About borders

  “Right now, and at the moment, I have just arrived from the border,” he, thoughtfully, began to reply, “which I’m sure many people will truly believe to be quite far away, but still, on this occasion and in my own personal opinion, I have found it to actually be close by.”


Frontera Argentina/Bolivia La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina
The Argentina and Bolivia border
La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina   Villazón, Potosí, Bolivia

“I’ll tell you something that you may, or may not, be aware of. In my travels, I have crossed many borders, and they all have turned out to be strikingly different from each other. Some of these borders, I’ve crossed on wide highways, comfortably sitting with my legs crossed, passing from one country to the other without even getting off the vehicle. On other occasions, I have had to walk through them, to first leave a country and then to enter the next. What’s more, I’ve had to carry my belongings on my shoulder, and having crossed the border, still had to search for some means to continue onwards.”

Frontera Argentina con Bolivia La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina Villazón, Potosí, Bolivia
The Argentina and Bolivia border
La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina Villazón, Potosí, Bolivia

 “In many borders, and I can happily include most of them; I have found kind, sympathetic and welcoming people. They have treated me kindly and well. Occasionally, however, and I am lucky to say that only on a few occasions; I have been received by mean, wicked, and terrible people that have almost made me cry from the anguish they generated deep within me, and left me feeling utterly desperate and anxious to keep on going my own way, leaving everything else behind.”

Aduana Villazón, Potosí, Bolivia
Customs office
Villazón, Potosí, Bolivia

 “In some cases, I’ve crossed the border without even realizing that I had changed the country. On other occasions, I couldn’t understand why they told me I had changed to a different country: because, everything felt and looked exactly the same, but this… has only happened in just a few instances.” He answered with a clear, measured voice; afterwards, he proceeded to enjoy his moonshine.

Frontera Argentina con Bolivia La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina Villazón, Potosí, Bolivia
The Argentina and Bolivia border
La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina Villazón, Potosí, Bolivia

 

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The sunsets

My mother used to say that the world is full of opportunities and you have to go after them, you know? 


Naturaleza muerta Huacachina, Ica, Perú
Still life           Huacachina Desert, Ica, Perú

—Of the landscapes, I have seen them all.

Sol sobre la costa Miraflores, Lima, Perú
Sun over the coast          Miraflores, Lima, Perú

The sunsets, when the sun gives in to the night and all the surroundings are bathed in multi-coloured light. From the mountains and from the coastal plains.

From the steppes and the tundras, where the seas of grasses grow, and where the pine trees climb to soaring heights. The lands of the tropical ceiba trees, or the deserts with their fine sandy dunes, where, as you walk, you may encounter the palm trees and take shelter yourself from that all embracing sun that devours everything in its path.  

La cúspide Huacachina, Ica, Perú
The summit           Huacachina Desert, Ica, Perú

 Perhaps, en lesser occasions, but I have equally contemplated the dawns… when the world is only a whispered promise

Atardecer de desierto Carretera a Ica, Ica, Perú
Dawn in the desert           Highway to Ica City, Ica, Perú

 

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A seed in fertile soil

And when he discovered… that from the tiny little seed, in a most mysterious and possibly, even magical way, a robust plant had grown; then, the miracle amazed him, and he sighed, feeling both satisfied, as well as, fulfilled in his life 


Caminando por el barranco Barranco, Lima. Perú
Walking Barranco           Barranco, Lima. Perú

The younger sister, Mariana, was exceptionally receptive. They took advantage of a big tree on the farm. and when they finally built a trapeze, Magnífico himself, was totally amazed by her capacity to learn.

_MG_9840COLAJ2


The seed was sown in fertile land, for together with the technical aspects of the scenic arts, Magnifico would talk to them about that mysterious and alluring world of the circus.

El periódico Puebla, Puebla, México
El periódico Puebla, Puebla, México

As time went by, from what had once been but a little seed, a plant began to grow. Following Magnifico’s initiative, the sisters collaborated with him to help set up The Magnificent Circus of the Marroqui Sisters, an open-air circus without a tent, but overflowing with character and a lively spirts. So began, their presentations at the family farm to which the neighbours would flock enthusiastically, from all over the surrounding region.


 

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The farmer of abilities

In this world. though we can’t take anything with us, we can leave part of ourselves behind


 

El balcón Puebla, Puebla, México
Balcony          Puebla, Puebla, México

He never imagined that on his return he would come back as a farmer, to plant his surprising abilities in the fertile lands of the Snow-capped Park.

La vía de las bicis Puebla, Puebla, México
The bike’s lane          Puebla, Puebla, México

And more concretely, in the two girls that lived next door to his house.

Las torres de la iglesia Puebla, Puebla, México
Church towers          Puebla, Puebla, México

In the girl’s spare time, he enjoyed transmitting all those techniques that he massed during his long life with the circus.


 

 

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Walking the tightrope of life

Though he lived in the heights, he never could reach, his soaring personal ambitions 


Bajo el sol calles de Puebla, Puebla, México
The Angels Store          in Puebla, Puebla, México

He became a part of the circus family. A few years later, he manifested himself as a prodigy in the arts of the jugglers. Gradually, he extended his abilities to the tightrope, and eventually, he became the star of the flying trapeze.

Luces y sombras calles de Puebla, Puebla, México
Lights and shadows           Puebla’s Streets, Puebla, México

After a long life in the show business, and as a consequence of a fall from which he never completely recovered, a day he went back to Colombia, with plans of being laid to rest under the sun on his native land.

Las calles del centro Puebla, Puebla, México
Downtown Streets          Puebla, Puebla, México

Casually, or because of fate, he arrived at the village where the Marroqui sisters lived, and he became their neighbour.


 

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Magnifico and fate

And who can proclaim that upon waking; he knows what lies ahead and what the new day will bring


 

Puntos de vista Xalapa. Veracruz, México
Points of view           Xalapa. Veracruz, México

The walkways of Fate are complex and it is difficult to realize the direction they hold.

Órale güero calles del centro de Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Órale güero           Xalapa’s downtown streets, Veracruz, México

So it was for the Marroqui sisters, who never imagined the profound impact of the new arrival to the village where they lived. He was a seventy-year old man, and his name was Magnifico.

Los ángeles Catedral de Puebla, Puebla, México
The angels            Puebla’s Cathedral, Puebla, México

When he was only just ten years of age, Magnifico was orphaned. Encountering a travelling circus, he found himself a job and also, the possibility of a new family.


 

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Talking with the herd

Surprising, how when she was born, she talked through her eyes


El callejón Calles de Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Alleyways           Xalapa’s streets, Veracruz, México

It could be that he passed on that passion of his for the horses to Carito, or that she, had the gift since her childbirth.

Palmas para el domingo catedral de Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Sunday palms            Xalapa’s Cathedral, Veracruz, México

Meanwhile, at school, she was taught the correct grammatical rules for proper conversation with her peers, but at the farm, she learned how to talk to the horses on her own. Later on, these abilities would introduce new possibilities in the walkways of her life.

Escaleras de la calle Centro de Xalapa, Veracruz, México
The street’s stairs          Downtown Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Definitely, Carito’s natural gift was surprising. Before she was eight years old, she could maintain a complete conversation with any of the horses at the ranch. But she didn’t stop there. Insomuch as her interaction with them, she learned to handle herself, within their complex social roles, finally integrating herself as one more in the herd.


 

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Three horses and two mares

And when at last the fish bit the bait, the fisherman was irremediably snared


En tierra del café Filandia, Quindío, Colombia
In the coffee lands           Filandia, Quindío, Colombia

Ever since he was a child, Aureliano Marroqui manifested a strong passion for horses.  Taking advantage of his new financial situation and also thanks to the generosity of random chance, he was able to invest in three horses and two mares.

Fincas cafeteras Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia
Coffee landscape          Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia

Always clever at detecting business opportunities, he bought a cart to draw with his horses, and so, he dedicated himself to recollect milk at the nearby farms; transporting the milk he gathered in his horse-drawn wagon to the diary in Manizales.

Migración Xalapa, Veracruz, México
On the road           Xalapa, Veracruz, México

At four o clock in the morning, he was happy indeed, as he loaded the milk in the first of the farm of the route, while he merrily chatted with his neighbours about this and that.


 

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A farm in the Snow- Capped Park

It was by a sudden inspiration that he found a new beginning


 

Camino al portal Xico, Veracruz, México
Camino a la casa          Xico, Veracruz, México

Serene and very calmly, he headed back home, and there, he left a note beneath the pillow on his bed: My dear, don´t you worry, for I’m heading out to search for a new life for all of us. I hope it won’t too long, as soon as I find it, just like a want it, I shall come back. With ease, he passed unseen among the throng, and he directed his steps with absolute conviction towards the bus terminal. In his mind, still a little sore yet, he had conceived a plan, and he was more than satisfied with himself, as well as, his plan.

Paredes de Xico Xico, Veracruz, México
Paredes de Xico           Xico, Veracruz, México

Hopping on a bus, he went to Manizales City, precisely, the capital of the state of Caldas, where it all had once begun. He came back, after a short time, to organize the removal of all their belongings to their new farm. It was located in the foothills of the Nevados (or the Snowcapped) Park. Apparently, he took this issue about the hot weather quite seriously; because, he bought the farm right below the Perennial Glaciers of the Ruiz Volcano.

Los portales Xico, Veracruz, México
Los portales           Xico, Veracruz, México

The winds blew continually from the Nevados, directly towards the farm, so it was kept well refrigerated and very much to his liking. The Marroqui family moved into the farm, and mysteriously, the mother recovered her appetite, regaining her taste for abundant breakfasts and vast lunches.


 

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Change of plans

Walking and mediating, he found his life, as he was living it, did not fit him, so it was time to change it for new one


Las raíces Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Roots          Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Feeling a bit better and a Little more recovered, he hit the shower and only opened the cold water. Sitting in the stall, he fell asleep, and he dreamt of times long past, when he was still a young man, He awoke feeling cold for the first time, since the day when he had first arrived in Cali.

Al caminar las calles Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Walking the streets          Xalapa, Veracruz, México


 In the end, he got up, and if,  he didn’t really feel totally recovered; at least, it was a definite improvement.

Without saying more, he dressed in clean and fresh clothes, and he fixed himself up as well as possible. Though he was not physically in his best shape; by the time he arrived at his former, old job, he was morally healthier.

La lotería Xalapa, Veracruz, México

The lotto           Xalapa, Veracruz, México


Going into the premises, he ran into his boss, and without more explanations he quit his job, effective on the day his fortune changed, for as he put it: I have meditated and found that even though I have made all this money, if it doesn’t make me a better person; it is time to follow a different path in my life.


 

 

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