Friday, December 27, 2013

Some Things From Colombia

1. Many toilets do not have seats and only a thin porcelain rim.
2. Bring mosquito repellent and bring more, if you can, shower in it daily.
3. Thumbs up are used to greet people, but they are cocked to the side and arm out stretched, and a "Todo bien" is added.
4. Girls of all sizes wear wildly printed leggings with shirts that don't cover their butts as they walk with wide strides down the street in Converse. Men watch as they jiggle down the street.
5. Everyone has a dog and they walk the everywhere or even have them ride on their motorcycle pink tongues waving "Todo Bien" to oncoming traffic.
6. Children are sandwiched between adults as they weave in out of traffic on motorcycles.
7. Did I mention there are a lot of motorcycles?
8. There is traffic everywhere at every time of the day and motorcyclist weave in and out traffic with a buzz like bees adding to the never silent city noise.
9. Everyone greets one another all the time, if you don't it's rude.
10. If at a party it takes 20 mins to greet everyone because a hug and kiss is given to everyone present. Good-bye takes even longer.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crepuscular Rays: Rays of Sunlight that Appear to Radiate From the Point in the Sky Where the Sun is Located

When I was a child, between the ages of six and eight, I remember trying to stare at the sun. My mom and  grandma Ita, told me, "Don't stare at the sun, you'll go blind!" But still, I tried to stare.

I stared through warm red flesh tinted eyelids. They trembled as I tried not to open them against the sun's heat, knowing if I did I would squint and my eyes would water.

I stared on cloudy days as the sun's arms poked in and around light gray puffs of teasing rain clouds.

I stared as close as could on cloudless days until my eyes stung and watered from the brightness. The small muscles around my eyes contracted into one another as if hugging my eye in protection.

"Mom, I can look at the sun with sunglasses on!"
"No you can't! You'll go blind!" she said exasperated.

I stared through tinted sunglasses but tried to look in and around the brightest spot, well, because I didn't want to go blind, but I wanted to see the sun. This big mysterious thing in the sky that warmed my skin and made me hate it later in the summers as beads of sweat formed across the tan bridge of my nose and upper lip.

Mostly though, I remember lying back on the denser parts of El Paso park crab grass, or against the cool concrete of my Ita's porch, and closing my eyes. I tried to imagine the sun through my reddish eyelids; round, warm, it's rays of light soft as they hugged me.