April 21. The road ahead.

Today, we copy the photos of the Paraba Azul to a cd at Alberto’s place. He offers us lunch and has some story about the integration of foreigners into the community, which can be hard at times. After this it’s time to say goodbye to Buenavista. I leave with dear memories of the people here and the tranquilidad of the village life. This is a place to come back to.

On my mind is the road ahead now. I love the feeling of a long road ahead. Thousands of kilometers leading nowhere of course al final, but with the reasonable expectation of many yet unimaginable encounters. The road ahead, giving backbone to everyday life. What happens is not happening in the anonymous locality you coincide with after some years of living in a certain place, but happens uniquely at one specific spot. Cities, villages, mountains become associated with your experiences, and enable you to keep them more distinct from each other in your memory. Traveling becomes a way of organizing your memory, a way of mental hygiene, brushing the teeth of the mind. The road ahead is like a cord of indefinite length on which I will string the beads of yet unknown experiences. Believe me, you can say this more kitschy.

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April 21. The road ahead.

Today, we copy the photos of the Paraba Azul to a cd at Alberto’s place. He offers us lunch and has some story about the integration of foreigners into the community, which can be hard at times. After this it’s time to say goodbye to Buenavista. I leave with dear memories of the people here and the tranquilidad of the village life. This is a place to come back to.

On my mind is the road ahead now. I love the feeling of a long road ahead. Thousands of kilometers leading nowhere of course al final, but with the reasonable expectation of many yet unimaginable encounters. The road ahead, giving backbone to everyday life. What happens is not happening in the anonymous locality you coincide with after some years of living in a certain place, but happens uniquely at one specific spot. Cities, villages, mountains become associated with your experiences, and enable you to keep them more distinct from each other in your memory. Traveling becomes a way of organizing your memory, a way of mental hygiene, brushing the teeth of the mind. The road ahead is like a cord of indefinite length on which I will string the beads of yet unknown experiences. Believe me, you can say this more kitschy.

April 21. The road ahead.

Today, we copy the photos of the Paraba Azul to a cd at Alberto’s place. He offers us lunch and has some story about the integration of foreigners into the community, which can be hard at times. After this it’s time to say goodbye to Buenavista. I leave with dear memories of the people here and the tranquilidad of the village life. This is a place to come back to.

On my mind is the road ahead now. I love the feeling of a long road ahead. Thousands of kilometers leading nowhere of course al final, but with the reasonable expectation of many yet unimaginable encounters. The road ahead, giving backbone to everyday life. What happens is not happening in the anonymous locality you coincide with after some years of living in a certain place, but happens uniquely at one specific spot. Cities, villages, mountains become associated with your experiences, and enable you to keep them more distinct from each other in your memory. Traveling becomes a way of organizing your memory, a way of mental hygiene, brushing the teeth of the mind. The road ahead is like a cord of indefinite length on which I will string the beads of yet unknown experiences. Believe me, you can say this more kitschy.

April 20. Lazy day.

Lazy day, I skip the excursion to Cafetal where the nine-step process of coffee production is explained. Washing the beans, sorting them, peeling them, sorting the big ones out for richer coffees, fermenting, drying, roasting, grinding. It’s an interesting science. So, if you’re in the area, put Cafetal on your list.

I meet Alberto the writer who writes short stories, plays, and mainly novels. He also sells plants, like the hipi-hapa that is used for the thatched roofs here, and even vanila. He is about seventy years old and his face reminds me a bit of Klaus Kinski. A writer, a man! Including everything: a big nose, lips, a deep voice, large hands, a sweaty hairy breast underneath an open shirt, impeccably combed grey hair, slow movements. What would it feel like to be that man, that writer, I wonder.

A few weeks ago, I wrote something about a theory of power. Today, we will continue with that. Whether you want it or not, ha! We have established that power is something relational. The dialogue was not really fruitful though. Let’s try to approach the phenomenon of power from a different angle. We can’t measure power like voltage or weight. In physics, power is not an elementary quantity. We use the term metaphorically for energy. The reason why power can’t be a scientific unit is that it presupposes individuality as the center from where the power is exerted. In science, we look at events, movements that we can measure. Imagine a cheetah hunting a gazelle. We could measure the almost equal speed of both animals, we could measure the flow of chemicals in their blood, the path they take, yet we won’t be able to conclude from it that the cheetah has more power without presupposing some intention of the animals. And that’s where we already started to think anthropomorfically. The cheetah is following the gazelle, and the actions of the gazelle are merely reactions to those of the cheetah (not the other way round!). We interpreted the scene and supposed a causal relation between the actions of the cheetah and those of the gazelle. We have understood them as individuals. So power is just a matter of interpretation. Some freak might deem the gazelle more powerful than the cheetah. But wait. That freak won’t be able to understand his own quantum of power. What I’m saying is that understanding power involves some kind of natural comparison with the power we exert ourselves. If a people acts upon the decree of a king, all that we observe is a number of organisms moving in a particular way. We might even find out that the decision of the king has been influenced by one of his subjects. Again, we can’t tell who is more powerful. Naturally, we assume the individuality of the king and his people, and arrive at the conclusion that the king is exerting his power. In order to do that, we must be able to see ourselves in the position of the king, or compare ourselves with him. We can say the king has power because we have the same kind of power ourselves. The power of the king depends on the interpretation of his subjects, and that interpretation is nourished by the fact that his subjects possess the same kind of power as the king does. A slave that doesn’t have the sensation of power himself can’t be owned. And there we have an empirically testable conjecture. To be continued…

April 20. Lazy day.

Lazy day, I skip the excursion to Cafetal where the nine-step process of coffee production is explained. Washing the beans, sorting them, peeling them, sorting the big ones out for richer coffees, fermenting, drying, roasting, grinding. It’s an interesting science. So, if you’re in the area, put Cafetal on your list.

I meet Alberto the writer who writes short stories, plays, and mainly novels. He also sells plants, like the hipi-hapa that is used for the thatched roofs here, and even vanila. He is about seventy years old and his face reminds me a bit of Klaus Kinski. A writer, a man! Including everything: a big nose, lips, a deep voice, large hands, a sweaty hairy breast underneath an open shirt, impeccably combed grey hair, slow movements. What would it feel like to be that man, that writer, I wonder.

A few weeks ago, I wrote something about a theory of power. Today, we will continue with that. Whether you want it or not, ha! We have established that power is something relational. The dialogue was not really fruitful though. Let’s try to approach the phenomenon of power from a different angle. We can’t measure power like voltage or weight. In physics, power is not an elementary quantity. We use the term metaphorically for energy. The reason why power can’t be a scientific unit is that it presupposes individuality as the center from where the power is exerted. In science, we look at events, movements that we can measure. Imagine a cheetah hunting a gazelle. We could measure the almost equal speed of both animals, we could measure the flow of chemicals in their blood, the path they take, yet we won’t be able to conclude from it that the cheetah has more power without presupposing some intention of the animals. And that’s where we already started to think anthropomorfically. The cheetah is following the gazelle, and the actions of the gazelle are merely reactions to those of the cheetah (not the other way round!). We interpreted the scene and supposed a causal relation between the actions of the cheetah and those of the gazelle. We have understood them as individuals. So power is just a matter of interpretation. Some freak might deem the gazelle more powerful than the cheetah. But wait. That freak won’t be able to understand his own quantum of power. What I’m saying is that understanding power involves some kind of natural comparison with the power we exert ourselves. If a people acts upon the decree of a king, all that we observe is a number of organisms moving in a particular way. We might even find out that the decision of the king has been influenced by one of his subjects. Again, we can’t tell who is more powerful. Naturally, we assume the individuality of the king and his people, and arrive at the conclusion that the king is exerting his power. In order to do that, we must be able to see ourselves in the position of the king, or compare ourselves with him. We can say the king has power because we have the same kind of power ourselves. The power of the king depends on the interpretation of his subjects, and that interpretation is nourished by the fact that his subjects possess the same kind of power as the king does. A slave that doesn’t have the sensation of power himself can’t be owned. And there we have an empirically testable conjecture. To be continued…

April 16. Buenavista Coffee.

Days begin with a cup of Buenavista coffee in a small tienda artesenal and some empanadas to bite on. I look for a place in the shade and write. Today, I work on my novel again, after many weeks. I’m a bit worried I can’t repair the narrative anymore and the project might go down the drain. So be it. Nothing is lost. All the words will remain on their spots in the book, the only thing that has changed is my judgement of it. And that judgement is not even important, I mean, not as important as yours. You are free. You can dance on the ashes of my freedom that I am burning away with all the passion long years of submission can squeeze out of a mind.

That night, I dreamt about mosquitos in a field hospital. Two patients shared a room and before they sleep the doctor makes his final round and advises them to use the mosquito net. One of the patients listens to the doc and carefully straps the mosquito net to his mattress. He falls asleep underneath his impermeable cover. The other patient doesn’t listen to the doc and sleeps without the net. After a few minutes, the mosquitos start zooming in through the window. A few at first, as if they were pathfinders, but very quickly a thick black stream of insects burst into the small ward. The patient that has not listened to the doc is eaten alive, buried under a big black heap of insects. The other patient sleeps like a baby. The next morning, all the mosquitos have left. On one of the beds now lies a skeleton. “We should buy a second net” the doctor grumbles as he strokes with his hand through his grey beard.

April 16. Buenavista Coffee.

Buenavista coffee beans, dried on the ground

Days begin with a cup of Buenavista coffee in a small tienda artesenal and some empanadas to bite on. I look for a place in the shade and write. Today, I work on my novel again, after many weeks. I’m a bit worried I can’t repair the narrative anymore and the project might go down the drain. So be it. Nothing is lost. All the words will remain on their spots in the book, the only thing that has changed is my judgement of it. And that judgement is not even important, I mean, not as important as yours. You are free. You can dance on the ashes of my freedom that I am burning away with all the passion long years of submission can squeeze out of a mind.


That night, I dreamt about mosquitos in a field hospital. Two patients shared a room and before they sleep the doctor makes his final round and advises them to use the mosquito net. One of the patients listens to the doc and carefully straps the mosquito net to his mattress. He falls asleep underneath his impermeable cover. The other patient doesn’t listen to the doc and sleeps without the net. After a few minutes, the mosquitos start zooming in through the window. A few at first, as if they were pathfinders, but very quickly a thick black stream of insects burst into the small ward. The patient that has not listened to the doc is eaten alive, buried under a big black heap of insects. The other patient sleeps like a baby. The next morning, all the mosquitos have left. On one of the beds now lies a skeleton. “We should buy a second net” the doctor grumbles as he strokes with his hand through his grey beard.