― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Friends, family, and readers, hola de nuevo! Time has flown since our return from the U.S. in August, but in the good kind of way where a steady, fulfilling routine gives way to a stream of days and months. Though rains made Cuenca grey through most of September and October, a streak of sun has now found us, intense and beautiful at 8,000+ ft. to warm the days before the chilly nights. News abounds on the work front, adventure front, future front, and just the everyday life front. Yup, it’s just life now in Cuenca.
"If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them."
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden - This quote is dedicated to Lynsey and the well-designed castles she's steadily building as we speak.
With one year under our belt, we came back to Cuenca in early August after 5 weeks back in the U.S. It already clear that this year will unfold very differently from the first, and will build the bridge into what comes next. Here are some snapshots, thoughts, and news (big and small) about the beginning of the continuation of our life here in Cuenca...
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
– Miriam Adeney
Five weeks showed us many sides of our mother country, though of course no single experience could ever begin to encompass the bird's nest of complexity that is “America” (North America, ehem, the U.S. to be exact). In our hearts it was family and friends that brought us "home," longing again in some way to feel familiarity as opposed to the constant newness and challenge of Cuenca. Our sensory appetites also had desires that swirled around in our minds as we had entire conversations with people about “what we're going to eat” along with the unrivaled beer choices that awaited us. Finally, at the end of July we arrived at O'Hare International Airport at three o'clock in the morning, exhausted and excited, to the warm smiling face of my father. We were back.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Some say everyone's an artist. Lynsey, without doubt, is one, but I wouldn't readily offer up the word to describe myself. Unfortunately, I (like so many others) too often give-in to a tunnel view way of thinking that what we're capable of isn't "good enough" to be considered art. Just dabbling maybe. Point and shoot. A thought here and there. What results, however, is a unique release of creative expression - some part of you finding its way out into the world. And that is a damn good feeling.
Recently, a group of friends and colleagues from CEDEI organized "Art Night;" an evening of expression for the diverse and talented folks that found themselves teaching English together. The night proved to be a showcase of the creativity we brought along with us along with what we've found here in Cuenca.
Lynsey, naturally, planned to showcase some of her latest graphic design work. Her exhibition muses on the tourism of our American countrymen that we witness daily here in Cuenca. I slowly decided to put together a collection of photos from excursions into the wild places near Cuenca, mainly Cajas National Park (my truest muse). After hours of Lynsey flexing her art school muscles, we had two series of beautifully mounted illustrations and photos ready for display. Here's our work:
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