A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

La Noche Boca Arriba
Sunday, October 13, 2013



Y ante el vacío que avanzaba hacia él a medida que su sangre se escapaba, buscó una razón para haber vivido, algo que le hiciera valedera la serena aceptación de su nada, y de pronto como un golpe de sangre más que el que le hubiera, el recuerdo de Ana la Cretense le fue llenando de sentido toda la historia de su vida sobre la tierra. El delicado tejido azul de sus venas en sus blancos pechos, un abrirse de las pupilas con asombro y ternura, un suave ceñirse de su piel para velar su sueño, las dos respiraciones jadeando entre tantas noches, como un mar palpitando eternamente; sus manos seguras, blancas, sus dedos firmes y sus uñas en forma de almendra, su manera de escucharle, su andar, el recuerdo de cada palabra suya, se alzaron para decirle al Estratega que su vida no había sido en vano, que nada podemos pedir…
La muerte del estratega
Álvaro Mutis



 The emptiness was approaching him. Inexorably as his blood drained he sought a reason for having lived; for something that would validate his serene acceptance of his nothingness. Suddenly as an even greater wound of bloodletting he was filled by the memory of Ana the Crete which brought him a purpose all his existence on earth. There was the delicate weaving of blue veins on her on her white chest, the opening of her pupils with amazement and tenderness, the soft clinging of her skin to watch over his sleep, both of them breathing and gasping between so many nights, like a sea palpitating eternally; her safe hands, with, her firm fingers and her almond-shaped nails, her way of listening as he walked, the remembrance of every word  she uttered, all rose to tell the Estratega that his life had not been in vain, that there is nothing that we can ask…
La muerte del estratega
Álvaro Mutis
My translation

On Sunday, October 13th I arrived in Toronto from a long flight from Buenos Aires. It was four in the morning and I managed to make it to a nearby hotel that my Rosemary had kindly found for me. I had a 12-hour wait for my trip back from Toronto to Vancouver.

I managed to crash for two hours, in spite of a terrible cough that was later to be diagnosed as pneumonia. I woke up suddenly. My arms were numb and my chest felt restricted. I was short of breath. My immediate thought was not fear of death but the fear that I would never see my wife Rosemary again or my two cats. I was in a sort of calm panic. I managed to get up and make myself a pot of hotel-room coffee. The little heart action subsided.

I recalled immediately the beautiful story by Colombian poet and writer Álvaro Mutis who died at age 90 on September 22 in Mexico City. That calmed me down. But there was another story that did the opposite. This was Julio Cortázar’s La Noche Boca Arriba (The Night Face Up) about a young man who has a terrible accident on a motorcycle and is having a horrific nightmare in his hosptial room. He dreams that he is a prisoner of the florid wars in ancient Tenochtitlan and that the Aztecs are carrying him up to the top of a pyramid for his eventual sacrifice. It is only at the end that Cortázar reveals to the reader that the dream is the strange world of motorcycles, cars and red and green traffic lights and that the reality is that indeed an obsidian knife is about to be plunged into the poor dreamer’s chest. 


I managed to get enough energy to take a picture with my new Fuji X-E1 of the two Argentine books I was reading on the plane. I had finished the one of Eva Perón and was in the middle chapters of the second one on Juan Perón.

I did get back to the airport and back to Vancouver. I have been in bed ever since relishing and enjoying every moment of being with Rosemary and my two cats. Unlike Mutis’s Estratega I don’t have to be bleeding to death from an arrow shot in battle to realize that my life indeed has a purpose.



     

Previous Posts
Inesita & Liberty

Fundación Mítica De Buenos Aires

Doña Petrona

Roberto Baschetti - Sociólogo, Investigador Histór...

As Invisible As Claude Rains

Eva Perón El Mito - Eva Perón The Myth

Canadian Breakfast Tea With The First Cousins

Tres Hermanas Argentinas Y El Papá

Embates y Oscilaciones

Everything & Nothing



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6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17