June 28, 2008
Brightly colored walls, parellel to the cobblestones, wooden doors opening onto courtyards and gardens and open-air markets. I am in love with this city. Spanish colonialism brushes against the indiginous culture of the West Guatemalan Highlands with grand bright chipped arches and churches and convents, government buildings at a tilt, rubble, the earthquake of the mid-70s. And also women in radiant patterned textiles, so many layers, nursing their dark-eyed babies, wearing little bright coats and hats.
Last night Amaya and I went to a cafe and watched the end of Casino Royale with Spanish subtitles. Sipping a beer, Amaya turned to me in the dark, the sound of the street and local music and quickfast Spanish mixing with suave Bond, James Bond. "We're in Guatemala" she says. And I feel good, traveled, able to step back and look at how much there is to see and do and feel on this panet, how many passions and languages and peoples and cultures there are, everywhere. I forget about this sometimes, often, while living out my daily life. There is so much more to everything. So simple and complex, all at the same time.