Out Of The Archives:
The Color of Valladolid

Walking down the streets of Valladolid the colors of each building appear in layers. On the surface, what seems to be an old grey cement wall has really been covered over time with a whitewash of pink, covered in a whitewash of white, again covered in grey, then back to pink. Scraped. Faded. Worn. The hot and humid weather picks at the cement, or the plaster, that covers the thick rock walls that make up the buildings in this town, creating large patches of roughness on the ones less cared for, leaving pock marks along with more visible layers of color. Even the churches are worn in this way. Every building in town bears the mark of jungle time, the mark of jungle weather, of jungle climate, shown in the layers of the months and years that came before.

I pass a little unplastered building made of rocks and thatch. Many of the rocks are strewn in the yard, tumble down fashion, waiting to be replaced into the wall of the house. The door is wide open and inside the dark room there is a tiny old woman with short grey hair and a wrinkled face, lying in a colorful hammock hung from hooks embedded in opposite walls. One foot is on the floor, pushing the hammock into a gentle swing inside her thick walled casa. Her hand holds a paper fan that slowly moves the air around her wrinkled face. The television she is watching throws a television glow onto her. She smiles as I pass, and even though I’ve intruded with my glance, I smile back.

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