Bogota Today

In case you’re wondering what its like.

A cool wind came through the shopping center this morning. I went to get coffee–I find writing in a coffee shop most productive; the noises are congenial usually, the coffee is good, and one is left alone. I can’t just sit there or fiddle on the internet. A cool wind came through because open air is not uncommon here. Covered, yes; for the rain. But not with closing doors, and so the wind comes through.

I went for a walk (it is my day off, after all) after the rain and in the park where the canals meet, on every pole a buzzard waited. The eastern hills were hid behind ominous, purple clouds, but the interesting thing was that below there was a fringe of white. The diffused light under the heavy cover made these low clouds more pale. In the light of a rainy day with grey and purple clouds the vegetation takes on a jungular uneasiness. Somehow, trapped with the shadows under the leaves a living thing seems about to stir.

A drizzle soon began, but very light. I continued in the rectilinear, concrete neighborhoods we have here. Sometimes at the end of a long row of square houses leaning inward, under the tangle of the wires I could see a bank of green, a bank of grass.

The smell of sawdust from a carpenter, the smell of oil and machines, the smell of woodsmoke from a restaurant, and from a bakery of bread as one passes come and go. Moss on the concrete of the rainy season, dislodged bricks and paving tiles on the sidewalks, and to the view not a single tree sometimes. That’s when after the doors and bricks and walls and roads open up onto a grocer’s unlit shop and you see the shape of onions as a new strange thing. I looked into a tavern with small wooden tables, chair, and two objects of wood and electronic, red displays of a primitive and gambling nature.

I thought I ought to try to paint the purple clouds, and under them, before them too, the trees with a neutral green, and mix the green with the purple for the underleaves, and add some brown to the purple green for trunks, and see how much of the atmosphere of the rainy day I get. The drizzle was still light but overhead the buzzards had begun to circle and to climb.

2 thoughts on “Bogota Today

  1. The first thing I thought when you described the clouds is, “Something a painter would of course notice. He should paint them.”

    Looking forward to seeing them. Too bad you didn’t have someone along who didn’t mind handling a camera. (Although such effects are often lost on the lens).

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