Last night was a great night. I went to a presentation at the Cultural Center of Spain. My friend is finishing her degree in Graphic Design and she attended a workshop in which she had to make a short film. I couldn’t follow the dialogue completely because it was a bit hard to hear. But basically a young man attempts to rob a young woman who is waiting for the bus. She’s an artist and at first he wants to take her portraits too. Then something about her work and the way she cares for it, moves him. He gives her back her quarter for the bus and without words, they form this mutual understanding, almost a friendship in the 5 minutes they are together.
We went to a party to celebrate the completion of the workshop. People of all ages and artistic backgrounds had participated in the workshop, so it was a good crowd. The party was at the home of a young man, a friend of my friend. He is one of those people whose presence is always known. Distracting at times, but very entertaining to watch. We had beer, food, good music, and a beautiful patio: my kind of party scene. Then it got better. A drum group showed up. This is something I have been exposed to a number of times here. I think I’ve written about it before. I love it. I can dance for hours to the rhythms of drummers. It is a sound that reverberates through my whole body and I can just feel it inside. That’s El Salvador for me. A house party with a group of 6 people, drums slung low around their waists, moving side to side while people dance happily, freely, disconnected from everything but the deep, rich beat.
This video is of Samba K-Jah. Some of the members of this group played last night, but it was a different group I believe. There were two young women who played and they were amazing.
I met this gentleman from the African Congo. He is traveling around Central America with another guy from Spain doing these workshops in filmmaking. He is a political refugee living in Barcelona. He spoke at the beginning of the party while everyone was giving speeches about the workshop. He said, [“We are here on earth to learn and love. We should treat each day of life as school, an opportunity to learn something new and to learn how to better love one another.”] I said ‘Amen’ to that.
We spoke later outside, he with his rum and peanuts, me with my beer and a bowl of plantain chips. A young woman joined in on our conversation. She had just moved back to El Salvador after living abroad for most of her life. A Salvadoreña by blood, she felt completely isolated living here. She struggles with Spanish and the way of life. She said she loves the country, but she doesn’t fit in and whenever she would visit El Salvador growing up, in her head she always wanted to be somewhere else. This prompted my friend from the Congo to say something that hit me right in the gut. A mantra I need to remind myself of daily.
He told us one of the biggest problems of the human condition is that we are always living in the past or the future, not the present. Our bodies are always physically in the present, but our minds are always going back to the past or thinking towards the future. “If only I HADN’T done that. If only this WOULD happen I WOULD be happy.”
My dad is always reminding me to live in the present. How much we must miss not being in the moment.