dai volontari

An Andean stream of consciousness

Golden rays are slipping from the tightness of the leaves. It is five in the morning, now, too early for a steamy hot cup of coffee, but not for my thoughts to run wild through the paths of my mind. I let them, I need them to.

Bolivia is a sour land, charged with oxymorons.

Everything, here, is the antithesis of everything else. And everything is one in its own essence, but it is not left alone to itself. The tiniest sliver, in this ancestral land, connects to every other through an ostensible feeble transparency and creates harmony. It is not solitude, it’s a gift.

Because the sky turns peach pink, orange, purple, magenta every night, every day.

Because the days, here among the Andean cliffs, enclose a secret that only by closing your eyes you’re able to see, to perceive, to comprehend.

Because seasons alternate daily with the liveliness of a child who is learning to walk, but the predictability of it all renders it a joyful adventure.

Because the ground has the colour of blood lost, despised, desired, cried for, loved, spilled over, always spilled over.

Because the colour of the world, here among these dusty roads, only makes sense if you immerse yourself in the peaceful silence and listen to the wind howling through the cracks of the earth.

And I have the privilege to witness the shapes of this country’s allure shifting with constant wonder, even if some days, some hours, some minutes prove to be harder, harsher, more challenging than others. There are evenings in which I sip the loneliness pouring down from my lips, like liquid, tangible substance, suddenly made real. The leap of faith required by such an experience leaves you breathless, heart pumping and eyes blinking rapidly, adrenaline jumping through your veins, tears streaming down your face, hands reaching out for the unpredictable unknown.

But it also leaves you eyes wide open sitting on the lakeside inundated by a breathtaking sunset, surrounded by extraordinary people. It leaves you with tired, sore feet at the end of a long day spent strolling on sacred ground, through the jungle, on the peak of the mountain. It leaves you with a bittersweet tinge on your lips, in the roots of your heart, between your palms, but extreme poverty tends to have such an effect. It leaves you with the lucid awareness of what it mean to be living on a land of vivid contrasts. It leaves you with the unassailable certainty that the primordial history, the atavistic mystery beneath this soil will reward you with a gift far greater than you could have ever dreamed of.

Bolivia 2016-2017

Giulia Cassiani

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