Wednesday, April 11, 2007

settling down

i´m laughing a lot more nowadays. actually speaking understandable spanish, making conversation, doing my best to blend in. meeting people everywhere. i do get frustrated daily when i cant communicate, but that same frustration is reversed so quickly in moments when i can. its rainy season in bogota, so it rains nearly every day but all in all, this is still an incredibly beautiful city to me.

yesterday walking around the university, ran into bibiana angel, a really dedictated political science major determined to work for international human rights, specifically those in the war inflicted regions of colombia. people like this (and she is 1 of many examples) inspire me, and although i feel like theres little movement on my part compared to what shes doing, its still valuable. theres no need to feel lazy or inept, cause its not about that. anyway,..the can see it in her eyes. i want that same fire. that passion. while having lunch with her, ran into two more women from the states who work for an NGO out here, doing the same thing. we gets to talking, and all of us end up back at their place for wine and pasta, listening to Goodie Mob and talking about politics and life.

My camera broke so i have no pictures of Bibiana, Janice or Comila, but I´m kind of glad I dont. I´m now living in Bogota, instead of just visiting so i dont walk around snapping pictures like a tourist. I no longer stay in a hostel nor hang out with fellow foreigners. Ive got an apartment, and somewhat of a mission, and its a liberating feeling. In the absense of pictures, I´ve got more valuable stories forever ingrained in my memory. Stories that could not have existed had I only been passing through, like I did in most places Id traveled to prior to this moment..

that being said, here are the last pictures I have of Bogota before my camera sadly broke (big shout out to Samsung for deciding to dip over into the camera market without knowing sht about it).

and with writing..i mean, when i lived in Atlanta, I worked maybe 60 hours a week between two jobs and a social life, and still managed to write the novel which I never published. When i moved to NYC, and worked down on Wall Street (which seems like ages ago), I worked the same amount and even more when you add in the commute and stress, and I somehow managed to establish a semi-decent and well recieved group with a childhood friend of mine (matt shaw), the Analog Social Club and released a CD and plenty of music.

Now, not working at all for the past 3 months, seemingly all the time in the world, and I havent written a word, and havent produced much. Last few years, my head was buried in books, and now I barely have time to read. Its so strange. I´m not lazy though, just too busy living in the moment to care much for capturing it with "art". At times i feel like im being unproductive, but like everything, its all relative. for now, im a student of the world. studying hard.

the people i´ve met in my first few weeks here in Bogota, are all like shining stars. like personal angels or something. they all have something to teach me. be it guitar lessons, spanish(i still havent gotten in a class..i learn in the street), or words of wisdom. whts funny is that its the other travelers who have the words of wisdom, especially those in the latter parts of their journeys. those who are from here in Colombia have no idea they are imparting wisdom on me. theyre just being themselves..who they are, and im incredibly inspired by it.

one of the few Americans who Ive actually met and liked, Colin, (who is from colorado and has been traveling through latin america for the past 7 months, and counting) shared with me these 3 things he loves in life:

1- AWE....feeling genuinely overwhelmed by something
2- GRATITUDE...the genuine sentiment of being grateful for everything you have at any given moment
3- ENTHUSIASM...we all know what this is, but i feel like few of us excercise it ourselves, or realize how much we´re moved by other peoples excitement for things. makes you a believer.

and I shared with him what moves me the most..that being ADMIRATION. like when you meet someone or a type of person that you never knew existed. when i meet peole so free, so sure of themselves, so dedicated, so smart, so honest with themselves and the world. theres this humble warm feling which fills me with (1)awe, (2)gratitude and gives me energy (3-enthusiasm) whenever i experience something this.

and then on top of all this, theres are those, who continually suprise you the more you get to know them. like my own mother, for example. the more of her past that is slowly revealed to me as our relationship grows, the more i realize exactly why she is who she is. the thoughts above are all from people i´ve JUST met and immediately connected with. whats sometimes even more valuable, is watching where the relationships go with time.

and that being said, i truly miss everyone back in the States (minus our president), who have played a part in leading me here. Friends, Frat, Family, etc. Much love.

sorry for the book chapter...(i want a new camera..but mui costoso)