ECUADOR 2001: mad in pursuit

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Thursday, 4.26.01

Long sleep -- 11 hrs. Comfortable and without much ambition. Tried to connect with American Airlines over the Internet to confirm our reservations but the connection here at Casa Sol was slow and kept dropping off.

4:40 P.M. I am full of longing. Waking up from a nap, I am sensing longing and incompletion and contemplating that my life may be full of SWEETNESS. We spent a long time over lunch, finishing two (2!) bottles of wine, talking, talking, talking about I don't know what, but being with one another. Two bottles of wine was too much BUT maybe just what we needed.

fragment of Viteri assemblageWe walked up to Viteri's gallery this morning, the uphill walk reminding us of our walks in the rainforest. The gallery was not much changed. We gazed on the wonderful assemblages until Ileana arrived about 10:45. We talked a bit. She recounted her discovery of my web site (via her sister in Boston) and how she sat translating my words to her father and their laughing over the fact that he spoke no English yet communicated so well. She told us how she will be 40 soon and is worried that she is not as open to new art as she was in "her youth." Is age closing her off to new things when she is not excited (she finds) by the art installations of 20-year-olds?

Her father was upstairs. We looked around a little more, then went up to reconnect with him. He kissed my lips and said how happy he was to see us and how surprised they were to find that I had written about him. He is not doing his assemblages anymore. Ileana mentioned how time-consuming and conceptually demanding there are. But he is prolifically producing drawings and oil paintings. We felt very humble, I think. Even though he invited us out to his house, we both thought it was time to bid adieu. There were people waiting for them. We had dipped ourselves once again into their world. I felt attached to it, wanting to possess it ALL, and yet sensed that we needed to move on. We parted, sweetly.

We caught a taxi to the Hilton Colón -- reconfirmed our flights home at the AA office, then wandered through the craft shops along Amazonas -- so much mass-produced crap. We were footsore, hungry, and thirsty by the time we cut over to Juan León Mera. Stopped at an antique shop to buy old beads, then went on to the Magic Bean for lunch. We talked and talked over two bottles of wine. Viteri is as much about ourselves as anything -- the discovery of an original who we can share. So much wine made me sleepy and I have crawled into bed. J did too, but then got up and has gone out, who knows where.

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