Art Gallery and Blog

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

dragon flies and vultures

I was sitting at a little table in the early morning sunshine on our last day in Guayaquil, sketching a little picture of a 3 year old child named Christe, peeking out from behind a wall next to the last house we built.  As my pencil built up her image on the paper and I remembered the way she snuggled in when I held her on my lap in the hot sun, I was aware that the colours and sounds and smells of this place were no longer an assault on my senses. They had become a part of my days, and a part of my life. I have a craving, even now, for the taste of guaraba juice, freshly squeezed each morning, for the riot of orange and pink flowers and blue sky and rich green leaves against creamy white concrete, for the sound of horns and spanish cryptoquotish chatter, for the tight hug of heat on my skin, and maybe, just maybe even for the smell of the dog.

No. Not the dog. I was growing sentimental. I do not miss the smell of that wretched dog. Tim had threatened, on more than one occasion, to tie a note to that dog's collar: "please give me a bath".

And it was Tim, that morning, who next wandered out onto the terrace, as had become his custom, to think and pray and read and write in his journal; to soak up just a little more of this city we had grown to love.

After a little while he stopped beside me and shared a little of what he was thinking, and although I don't have anything remotely like a photographic or phonographic memory, and I can't remember the exact words he said, I remember WHAT he said, if you know what I mean. And it all started with the disclaimer: "I'm not usually poetic, but..."

"I'm not usually poetic, but you know how there have been a few things we see every day? Kind of steady companions every where we go, in every community, at every building site? Dragon flies, pigs, chickens, vultures, dogs...?"

I nodded.

"Well, it's occurred to me that those dragon flies that hover beside us while we build, while we eat, while we walk and talk and visit people, and those vultures circling directly above us or just in our peripheral, all the time, every day, everywhere we go, they're kind of like the invisible armies of good and evil, one to protect and encourage and help us to focus on all that's around us, the beauty, the industry, the details, and one just waiting for us to fail, never directly in our line of vision, but intimating and suggesting hopelessness and sadness and sickness and death, inciting fear and despair. Both hovering and circling, but one displaying beauty and intricacy, reflecting light and colour, zipping around us quickly, or floating effortlessly right at our eye level, while the other moves slowly and deliberately, dark and frightening and far above us."

Deep guy, that Tim. Sounded pretty poetic to me.

He was right about the dog too. It did need a bath.

Don't we all, now and then.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."  ~Ephesians 6:12

No comments:

Post a Comment