San Pedro La Laguna - Part 1 -

San Pedro La Laguna - Part 1 -

May 28th, 2009  |  Published in Landscapes

27 April 2009

I write to you from a balcony in Guatemala. It is evening time and the climate here is pleasant. These parts of Central America are more temperate and the wet season is advancing closer; we see beautiful crisp mornings with vivid clean pin-sharp light, followed by tan inducing lunchtimes, sometimes a light shower to refresh the soul and cool evenings in the finale.

As I type this I hear dogs barking, pigs squealing to be fed, occasional fireworks and an Evangelist church sermon through a big amplifier. A preacher sings – no bellows – songs through a microphone incredibly out of tune, while another lady follows him two seconds behind sounding not unlike the squealing pigs. A tambourine beats haphazardly to another rhythm altogether. Despite the musically shambolic arrangement, it can be uplifting at times. At others, one can only cringe! After ten minutes of cacophonous onslaught, it breaks for story and prayer. The preacher commences the reading with a gentle, calming voice, pausing methodically for dramatic effect. After each pause, the sermon raises in tempo, volume, emotion and ultimately intensity. The words ebb and flow. The dogs bark in chorus and the women wail out cries of salvation. Dogs howl. Men do too. At its climax, this unity drowns out all thought and takes over my body, like the moment of orgasm (ahem, sorry about that!) and then… all are silent and the moment of triumph is over, vanishing into the past. It is quite a scary thing, the power of it!

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  • Adam Thank you, Bowmore. Thank you very much indeed.