Nos buscamos los dos. Ojalá fuera
éste el último día de la espera.
We look for each other. I wish this were
the last day of waiting.
I entered a labyrinth made of time and mirrors. I kept walking, without knowing where to go, what to look for. Blinded by the incommensurable amount of knowledge, delighted by a music that came from afar. A captivating music that I did not trust at first, like a mariner resisting the spellbinding voice of the enigmatic sea.
¿Me oyes, amigo no mirado, me oyesA través de esas cosas insondablesQue son los mares y la muerte?Do you hear me, unseen friend, do you hear meThrough those unfathomable thingsthat are the seas and death?(A Cierta Sombra, 1940)
I have seen it all. I have absorbed it all. Again. Time, rhetoric, algebra, magic. A haunting past, the forgotten present, the despair of things to come. Dreams that become nightmares and then switch back in order to soothe the secret dreamer. The echoes of eternity.
Yo no hablo de venganzas ni perdones; el olvido es la única venganza y el único perdón.I do not speak about vengeance and forgiveness; forgetting is the only revenge and the only forgiveness.(Fragmentos de un Evangelio apócrifo)
Free verse, hardly any rhyme; all equally magnificent. An ode to gauchos, to their bravery, their hospitality, their values, their mate. A song to the books that have built his world. The mastered art of the written word; a gift from unknown gods, or mere humanity. Memories, death, heavens, punishment; redemption. Nostalgic Buenos Aires, the language of courage and sadness. The nightfall in his eyes. The genius I see; the apprentice he considered himself to be. A man standing in the growing dark trying to discern forms; reminiscing faces, friends, women, streets.
The guardian of books.
I see despair. He sees the sweetness of returning to what is essential.
...no hay letras en las páginas de los libros.…there are no letters on the pages of books.(El Elogio de la Sombra)
With a book on my hand and his profound meditations on the other, as the owner of my own uncertainties that I have become, I find the only way out of the labyrinth. Melancholic steps that evoke a conflicted Theseus unwilling to leave but forced to. The nature of time might be eternal, but my existence is certainly not.
So we parted ways. I look back and I see his reflection on a thousand mirrors.
I keep walking with his book on my hands.
I am nowhere. And I feel at home.