Category Archives: For the Soul

Random Thought and Declaration:

One day, if I have a lot of money, I will do something nice for the people who make Pandora Radio possible. For now, that I have no such wealth to speak of, I will say “thank you, thank you, thank you…especially for what you play on my favorite station “the Shins Radio.” It makes my days better, my thoughts flow and makes my heart dream on.

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Some of my favorite first pages (arguably some of the BEST first pages…)

Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. She was already in the habit of writing down important matters, and afterward, when she was mute, she also recorded trivialities, never suspecting that fifty years later I would use her notebooks to reclaim the past and overcome terrors of my own. Barrabás arrived on a Holy Thursday. He was in a despicable cage, caked with his own excrement and urine, and had the lost look of a hapless, utterly defenseless prisoner; but the regal carriage of his head and the size of his frame bespoke the legendary giant he would become. It was a bland, autumnal day that gave no hint of the events that the child would record, which took place during the noon mass in the parish of San Sebastián, with her whole family in attendance. As a sign of mourning, the statues were shrouded in purple robes that the pious ladies of the congregation unpacked and dusted off once a year from a cupboard in the sacristy. Beneath these funereal sheets the Celestine retinue resembled nothing so much as a roomful of furniture awaiting movers, an impression that the candles, the incense, and the soft moans of the organ were powerless to counteract. Terrifying dark bundles loomed where the life-size saints had stood, each with its influenza-pale expression, its elaborate wig woven from the hair of someone long dead, its rubies, pearls and emeralds of painted glass, and the rich gown of a Florentine aristocrat.”

 

From The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende

 

“A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. My first thought on waking was to tell my best friend about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Tomás Aguilar was a classmate who devoted his free time and his talent to the invention of wonderfully ingenious contraptions of dubious practicality, like the aerostatic dart or the dynamo spinning top. I pictured us both, equipped with flashlights and compasses, uncovering the mysteries of those bibliographic catacombs.”

From the first page of chapter 1 in The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón       

      

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point. Every year during the month of March a family of ragged gypsies would set up their tents near the village, and with a great uproar of pipes and kettledrums they would display new inventions. First they brought the magnet. A heavy gypsy with an untamed beard and sparrow hands, who introduced himself as Melquiades, put on a bold public demonstration of what he himself called the eighth wonder of the learned alchemists of Macedonia. He went from house to house dragging two metal ingots and everybody was amazed to see pots, pans, tongs, and braziers tumble down from their places and beams creak from the desperation of nails and screws trying to emerge…”


From One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez


A “La Sebastiana”

Yo construí la casa.                                                            


La hice primero de aire.                                                       

Luego subí en el aire la bandera                                        

y la dejé colgada                                                                    

del firmamento, de la estrella, de                                      

la claridad y de la oscuridad.                                              


Cemento, hierro, vidrio,

eran la fábula,

valían mas que el trigo y como el oro,

había que buscar y que vender,

y así llegó un camión:

bajaron sacos

y más sacos,

la torre se agarró a la tierra dura

– pero, no basta, dijo el constructor,

falta cemento, vidrio, fierro, puertas – ,

y no dormí en la noche.


Pero crecía,

crecían las ventanas

y con poco,

con pegarle al papel y trabajar

y arremeterle con rodilla y hombro

iba a crecer hasta llegar a ser,

hasta poder mirar por la ventana,

y parecía que con tanto saco

pudiera tener techo y subiríra

y se agarrara, al fin, de la bandera

que aún colgaba del cielo sus colores.

Me dediqué a las puertas más baratas,

a las que habían muerto

y habían sido echadas de sus casas,

puertas sin muro, rotas,

amontonadas en demoliciones,

pertas ya sin memoria,

sin recuerdo de llave,

y yo dije: “Venid

a mí, puertas perdidas:

os daré casa y muro

y mano que golpea,

oscilaréis de nuevo abriendo el alma,

custodiaréis el sueño de Matilde

con vuestras alas que volaron tanto.”


Entonces la pintura

llegó también lamiendo las paredes,

las vistió de celeste y de rosado

para que se pusieran a bailar.

Así la torre baila,

cantan las escaleras y las puertas,

sube la casa hasta tocar el mástil,

pero falta dinero:

faltan clavos,

faltan aldabas, cerraduras, mármol.

Sin embargo, la casa

sigue subiendo

y algo pasa, un latido

circula en sus arterias:

es tal vez un serrucho que navega

como un pez en el agua de los sueños

o un martillo que pica

como alevoso cóndor carpintero

las tablas del pinar que pisaremos.


Algo pasa y la vida continúa.


La casa crece y habla,

se sostiene en sus pies,

tiene ropa colgada en un andamio,

y como por el mar a primavera

nadando como náyade marina

besa la arena de Valparaíso,


ya no pensamos más: ésta es la casa:


ya todo lo que falta será azul,


lo que ya necesita es florecer.


Y eso es trabajo de la primavera.

– Pablo Neruda