Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Colombian Diaries: 1

Most of the weekend was spent with my head inside of books on campaign finance theories, Colombian history, and transnational criminal organization write ups. All while sitting in the sunshine in the middle of the woods on the cape. A well spent memorial day weekend.

I am closer to writing up my interviews for August, but also realizing how much more I need to read before then. Mumbai is going to be a confusing mix of Indian history and all of the work I need to do for Colombia... before August. My contacts list is growing, but so are my questions. This whole experience is a historian's dream: unraveling the past to understand the present.

The tabs on my computer are my growing excel sheet, with notes cramped into each square on already overcrowded pages... spread sheets just dont look good when you put things besides labels and numbers in them, a few flight options, a calendar with notes scrawled into it, and my email to check facts. It's exciting. I love planning my own adventures and then seeing them through.

Last week I went down to New York to see two friends and my cousin for 2 days and one night. I was curled up on her couch thinking about how much fun it was to plan a last minute trip as I had. To leave without a serious agenda, but with a list of things I would LIKE to do. To enjoy the rain that didnt seem to stop once it started. To wander through a pub where I was one of three women and the only options were the bar's own brews (light or dark, we were told when we asked what our options for the evening were).

We spent an afternoon in the Met avoiding the rain. I finished with an exhibition before the rest of the group did and wandered through the African-Oceanic-Americas wing... because obviously we should cram all of these peoples and their art into the same space, given all that they have in common and such (???)... to look at a tapestry made by a ghanaian artist out of flattened metal from liquor bottles (check it out here). El Anatsui had several pieces at the Met and all of them had the COOLEST sense of motion to them. Like the wheels of life would keep on turning... even if you werent there to keep up with them. It felt like waves of these HUGE wall hangings could swallow you if you let them...

And I just felt it. I dont like to read descriptions in museums beyond time period, brief history etc. There is something so pure and interesting about that initial reaction that we have to things. For someone who overthinks a lot of things, its a refreshing way to consider life and information.

So my adventures have started just as I needed them to: some well planned, well documented and fun, and others sporadic, changing, impressionable.

I think I'll look back on these evenings and wish for them again. There is nothing like this calm feeling in my life, knowing that I still have another year of university and this time where all I need to do is think and figure a few things out for myself. I am grateful. 

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