Fragrant As A Cured MateFriday, April 15, 2011
|Linda Lorenzo & father's mate|
la noche acerca agrestes lejanías
y despeja las calles
que acompañan mi soledad,
hechas de vago miedo y de largas líneas.
La brisa trae corazonadas de campo,
dulzura de las quintas, memorias de los álamos,
que harán temblar bajo rigideces de asfalto
la detenida tierra viva
que oprime el peso de las casas.
En vano la furtiva noche felina
inquieta los balcones cerrados
que en la tarde mostraron
la notoria esperanza de las niñas.
También está el silencio en los zaguanes.
En la cóncava sombra
vierten un tiempo vasto y generoso
los relojes de la medianoche magnífica,
un tiempo caudaloso
donde todo soñar halla cabida,
tiempo de anchura de alma, distinto
de los avaros términos que miden
las tareas del día.
Yo soy el único espectador de esta calle;
si dejara de verla se moriría.
(Advierto un largo paredón erizado
de una agresión de aristas
y un farol amarillo que aventura
su indecisión de luz.
También advierto estrellas vacilantes.)
Grandiosa y viva
como el plumaje oscuro de un Ángel
cuyas alas tapan el día,
la noche pierde las mediocres calles.
This Jorge Luís Borges poem came to mind last night when Rebecca and I sat in our living room sipping mate from my father’s mate and using his alpaca silver bombilla. Rebecca insisted in putting sugar as she finds mate much too strong and bitter without it. She knows that most men eschew the sugar but I am willing to go along simply because the very act of sipping the Argentine brew with her is not only a rare social occurrence but also quite meaningful. I told her as she sipped, “Imagine my father occasionally sipped from that perhaps some 70 years ago.”
Rebecca who is 13 is living the teenage equivalent of history’s dark ages or middle ages. Only in recent years have we found out that the dark ages were not so, but still parents and everybody else I tell about Rebecca being 13 mention the difficulties of that age. They all speak of its inevitability and cite that patience and time will make the dark ages turn into a renaissance.
Rebecca had had an altercation with her mother who has often told me that it is not important for a mother to be popular with her daughter. Discipline must be kept and a teenager’s laziness counteracted with firmness laced with some sort of punishment. In our present age this includes grounding and the prohibition of indulging in TV, and using computers or an iTouch.
My wife Rosemary does not quite agree and feels that a judicious use of a carrot and stick works better. Incentive and challenge will overcome boredom and inaction.
Rebecca went upstairs and closed the door of our bedroom. She moped. I opened the door and suggested we have a mate. She responded, “And shall we listen to some Piazzolla?” I was game.
I turned on the kettle, filled the mate with “yerba” and brought the sugar and a spoon. I looked for the Piazzolla CDs.
We sat down to listen, mostly several versions of Milonga del Angel and to sip. I told Rebecca that listening to Piazzolla was perfect if one had experienced a romantic undoing. I had been dumped (a word Rebecca uses a lot) by a girlfriend in a faraway winter in time in Buenos Aires. Piazzolla had somehow helped as my melancholy changed to a downward spiral of despair that somehow hit bottom and then soared upwards. Rebecca had experienced some of this in more recent months.
After an hour Rebecca, her sister and mother had to go. I drove them home. As I drove back I felt blessed.