Glimpses of Impermanence

I share the silence with an old woman seated on a sack of corn

On a bluff above the town children dash beneath kites constructed from plastic bags - in the darkening sky their transparency reveals the last burning rays of the sun

The towering clouds on the horizon flash with the pulsating heat of a sweltering day

I get my hair cut short for three Soles in an old barbershop with a single chair

Two motos with a pair of girls on each coast down the long hill - from the bed of the truck everything appears as if in slow motion - the flames dance above the farmer’s head as he steers the fire back into his field 

A cup of berries soaked in strong cane liquor, is passed with unprovoked generosity

A waterfall rains down from the forest above into a deep pool where the stream reforms - like time the hypnotizing cascade of water is continuous, yet each drop discrete

100 miles away lightning illuminates the horizon over the Amazon - the riverboat is enveloped in a blanket of rain that falls in impermeable sheets for hours - as the wall of the storm envelopes the boat the universe of the 100 passengers is reduced to the hammocks in which they seek shelter

A minivan filled with 19 people masquerades as a bus - knees jammed into my chest I listen to a monkey cry in the arms of the woman seated behind me

My consciousness is no longer numbed by the comfort of home or routine

Untethered my spirit is free to perceive the ebb and flow of time passing

To feel only the beauty of my surroundings, only the sadness of impermanence

Both are intrinsic in the delicacy of the present moment

Seeing without judgment, experiencing without expectation

Fleeting thoughts like a breeze that glides through my consciousness and vanishes

I wrote the passage above over the course of my first three weeks in Peru. Each sentence represents a discrete moment that continued to resonate. The photographs above are from a walk I took with my friend Nick Canby to the Cataratas de Huacamaillo, near the village of San Antonio de Cumbaza.

My time in Lamas has come to an end. The commonly used word tranquilo (meaning peaceful or calm) aptly describes this place. I leave the slower, gentler pace of a landscape of forest and fields for the concrete jungle of Peru's capital Lima.