28 July 2006

Rainy Season

2 May 2006

ANTIGUA—In the market Katy bought an oil painting of the style and perspective peculiar to Guatemala and particular to Lake Atitlan wherein the figures, in market scenes and agricultural tableaus are portrayed from directly overhead as if the artist was hovering and sketching from perhaps 20 feet in the air.
I had first seen the style a year ago and then we came across a particularly fine example by an artist named Gonzalez from San Pedro la Laguna. Some of the people in this market scene were looking up; others were looking forward, conducting business, so that all you saw were the tops of their heads and shoulders. The expressions of those looking up showed no surprise, as if used to levitating artists.
Katy had just concluded bargaining for the painting when we saw that the nearby mountains were covered in dark clouds moving our direction. We hurried down the street to our guesthouse as a few fat drops began to hit. Thunder rolled over the volcanoes and echoed through the cobbled streets. I had the key out and ready and got us through the gate just as the rain began. We lay in bed and read as the rain on the corrugated roof grew louder and louder until it drowned out every other sound in a steady roar of grey noise.
I walked out onto the balcony and put my arm into the storm. My skin was pelted and stung by the hard-falling water and I thought, “This is it. I have just felt the rainy season begin…”


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