• Fredy Rivas

Hearing the subtle language of the city

Actualizado: 2 de abr de 2020


Strong feeling

Sometimes you have this strong feeling of deafness. It grows on your own and increasingly turns uncomfortable. You are a newcomer and all the people around you notices it. There´s a lot of sounds, everywhere, but you just can’t hear it. Every corner in Grande Prairie sing its own song and, suddenly, the town turns in to a huge orchestra, overwhelming you with its different tones and pitches.


But then, after some hours of strangement, you begin to hear, to feel, the words of the city. Enormous warehouses by the highway ­–witnessing the rough pass of the weather in its wooden walls­­–, reminds you that a long History keeps its course here. Collective and personal. Grande Prairie is a time river, and you can hear its epic song everywhere you go. A song of countless winters and spring times -leaving marks, tracks and scars over the landscape, over the faces, over this stunning silence that you can hear from time to time, on the boundaries of the streets and the sidewalks inhabited by small stores. Its a tune of loneliness, too. It tells the stories of people playing role games in comic stores while drinking Coca-Cola, maybe running from the growing cold of the streets at the end of July, when the clean sky its a memento of the sea existence.


There´s a dominant song, although. First notes springs from gigantic noisy machines. Modern day bisons running through the streets of the town, truck engines speaking of the ruthless nature of working with wood ­­-a kind of fist fight with the natural world-, reminds you, with its tired gritty voice, that there is a man or a woman behind the wheel, that this driver is the hero of his own song: a song of restlessness, of homecomings in the afterdark, of injuries, of constant concern for the family, of freezing and boiling weather, a song of joy, nevertheless, because through the hero´s lungs runs the enlivening air of the north, an air as old as the earth and broad as the prairie.


July 2019

Juan Carlos Montero Vallejo

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