26 de abril: El cielo de Chernobil se ilumina (1986)

martes, 19 de octubre de 2010


Antes de nada, permitanme que me disculpe por el cambio en el idioma habitual de este rincón del interné, pero la persona a la que va dirigida esta carta abierta, si bien muy bien podría entender el español, definitivamente no tiene por qué hacerlo. De nuevo, me disculpo ante el lector habitual.

I met Barbara in 2007, as I was wandering around former Yugoslavia for the first time, unaware of what I was to find there –not only a fascinating destination for my period of holidays, but a fulfilling topic for my always wondering mind. Not that I knew much about it –just the fact that Phil had left Spain only to spend there a couple of weeks before he would move back to Australia. And of course I was not able to place Bosnia, Macedonia or Kosovo quite right on the map. And the fact that Serbians were the bad guys. And the fact that the good ones where all the others.

I was not in the best of my moments as I went to former Yugoslavia in that September 2007. Those of you who know me –or who at least tend to read these lines that I write here, know well my life in The Netherlands was not something I’d have killed for. Lack of motivation, lack of interest in any of the possibilities life offered me there, lack of a job that would make me actually work –and develop, all those made me enter a sort of depression I can now call as such but could not recognize in that time. In that time, I simply felt bad. I didn’t even realized up to what extent. I had somehow accepted life was such an unnoticeable thing. It was something just going by. Day by day. Enter the office. Do nothing. Leave the office. Get your groceries. Cook them. Watch TV. Wonder. Eventually cry. Sleep.

It’s not easy to be an expat. Seems like people characterize expats as people who make a lot of money and have a quite vivid life, always partying and getting to know new people. Which is absolutely true.
But you have to be good to be a successful expat. Not everybody’s worth it. Have the slightest human feature and you’re lost. You need to make sure your main interest is getting that money, partying with people you don’t know at all, and have no strong laces with your roots –may you have any. Otherwise you will not keep up with it. And out of a sudden you’ll find yourself wondering. And you may find that money, that partying and those empty friendships are not enough. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mean people are false. I just mean expats in general know they’ll be always moving, so they do not invest much in deepness. Which is fine. If you are same. ‘Cos if you are not, take into account everything fun will be funnier, and everything sad will be sadder, and you will feel you are the only one to deal with that roller coaster.

In my time in former Yugoslavia, I started feeling interest in something again –which I hadn’t felt for a pretty long time. Each conversation, each situation, each observation helped for me to get back to myself. And one of the persons I felt most happy to meet was Barbara.
I enjoyed my conversation with her, sharing views, sharing interests, sharing thoughts and processing them. She was one of those people I somehow admire from the very first moment I meet them–which doesn’t happen that often, to be true. She has that light and that pose and that natural elegance and that way of living life as a traveler and an explorer and a pupil at the very same time. And that mind, oh that mind. Thoughts flow throw the different channels and connections of her brains until they reach the air and you just laugh, reflect, reject them, that is to say: you just enjoy them, unfortunately English does not have a proper word for the German geniessen.
Barbara is present for me in my everyday life as one of those faces you associate to something good. When you’re just about to make a decision, or find something you like in a shop, or look at the light entering your place through your window, Barbara’s face appears in my mind as others may do –my grandma, Carlos, Carl, and a handful of others, it just depends on which is the exact light entering the room. They just appear there and stay, for one second, for two minutes, to bring you a warm feeling, to give you the chance to assert how lucky you are you’ve met them in your life. To show you there are people like that. To make you feel peace within yourself. A longstanding, relaxing, releasing peace. To make you feel wohl.

So when I knew Barbara was having a bad time, when I’ve heard her appraising things she should give for granted, when I’ve pictured her wondering and managing and fighting for her unavoidable right to feel good, I had to pick my soul up from the floor, as we say in my language. Which is a way to say that it smashed to smithereens.
However, it is Barbara. And I know she’ll do it through this mourning. I know she’s already doing. And the only thing is, as one writer once stated it, “people who are really special do not realize how special they are –they just do not even consider others may not be that special too”.

As I was visiting her a few days ago, she said having me there in Parma had been sort of medicinal.
No, Barbara. It’s just us reflecting as in a mirror what we get from you. Do not ever dare to think the opposite just because some defective human beings may never manage to reflect back.

(not that the image is that nice but the song says more or less as follows :))

Leave this life of crumbs
those men who treat you
as a wind that just went by

Come down to reality, fairy
look right at my face
Confess you like
my good conversation
my way of being
my jokes, the way I sound
my hints for you to change

Woman out of your senses
listen to your man...
listen to your heart
at dusk
listen to that song
which does not come out of the radio

Stop pretending you don't care
about the truths I'm telling you
pay a little attention

Leave, take a plane, share
dreaming alone is not worth it
it's like a party in prison

Our time is good
and we don't have that much
so let me take you
where I know people will shine

Woman out of your senses
listen to your man...
listen to your heart
beating contained
for none and for nothing
in the darkness of your room

Listen to your heart
at dusk
Listen to that song
which is not played on the radio

5 comentarios:

Txetun: dijo...

I know this word is overrated due to the nonsensical and excessive use of it, but I think this post is 'awesome' (that is, It has caused me 'feelings of admiration and respect' to both Barbara and yourself).

in-nocent dijo...

Jo, yo también quiero una amiga Bárbara en mi vida!
Es curioso cómo cambian nuestras perspectivas según la gente que conocemos… me encantaría tener la capacidad de esta gente que transmite tantas cosas.. será un don?

mami-mami dijo...

I don't know English, but understand a little when is writing. These commentary is to Barbara.
Ciao Barbara, Io sono la mamma della Tremolina.
Io non so l'inglese soltanto l'ho studiato quando avevo quindici anni e non ricordo nulla, ma si ho capito che tu sei una buona amica della mia figlia, l'hai aiutato molto quando era in Holanda e non sapevo come ringraziarti questa cosa che mi fá molto felice.
Ieri, ho pensato: se adesso Barbara abita a Parma; sa l'Italiano e come anche Io so alquanto di questa lingua, posso scrivere e dirla: !Tante Grazie per la tua amicizia ¡ animo col tuo momento delicato e scusa i miei errori della grammatica.
Un bacio di Giulia.

Barbara dijo...

Per Giulia, mamma di Tremolina.
Grazie mille per le belle parole. Io sono molto felice e fiera di essere amica di sua figlia. Spero che un giorno ci incontriamo. Sarebbe un piacere! Tanti saluti e un abbraccio!

La Tremolina... dijo...

(Forgot to mention this is an ADriana Calcanhotto song. Sorry for that)