cali para principiantes


tengo un hermano gemelo

en un cerro jorobado

mientras él mira hacia el mar

yo miro a mi cali amado

– jorge iván cardona soto, Cali Para Principiantes

I am the lunatic teetering on a skyscraper’s cornice in Calvino’s city of Zirma. I can see the blind black man tapping his cane on the cobblestones, the girl walking with a puma on a leash, and other lunatics, like me, spending hours on the cornices, watching the city below performing its rituals. Its rituals are its existence. “The city is redundant: it repeats itself so that something will stick in the mind.” I keep playing it over and over again, the silence, the absence. The absence. Even my memories seem absent. I am unable to remember, to go back, to gather, to find. My mind is scattered. Only things around me stick in my mind.


looking up

zenith: (zen’ith) – the point in the heavens exactly above an observer or a place

I know heavens does not mean the place where god lives. It means somewhere high up in the sky. This is one of my most favourite words. When we go to Ukunda, Kim and I sit on the sand at night and look at the stars and we talk about everything and sometimes we talk about what we will be when we grow up and what we will do and the places we will go. The thing I like to talk about is our friendship. Kim says that nothing will ever come between us. We look at the stars and see ourselves in the millions and millions of lights. And when we are sitting there on the soft sand I always imagine someone watching us saying, “these boys are looking up to their own zenith.”

thoughts on the map of mathioya

A map is also an archive that allows communality. First it is personal, and then it is documented, and this archival process makes it communal. It is mine then it is ours. This is important; to involve, to bring in, to invite, to take with, to leave behind, to start afresh, to keep going. To map – to create a (specific) image, track progress, archive – is to be aware of the movement of time. The movement of time, alone, is life – constant and unchanging, irregular and in flux – and to be aware of this movement and to adjust accordingly, is growth, is survival.