Saturday, October 19, 2013

On Language and Perspective
Cotopaxi, courtesy of wikipedia
Traveling anywhere long-distance always lends me new perspectives to try on about the size and complexities of our world. Seeing the highest place on earth, the volcano cotopaxi from the plane lent me one of those perspective shifts. She was towering above the night landscape, her snows illuminated by full-moon light. I had to cheer aloud from the sheer excitement she provoked in me. She is the highest volcano on earth, and near to the highest place, too.
 Humans are little in comparison to so much on earth, yet the impact of human actions can be immense. I felt tiny, with mixed emotions touching down in Ecuador/ 
At the sight of cotopaxi I was struck by its magnificence and moon-lit mystery/ her impact could be life-changing/ What impact will my journey be in a strange, but welcoming land?

It's day 2 of maybe 192/ I have found myself in Quito, a so-called 'dangerous city'. So far I feel grateful that the only street danger has been some uneven pavement and trying extra vigilantly not to be hit by cars/ I can sense some streets maybe shouldn't be walked down... But all that said we spent most of the days in the botanical garden where I made friends with the hardworking, fast speaking gardeners trying to understand more about plants useful for attracting or repelling types of insects. It's a bit special for me to finally be able to converse so readily in spanish, and about many topics. It's hard to believe that just one year ago I was crying in frustration that spanish was so difficult to pick up, and I could hardly understand anything.
Being in a place and not able to understand the people somehow pre-excludes a layer of reality from that place. Language creates reality in so many ways. Language and landscape are somehow deeply related.
Sure, there are aspects of sharing human experiences that go beyond languages; like laughter from being pushed and tickled today by the throngs of people in the ultra-packed public buses... but to be able to joke or share stories about place, pace, passion, dreams and history: for it, I feel humanly privileged. 
Now, I am in a friendly county. I am lucky for spanish which helps me feel connected to this place. I am welcoming any shifts in my perspective. I am abandoning the outdated, and welcoming the change// especially the change in clothes after being soaked through in the torrential, 10 minute long, downpour.
Viva ecuador! 

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