A rhythmic thrum pulls me from my sleep. My eyes flutter open and there is a thick scent of incense coating the air. I half sit up, still groggy and confused from an afternoon powernap. I don't understand what is going on.
There it is again, a deep bassy percussive boom, rhythmically pulsing through the air. My eyes widen. Semana Santa. I bolt out of bed, my heart thudding with the beat. I was told I had missed all the processions.
Racing to the window I am surrounded by the thick musk of the ceremonial incense. I can't see anything, though.. just what looks like a normal crowd down in the street. But I still hear the drums pulse somewhere to my left, not far off. And even though I am not particularily religious, I feel it in deep. There is something inexpressible about this.
I whip out my camera and race downstairs. I must see this. Everywhere there is all at once crackling excitement and a deep solemnity. The juxtaposition of emotion entrances me. Or maybe it is the incense. Or the continuous thrumming of the drums. I am enthralled.
Then I see, coming down the small road right where I am staying, there is a crowd moving towards me. I see the tips of the pointed green Semana Santa hats gathered at the end of the walkway, swaying slightly in their slow movement. I realize quickly they're coming directly my way. I am on the parade route. I look up and see Kristin's head poking out our hostel window off the miniature balcony of our second story room. I can't believe my good fortune. It is the perfect view.
I dash back upstairs, (or, at least as fast as my gimpy body can take me. I'm limping, lurching, laughing and forcing my body to climb the steps), and burst into our room. My friends immediately move out of the way of the window, (how wonderful they are), and there it is. The procession slowly and stately moving up the street beneath me. A brass marching band strikes up, a blaring trumpet tenure that pulls at the heart in a strange way.
I start to click my shutter, awkwardly adjusting the settings as I amaturely express one of passions.
It is beautiful, exciting, solemn, wonderous.
I can't stop photographing this. The drums continue to pulse deep, hitting my heartbeat.
I am in Sevilla during Semana Santa.
I can't believe this.
Sevilla, Spain - 04.23.11