Monday, July 16, 2007

Dreams, disconnect, driving.

I dreamed in Spanish. It happened so softly, subconsciously, that I was hardly aware the words were Spanish until halfway through the next day when I remembered the dream. It is beautiful to dream in another language for the first time... I have been waiting for the moment since I first started taking Spanish classes. Fluency, here I come! Well, that might be another few years. Sin embargo, estoy mejor que estuve cuando llegue.

This picture is where I want to build a little house and live surrounded 360 degrees by mountain after layered mountain. The aldea is called Curaren, and the one we stayed at is Alubaren. When Spanish Catholic missionaries arrived in the 16th century they built arched and vaulted churches in the pueblos. Now soft green mold covers the old stones, and centuries have worn the faces from the figures of the saints inside. Still, I feel the stir of time and the certain original disconnect in the dusty air of the church. I sit in the grooves where indigenous Lenca sat and learned about a foreign God. I wonder how they felt as I recite the Padre Nuestro with them 500 years later. Catholicism is novel and strange to me, yet to the indigenous whose squat papagayo temples were replaced with vaulted European architecture? Change. What was it like? Now, though, what was unfamiliar has lost its sharp corners. The people go to mass, say the prayers, make the known familiar signs with the deft easy gestures of a woman flipping tortillas in a dark room. It is comfortable to them, yet a pinch of unease keeps my mind from slipping into the motion of mass.

I visited the aldeas with Mami Catuna (Leyla´s mother) and her two grandkids. We went on the 6 month anniversary of her father´s death for a type of memorial service. Her sister has an old Toyota diesel 4-wheel drive but can´t really drive. So we loaded in 10 passengers and I drove. It was about an hour each way to visit some more relatives, and the roads were pretty bad and steep. They told me that I will never forget the drive, and I´m pretty sure I never will. The kids were having a grand time bopping up and down from the bumps/more-like-trenches in the road, but I was clutching the wheel with white fear in my knuckles as I pounded the horn around every treacherous bend. It was raining and the windshield wipers didn´t work. I put the car in 1st gear most of the way, and somehow the car grappled its way there and back safely, depositing its relieved cargo ¨sana y salva¨as they say here. Safe and sound. What an adventure.

*Mami Catuna looking out over the city on the right.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Soñar es bella ¿no?

...aun mas en español.