Jim went to the Taos Solar Music Festival for the weekend; I stayed behind with the girls. I needed to get us ready for a week-long trip of our own. Besides, I enjoy time with them alone. We ate soupy spaghetti for dinner, and they slept with me. I woke up throughout the night, although nothing to do with them. We kept the window open, and all night I heard a bullfrog outside, his lonely vibrating call floating in and out of my dreams.
The last time Jim was gone I did the Pablo Neruda reading. I was relieved Jim couldn’t come see me read. One glimpse of him in the audience and I would have been struck by “inappropriate giggling syndrome.” As it was, when Christopher, one of the male performers, and I read the early love poem “Juegas Todos Los Días,” he had a smile on his face that looked like he was about to lose it, so I kept my eyes on the page or the audience from that point on to avoid cracking up.
I read “Solo La Muerte” with a woman named Enid; we wore black shawls and sat with straight spines in our chairs. The words came out in eerie monotone from somewhere deep inside. Later, someone in the audience asked us each which was our favorite poem from those we read. I told her mine was “La Muerte.” “Me, too,” she said.
We covered Neruda’s life from his early, tortured love to his exploration of existentialism, then political activism, mature love, and, finally, acceptance of death. A woman left agitated at intermission and we wondered if she was offended by the political nature of the poems. Each of us who read Neruda’s political works did so with passion. It was cleansing in many ways to assume Neruda’s fury at the corrupt governments and corporations of his time; doing so was an outlet for our own, current discontent.
It’s Sunday night; I’m preparing this post to publish tomorrow. I wish I would have written up something when it was fresh. Yet, it’s taken me weeks to let Neruda sink in. His voice (I tried to find a recording but couldn’t get one that worked) is haunting. I feel haunted, truly, but rather than him haunting me, I feel like I’ve crept into him somehow and am swirling about, sniffing him out for something I’ve forgotten to take away.
And now, I hear the sound of Jim’s Harley. He’s back from Taos. It’s always good when he’s been delivered home safe after a long ride.
|Nace por Pablo Neruda
Yo aquí vine a los límites
en donde no hay que decir nada,
todo se aprende con tiempo o océano,
y volvía la luna,
sus líneas plateadas
y cada vez se rompía la sombra
con un golpe de ola
y cada día en el balcón del mar
abre las alas, nace el fuego
y todo sigue azul como mañana.
|It Is Born by Pablo Neruda
Here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea,
and the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born,
and everything is blue again like morning.