Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

Martí, Bolivar, Duarte and Rivera perch in a Ponce Park

There is a wonderfully tranquil corner of Ponce, Puerto Rico where a group of small parks meet the Portuguese River. Here each park has a theme, and I sat in the one dedicated to the thinkers and statesmen that are national heroes of independence in the Spanish speaking Caribbean. Busts of the four famous men of this region gaze across a patch of green at each other: Simón Bolivar of Venezuela, José Martí of Cuba, Juan Pablo Duarte of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico’s own Luis Muñoz Rivera. They are modest scupltures that perch just barely above eye level and they seem at home among the foliage and the occasional visitor that chooses to commune with them here. Beyond this park is the Bridge of Lions and a road that leads traffic into the old city, but the park itself is leafy and quiet and perfect for meditation or photography, or drawing.

Drawing is what I do when I forget my camera, or as on the day I visited this park, forget to charge my battery. Instead of imagining how every vista would look in pixels on a screen, I was forced to draw the scenes that I liked, and thus experience them in an intimate way. It is a lesson I reluctantly learn over and over again. With cameras we hunker down behind the lens, seeing everything from a technician’s point of view and thus cutting ouselves off from the very experience we are trying to capture. When we draw, in contrast, we are forced to look carefully, at every detail, to really see. It was a bit tedious and it took up an entire morning, but it felt like a real accomplishment and now, with a little help from photoshop, I have some nice souvenirs, too.

Juan Pablo Duarte

José Martí

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Puente de Leones crosses the Río Portugués at this point. This city is named in honor of Ponce de León, who as an explorer in the service of the Spanish crown became Puerto Rico’s first governor. Like the city of Léon in Spain, the city of Ponce has the lion as its symbol. A lion stands atop the two columns at the city end of the bridge, the Wise Lion, symbolizing the city’s heritage, and the Young Lion (seen in this drawing) symbolizing the city’s future.

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February 6, 2012 - Posted by | daily life | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Tedious? Maybe. Rewarding? Hell yeah! I wish I never lost my drawing hobby. Everybody writes in a keyboard and takes photos. You need nowadays some special sensibility for handwriting and drawing… Thanks!

    Comment by jokerizedpaul | February 6, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks for the comment. It is nice to practice these old skills once in awhile. I notice the developments on your blog….. it looks like it’s becoming a publishing empire! Bravo!
      Dominic

      Comment by dominicambrose | February 6, 2012 | Reply


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