Friday, July 4, 2014

Rain on My Parade

It’s the Fourth of July. I picture friends in the States enjoying picnics, town parades and fireworks, while here the scene from my window is dull and grey. Rain is predicted. On the street, people are bundled in coats and woolen scarves, dogs sport capes and wild canaries sing in the treetops as they peck at seed pods. Winter is definitely here, and I work to avoid the doldrums. On these cold, dreary days, I have the unfortunate habit of nibbling on cookies and nuts as I alternate my activities between writing and reading.
I've just begun reading “The Luminaries”, a novel of over eight hundred pages, which I hope will keep me entertained for several weeks. Everyday I scan the newspaper for announcements of concerts and exhibits in order to avoid wintertime stagnation of the mind and spirit. Last week I went downtown alone to view the four-hour-long documentary "At Berkeley." Familiar, beloved campus landscapes triggered nostalgia. The focus of the film - how a public institution can maintain its high standards with decreasing state financial support and, yet, keep tuition rates down - was highly relevant to the attempts at the controversial educational reform here in Chile.
 A few days ago my friend Liliana and I boarded the metro to downtown. The mix of passengers in the metro immediately fuels the creative juices, while downtown Santiago is another world, call it the real world, when compared to our neck of the woods. At the magnificent Museo de Bellas Artes we viewed an exhibit of the Chilean photographer Sergio Larrain. Each of his black and white photographs captures a precise visual moment in time that will never be repeated. His work highlights the great importance of paying attention, particularly to the little things. Feet seemed to hold a special attraction for him, and I understand how they convey emotion, yet are open to the interpretation of the observer. His series depicting the street children of Santiago is disturbing and thought-provoking.

Hubby is off with a group of friends to watch the two World Cup matches. Colombia is playing Brazil at the moment and I will soon go watch the match. Having lived in Colombia for two years, you can imagine where my loyalties lie. I have the television tuned to the game and just heard “GOOOOOOL!” Brazil 1- Colombia 0. Come on Colombia, light your fires!
Oh.Oh.Now it's 2-0.

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