2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage

2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage


My mission in publishing this blog is first to provide a living history of my settlement and life in Cuenca, and to provide myself and the reader with a journal account delineating my reasons for why I have chosen to settle in Cuenca. Second, the posts are my way of staying in contact with family and friends back in the states, and to provide them with an understanding of a country and culture that most North Americans have little knowledge and awareness. Third, the blog is open to one and all who wish to compare and contrast the experiences of expat bloggers living in Cuenca, so that you can determine whether or not from your perspective Cuenca is an appropriate move for you. Fourth, my blog provides another example of how expats view and interpret life in Cuenca. Ecuadorians and Cuencanos who may read this blog are especially invited to post comments that may enhance all expats understanding and appreciation of Cuneca and its people, or to correct any misinterpretations in my assumptions and perceptions of Cuencano culture. Finally, I hope I can convey the feeling of love and appreciation that grows within me each passing day for this heavenly city nestled in the Andes and its very special people.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Palermo Part V: Scenic Views (I Don't Know Clouds at All)

I wrote the following from a post entitled, "Cuenca:  Delightful and Enchanting during my first visit to Cuenca in July of 2010.  The following text is provided from that July 17, 2010 post.


"Cuenca sits in a basin and is surrounded by elevated land and mountains, which provides a beautiful setting.

The mountains, the low lying nebulous clouds that almost form a dome over the city; I can almost feel as if I can reach out and touch any one of these flawless acts of creation. The light of the equatorial sun, which can be masked behind the large dark clouds when it is about to rain, can enhance the light reflected on the city's buildings at different times of the day--a reflection that gives an entirely new mood and atmosphere to the city. From the vantage point of my condo balcony,the houses and buildings under these atmospheric conditions appear like little dioramas. The city does not follow a simple grid pattern, and parts of it is hilly. Streets oftentimes curve and meander. As evening approaches, and dusk sets in, the street lights appear to flicker as if they were lanterns which gives an enchanting feeling to the night time city.

The mountains are most inspiring, and continuously changing as the lighting of different times of the day give an entirely new look and feel to what I see. From greens, to reflected streaks of sun light, to bold black hills that are sometimes blended with grays. Each moment speaks to the ever changing perspectives of the mountain views. As I snap photos with my camera, I fear that my lens is not capturing all the subtle shadings and moods of the mountains that I see with my naked eye. I guess you will just have to come to Cuenca to capture the experience of which words can only hint...."  ( The link above provided six photos.)

Both Sides Now Lyrics

(Joni Mitchell, song-writer)

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons ev’rywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on ev’ryone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and junes and ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev’ry fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say I love you right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living ev’ry day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

The clouds of Cuenca in a bizarre way magnify our feelings and emotions by providing a reflection of our feelings and emotions as we observe their glorious manifestations in the sky dome above.  At the same time the clouds project feelings and emotions into our very experiences of how we view life--the good, the dark; the joy, the sorrow; the mundane, the awesomeness; the sanity, the insanity; the oneness with another soul, the separateness.  As the clouds are ever fleeting, so our are feelings and experiences.  We experience life, and yet it is life's illusions we recall.  We don't know life at all.

The following slide presentation is taken from my balcony at the Palermo facing eastward.  Oddly enough some of the photos appear to be sunsets, but are actually reflections of light on the eastern clouds from the western sunsets.


P.S.  I delayed publishing this post to my blog last night, because I wanted to try something new and run an audio of the song to go with the slides to give the slide presentation more atmosphere.  I was unsuccessful in doing so, and the suggestions I received from friends today would have required me to use another format than Flickr and basically start all over.  FORGET THAT!  What you see is what you get!  I suggest if you know the tune that you sing or hum along while you watch the presentation, and we will consider this post an interactive project.  After all, there ain't no reason why I should have to do all the work.  (Sorry, I beginning to sound like some of my former students.)

I arrived home this evening to discover that a post I wrote in July of 2010 when I first visited Cuenca was re-posted with a December 28, 2011 date.  How that happened, and/or whatever I did to make it happen, I'll never know.  But thanks to the almost 200 of you who today read the July 2010 blog, I wonder what was going through your minds when you read it.  There must have been something to tip you off that something was out of kilter time-wise.  I tried changing the date back to 2010 this evening, but the editing process won't let me delete the date and reset it, so there it will remain.  Without going into detail, beginning with Christmas Eve, it has been a very surreal week for me.  I can't begin to imagine what this New Year's weekend will be like.  This blogging business endlessly has my head in the clouds as well, so it's only appropriate that my year of blog posts should end with clouds.  Happy New Year to you all as we begin the Mayan calendar countdown! 


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