So it's official. We're throwing a crazy party on the 11th of March. It's Called Yes!
Sean Kosa on Electro
Justin Flower on Trance
Pat Pourri on House
I'm doing a slideshow, and various other visual artists are going to be hitting the scene. More to come on that. Until then there's la Nuit Electronik, Saturday at monument national.
Here's an anecdote from living in Guatemala:
Two Words at a Time
That sweet, cold river snakes through the jungle, along the lush banks of Lanquin, sourced from Las Grutas, the spiritual focal point of the local Mayan tradition. There are a few things that always happen there, regular as the drips of mineral water that construct stalactite columns the size of buildings. The wild, galloping rains come and go with the rhythm of the sun: a rhythm fully and necessarily adopted by the Qek’chi. The soccer ball bounces endlessly around the pitch under the discerning watch of tiny Abuelas, keeping an eye on the conduct and defense skills of their grandchildren. Every morning the ropey men go to the fields, machetes in hands. Every evening the silent eruption of bats descends mercifully from the caves to quell armies of nameless, biting bugs.
Everybody there speaks at least functional Spanish. But that’s not their tongue. Even five hundred years of colonization hasn’t yet robbed Lanquin of its pride and its rhythm. Every day I learned a new word of Qek’chi. Sometimes I couldn’t imagine how they kept themselves, versus highways rumbling across Alta Verapaz; versus ignorant tourists, like myself, floating in on foreign exchange like sun kings. But they did. So I made a point of communicating even binary ideas in their home tongue. Call it respect. Call it curiosity.
Everyday I would get on my patched-up inner tube after the long, barefooted hike up to Las Grutas and descend the river. That river is everything. You wash your cloths there and you find your food there. When I came around the bend after the pools, they’d be there, just about every time. Eating, bathing, or fishing. “Sa lat’chul!?”(Is your heart well?)
“Sa! Lat?” (Fine, you?)Would come the reply, amidst the never-dulling glee and disbelief of the children at a westerner uttering something in the old tongue. It started like that. It was a game. I would say the newest thing I knew:
“Chabil ha!” (nice water) Roaring laughter, then:
“Boo’mshik!” And as I floated around the next bend, I turned my newfound gem over in my head, waiting to get home to ask a friend what the reply was:
“They told you you’re swimming.” Aha! So I would wait for the next day, the next sun and the next rain. Would grab my tube and hike up the valley, with my reply ready. And they’d be there, rosy-cheeked with mirth at my continuation of the dialogue.
That conversation lasted three months, two new words a day. But I could see the changes closing like a vice. I could see electricity, phones, T.V., and the internet on the horizon, ready to squash three-month-long conversations down to minutes, seconds, then text messages. I could see them racing towards Lanquin to squash the Qek’chi language into Spanish. On my last day in the village, as I put my shoes back on and said “Banu ucilal,” I wondered if the dripping spikes in the caves and the clouds of bats would be squished away, too. I wondered about tradition, repetition, and the dreary lack thereof in my jaded western life.