A mortar is forever
Comonfort, 5:00 p.m.
We came to Comonfort because we heard about the beauty of the altars at the parish church, and they promised us that we would see paintings by the famous Murillo, Juárez and Cabrera. Still entranced by the glitter of the gold leaf that illuminates the church, we were about to go back to San Miguel de Allende when stalls with stone objects caught my eye. "That's right, they explained, the mortars that half of Mexico uses are manufactured here". As an amateur chef, I got everyone to stop. I went over to one of the vendors, an elderly man who told me how they make their mortars and pestles. "First, miss, I find the stone in the forest. It is volcanic rock, did you know? We all have our own stone. There, we have to cut it to a size that we can manage. We have to use explosives to get it out. We find them in different colors: brown, blue or red, it depends. Then, if the stone allows legs and decorations, I spend a day or more carving the mortar, and also the pestle. The stone for grinding and its hands take less work, the stone just has to be flatter." I bought one of the mortars with that has stone that can be made with legs. When he handed it over to me, I noticed how much it weighed, and thought about the tremendous work that this craftsman had to do. As we parted, I remember that a mortar is for life.