missed this particular holiday, but certainly found many ways to honor it.

We wrote our hearts out. We wrote about death and suicide and sex and mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and heartache. We wrote about affairs and divorce and second marriages and second chances and hope and love that never, ever dies. I wrote about not knowing where I’m going or what I’m writing about next, but what a miracle it is just to be here.

I have always been terrible at reading maps and here I am in a city where the streets wind and curve, where street names change suddenly and street numbers seem to be in no particular numerical order. My street alone has several number eights, one of which I am living in for a mind-blowing and luxurious two weeks. The sidewalks are perilously narrow with many sudden drop offs, steps and crags in beds of uneven cobblestones. One becomes accustomed to zig zagging in and out of the street along with the cars and taxis and trolleys and motorbikes and buses. Somehow the chaos seems to be in perfect order. Somehow I keep finding my way home.

The amazing thing about fallen women is how often they are able to get back up.

Valley HaggardComment