Carrie asked me if I was going to write about Colombia. She talked to me about being wary about starting a journal because she was afraid it’d be too direct of a line into her heart, being, and thoughts. I feel a little the same way. That something like this cannot be written.
She asked me what I remembered.
I remember the clouds. They were heavy, yet hovering, like the most tangible air, the most touchable nothing. The shadows on the bellies of each, the sunlight illuminating their torsos. I remember that they meant rain, or sunset, or dawn. They laid billowing against the horizon, never thin enough to hide, always coming in or leaving. They left their footprints on the sunlight, and the sailboats wandered around in their wake.
I remember the smell. It didn’t smell humid, it smelled fresh like the sea and the jungle. and the mountains. I remember the smell of corn cooking. I remember the scent of seafood and of traffic and of laughter. The slowing of time.
I remember the wind, and the motortaxis, and walking barefoot on the sand. I remember the hotness of being burned, of flesh on fire and dancing to the cool safety of the ocean. I remember how the skirts flew, how our hearts fluttered and turned. I remember how the ocean soaks up anger, how the salt dries and hides tears and wandering fingers. How only joy exists in the water, and it is more difficult to keep joy away when you feel the sea chasing you. I remember the waves bringing sand into my swimsuit, I remember the sand pouring out from under us.
I remember the water. I remember the water seeping into the cracks of my skin, the space between us, my eyes and ears and nose. I remember how to float on my back, and how the ocean sounds when my ears are swimming in it. I remember the exhaustion of racing in the waves, swimming with exhilaration alongside an old man who swam with such tranquility.
I remember the old men, the little children, the tents, the hammocks, and the dogs.
I remember the rain in my face.
I remember the burn of walking up mountains. I remember the heat on the buses. I remember the density of patience and friendship. I remember the colors.
I remember how they dance for passion there. I remember how they step together because it’s what they feel, not what they want to show off. I remember the music. I remember being held captive by movement, which is a curious feeling,
,because the only risk of going there is wanting to stay.