Route to Revelation
A visit to the lesser known ruins
Come walk with me down Calle Paradoja. We call it that for convenience, for its short name is Pasaje del Muy Venerable Hermano Pedro de Bethancourt al Lado de la Iglesia de San Francisco which tells you where it isn’t and how you can get lost seeking it from such precise directions. We are in Santiago, newly named La Antigua Guatemala, in the Land of Spring where the winds blow the spirits who came before us and perhaps never left. We are passing a church. Listen, they are saying Mass. You can hear the whispering sounds inside this silence. Step through these invisible oaken doors.
Look up at the ceiling of the nave. Did an artist color it so blue? See the painted white clouds that sit motionless in their movements. A bird hangs in its still swiftness. Enter the presbytery where the green and purple robes await the priest, arriving early for the service three hundred years late. A bell clacks its cracked soundless song, stirring to Mass the noisy dead.
We pass a vendor along this congealed, frozen avenida, beckoning, with steaming, cinnamon-flavored atole. See there, hanging on that ruined wall, a búcaro spouting its dry clean water.
At the route’s end we stumble upon the cemetery where they went without choice. Here is a place to muse among the hauntings of this rowdy stillborn town. Here are dreams forever awaiting dreamers.