Posts Tagged ‘Maria Elena Cruz Varela’

Desmond Painter. Liefde en ander outydse dinge

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Milan Kundera

Milan Kundera

In sy jongste bundel essays, Encounter, maak Milan Kundera hierdie insiggewende opmerking: “The acceleration of history has profoundly transformed individual lives that, in centuries past, used to proceed from birth to death within a single historical period; today a life straddles two such periods, sometimes more. Whereas history used to advance far more slowly than human life, nowadays it is history that moves fast, it tears ahead, it slips from a man’s grasp, and the continuity, the identity, of a life is in danger of cracking apart.”

 

Is dit nie waar nie? Hier is maar ‘n paar eenvoudige voorbeelde: Ek het nog ‘n stapel langspeelplate wat ek self gekoop het in my besit, maar die medium wat dit vervang het, die CD, is self al weer op pad uit… Toe ek my videospeler ‘n paar jaar terug met ‘n DVD-speler vervang het, het mense al van Blu-ray begin praat. Ek kan nie meer my M-tesis, wat na die jaar 2000 voltooi is, op ‘n rekenaar oopmaak nie, want nie een van my rekenaars gebruik meer ‘stiffies’ nie… My huis is ‘n museum van nuttelose dinge, ‘n begraafplaas vir uitgediende objekte en tegnologieë – en ek is maar 36 jaar oud! (Of miskien moet ouderdom nie meer in jare nie, maar in die aantal dooie selfone in jou laai gemeet word…)

 

Baie van hierdie veranderinge is opwindend. Ek voel ‘n bietjie nostalgies oor die langspeelplaat, maar ek hunker nie juis na videomasjiene, 128kb stiffies, openbare telefone en toustaan by die bank nie. Maar die wêreld is nie net ‘n begraafplaas vir ou objekte en tegniese middele nie, dit is ook ‘n begraafplaas vir dooie idees, praktyke en uitdrukkings. Iets soos liefde – tot ‘n groot mate is dit ‘n taalspel, ‘n soort spel met aanhalingstekens, maar hoe verwoord ‘n mens jou intieme verhoudings in ‘n tyd waar die ‘genres’ van liefdesverklaring en die praktyke wat daarmee gepaardgaan vinniger as ‘n Nokia verouder en nutteloos raak? Wat word van kognisie en emosie, van kennis en gevoel, wanneer die geskiedenis (onder) ons woordeskatte en gewoontes uithol? Soos Kundera in dieselfde essay vra: “Without the memory of how it used to be, what would remain of love, of the very notion of love?”

 

Hoe skryf ‘n mens ‘n liefdesgedig wanneer woorde en konsepte en idees ‘n krimpende rakleeftyd het? Een van die beste “antwoord” op die hierdie vraag wat ek ken kom van die Kubaanse digter, Maria Elena Cruz Varela, wanneer sy haar liefde probeer verklaar in “…this worn-out voice./ This ancient custom of saying I love you.”

 

 

Love Song for Difficult Times

– Maria Elena Cruz Varela

 

So hard to say I love you madly.

Until I reach my marrow. What would happen to my body

if I lose your hands? What would happen to my hands

if your hair is lost? So hard. Very hard

a love poem on these days.

It happens that you exist. Ferocious in your evidence.

It happens that I exist. Counterfeited. Insisting.

And it happens that we exist. The law of gravity doesn’t forgive us.

So hard to say I love you these days.

I love you with urgency. I want to make a side.

Without doubts. And without traps.

To say I love you. Like that. Plainly.

And that our love shall save me from the nocturnal howl

when, like the maddened she-wolf, the fever will grab me.

I don’t want to be hurt by the absence of tenderness.

But love. So hard to write that I love you.

Like this. “Between so much gray, so much hunches together.”

How can I aspire to transparency.

To retake this worn-out voice.

This ancient custom of saying I love you.

Like this. Plainly. Anciently. I say.

If everything is so hard. If everything hurts so much.

If one man. And another man. And again another. And another.

Destroy the spaces where love is kept.

If it weren’t hard. Hard and tremendous.

If it weren’t impossible to forget this rage.

My clock. Its tick-tock. The route to the scaffold.

My ridiculous sentence with this false cord.

If it weren’t hard. Hard and tremendous.

I would cast this verse with its cheap cadence.

If it were this simple to write that I love you.

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