16 January 2010

so i was thinking...

This is a quetzal:

The quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala. And it is beautiful. It's also been on my mind recently.

For the Mayans, the quetzal is the god of the air, a symbol of goodness and light. In a couple of languages the same word used for quetzal is used for precious or sacred. It's because the bird really is wonderful. It's been illegal to kill one since Mayan times.

Legends say that Tecún Umán (as he is generally called) was being watched over by a quetzal when he had to lead his people into battle against Don Pedro de Alvarado, the conquistador. The ancient Guatemalans fought well, despite many disadvantages. But when Tecún Umán and Don Pedro had a face off, the luck ran out. As Don Pedro tried to attack, Tecún Umán killed the horse the conquistador was riding. But as the Mayan prince tried to go for the rider, he was run through with a spear. That's when the quetzal came down from the sky. It landed on Tecún Umán as he was dying. Right on his wound. To this day, his belly is still blood stained.

Also, he won't sing again until Guatemala is truly free. His "song" kind of sounds like a crying puppy.

The bird is widely recognized as a symbol of liberty. It can't be held captive. If it was caught, it became so depressed it would commit suicide. It stops eating or drinking. It's beautiful long tail feathers fall out. Then it dies. I was kinda sad when I learned that a zoo in Mexico had successfully kept one in captivity. It seemed almost... wrong.

Anyway, these legends and symbols are really important to Guatemala. The quetzal is on the flag, the money, the buildings, the markets, the gas stations, etc. The money is called "Quetzales."

I think the biggest reason I've been thinking of the quetzal so much is because I REALLY miss Guate right now. One year ago today I was finishing up my first full day in Guatemala. I went to the temple in the city and my cousin got married. I bought aroz con leche from a lady across the street. I fell in love with the air, and the cousins, and the green, and the warm, and more. For the first time I can remember, I'm wishing winter was over. Not really. I just wish I was away from winter and in the land of the eternal spring.

Guate, I'm there in my heart.

Te quiero.

04 January 2010

let impatience have a go

A few things (if "few" is allowed to equal 4 and a poem) :
  • Blogger won't let me upload pictures. Upset? Yes. But only by a little bit. If we were to measure it in terms of a threshold, then I'm standing just beyond said threshold. But it was a threshold of quit. I gave up trying to put a picture up here. In retrospect, I wasted time. ... It wasn't even all that important. In fact, it was zero important.
  • 'Nother thing: I've developed a crush on in- words. A few that have found their way onto the blank-no-longer pages of my moleskin are inconsistency, intrude, inflict, interlude, intervene. I have others in my head, but I haven't yet let them out. It's kinda a gradual thing. But it makes me want to write inportant instead of important. Baffling. (Not really, but I wanted to use that word.)
  • I was thinking the other day (four minutes ago), "Hey. Why do I always talk about myself when I blog?" That's when I realized A: it's not always, and B: it's... my blog. But still, I sometimes wish that I wasn't always writing about me and my writing and why I'm this or I'm that or mine or me or my or whomever is I. Is it weird that I feel guilty writing about myself? ... Probably. That said, I'm currently collecting art blogs that I love, and I want to share. So I'm going to shortly.
  • I tend to be embarrassed by my blog, words, poems, stories, and the like. I don't think that's really a good thing. So I'm going to try to let myself tell people about this blog. I usually don't, or when I do it's a very shallow effort. I feel... like it's bragging. Anybody know how that goes? ... I do. I poem'd about it a bit earlier today. (Once again, trying to be more ¿confident? with my writing, I'll post it with this post.)
A Question I Discovered I'd Asked Myself
Am I writing for a purpose?
I let few people read.
But it feels a bit intimidating,
And I know there's stuff I lack.
I don't write quite as often
as I know I think I should.
Admittedly, I'm scared--
Even terrified (to a point).
I know there's stuff I lack,
But I still should write some more,
And let more people read words
I write to write some more.
And not just the same ones
I let 'cause I feel safe.
But am I writing for a purpose,
Or just to write some more?