Echoes and Shadows and Rainbows

A special shade of red

Echoes play amidst shadows and rainbows, … teasing me.

Melancholy has almost always been the most dominant emotion during the time of year during which my birth is recalled by some of those who’ve known me. It’s been so for most of this week and I assume it will climax tomorrow. Reflections on a life balancing between too full and not full enough, more than my share of mistakes but a fair number of triumphs, opportunities lost as well as opportunities remaining, they all fill my memories as well as my imagination while might have beens haunt my present.

Love, … almost within reach but slip-sliding away, except, of course, where my sons and their families are concerned, and my siblings, perhaps all but one. A wonderful lifetime of friends in epochal stages, so many still around: the Garcia family from my earliest years in Colombia; my classmates and students at EMA; my Citadel brothers, both those with whom I shared time and those golden links in a long grey line I may never meet but who I will always treasure; my classmates at St. John’s and NYU and UF; the fellows and gals in Ocala and new colleagues, students and friends back in Manizales once again; all the girls and women who shared affection with me, to most of whom I owe apologies and to whom I am deeply grateful; my mentors, usually idiosyncratic and unique and several, like the Boo, legendary.

Nostalgia forces its way in, crowding melancholy but they quickly reach accommodations blending joy and sorrow. Too many people important to me are no longer here and more are leaving all too regularly: Pop, my erratic but loving stepfather; my wonderful mother, grandmother and aunt Carola all of whom played so strong a role in my formation and my values. A number of people of whom I’ve managed to become very fond despite never meeting. So many that I care for but who are so far away in time and space.

The sun shines on the verdant mountains and snowy glaciers of the Central Andean range that was my first home and is now a sort of home again, but homes also echo from everywhere I’ve lived, so many places holding bits and pieces of my soul. So, … echoes play amidst shadows and rainbows, … teasing me, but every once in a while I get to tease them back, reminding them that there may be quite a bit yet to do and say.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2018; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at and much of his writing is available through his blog at

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