War in Colombia resembles rain: this inevitable and ever changing natural phenomenon that sometimes falls on you and reshapes everything around. Often you notice it is here when it is already too late but in a way it never catches you by surprise because it is all but extraordinary: it is part of the landscape, as mountains, bodies of water, chirps at dawn or the passing of time.
Any instance of war has its own identity and peculiarities. War is not monolithic. I cannot be simplified into a linear story in which the first scene unchains in a clear sequential way everything that follows after and each character embodies convenient moral archetypes. It is dangerous to think of war as something frameable. It fools us into believing that we could actually control it if we really wanted. The same applies to love.
I remember when war first fell on me. I was seven and people with guns came to take us for a while. They took us to a white room with green bunkbeds, made us afraid and changed us. Black magic. We left our life, hid away and became different, forever strangers since then.
But before war fell it was still around, unnoticeable. I could not see it because it was subtle, masked as habits, routines, inequalities, exclusions, resentments, distrusts, hatred and privileges. I was born inside war. That I learned much later.
War is that rain that soaks you so deep you cannot really dry. It absorbs you as much as you absorb it. You do not feel quite right after it falls and this feeling never goes away. The resulting state serves both as filter and perspective.
In Colombia war should be a verb. “It wars”, people would say before either dying, vanishing, hiding or running away.