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intimate worlds. The world of yesterday: they scared us with the colimba, in the cinema you did not eat and we thought about the future with hope


reflections. With the format of a letter to a friend, the author -since he was sixty-four years old- remembers with a certain nostalgia the passions that kept him awake at night when he was (younger).

Dear Julio:

Regarding your question about how life is going now that I have turned years old, I must admit that I have immersed myself in a process of reflection that I want to update you on.

I wish I could do it with a mate in between, but distance imposes this format on us, which also entails the audacity to write you a letter in these times.

I enjoy the fact of using my pen, writing paper, putting this sheet in an envelope, writing your address by hand, buying stamps and finding a mailbox to drop it off.

I'm always wary of someone from the post office continuing to pass through that half-forgotten corner of the neighborhood.

The one we refer to as the one with the old mailbox.

I think that I must be the only one who uses it and that the postman must know that from time to time he has to go get my letters.

Even that uncertainty makes me rejoice.

look too

The eternal longing for times gone by

It is not that your concern was different from the one that comes up to me daily, during more than a few moments of the day, and that we have addressed in our previous letters.

I would say that, since the fifties, in the middle of the path of life, as Dante wrote, where we feel that we are entering that dark jungle that is the world today.

At this age, now over 60, when I go out early in the morning, the walks have become long and ceremonious, sometimes I do it while listening to classical music, or jazz, and that philosophy course I told you about last year that I have complied rigorously in these months.

Esteban Charpentier, in a "poetic minestrone" (poetry meeting that they did in the Abasto).

I wonder how someone comes back from the hairdresser and wants someone to tell them how their hairstyle turned out, if so much reflection is noticeable in my head.

Philosophy, says Fernando Aramburu in "Los Vencejos" (that book you insisted I read), has already fulfilled its laudable mission long ago:

rid us of religious superstitions, and instill in us a certain faith, while humanity

he dedicated himself to discovering electric light, transforming himself into what we know, plain and simple, as literature.

Good literature, by the way.

And that recipe for how to order the life circumstances that surround us and carry out a kind of classification of ideas that, sooner or later, end up serving as a lifeline.

You and I know that the shipwrecks were not few, and the rescues that have happened to us or in which we were forced to participate were not less.

We have already spoken on other occasions about how strange it is for us to think that our decisions today are more the result of our minds of yesterday than of the current elaborated analyses.

The famous common sense, as rare as they say

, has never been our search.

Thinking the same as part of our generation did not satisfy us and always led us to controversial but own decisions;

to climb a couple of steps towards a sense that was not common, that would travel more on the learning and experiences that we accumulated over the years.

Esteban Charpentier at the "counter-fair" of the book that they organized to give visibility to unknown authors or small publishers.

When we were young, not so long ago, there are still days when we felt that way, they told us "you'll see how they wake you up when you do the conscription", we called it the colimba.

There will be those who don't know what I'm talking about, I suppose.

"There you will learn discipline, punctuality, order."

As if that were not enough, they said, "you are going to learn to obey, to forge your character, to improve yourself."

And we both know what all that was and what it became.

There was always a "you'll see when...".

I remember the deeds that sang us and led us to exaltation: May 1968 and its poetic spirit, the demonstrations against the military governments, the movies we watched in the Cosmos or in the Hebraica.

The cycles of Eisenstein, Kurosawa, Bergman, Polanski.

We left the cinema thinking that we were going to devour the world, and change its injustices and its inequality.

How I miss the cinema of those times, the tickets were within our reach and we should not sign up for promotions or have special cards to pay for two simple tickets and enter the cinema to see a movie.

Now people seem to come in to spend a few days inside, they bring drinks, food and phones.

You can no longer whistle when someone makes noise, noise seems to be a hallmark and an acquired right.

How to support a guy sending and receiving messages non-stop?

What will that guy think?

We were devastated by the tremendous circumstances suffered during the 70s, with so many casualties among our people, among them, among all of us.

The nevermores that… The thought that we would reach this age now, that we would sit down and collect all these stories, and rejoice in their audacity and imbalance, did not cross our minds, but we longed for it to happen to us.

The present was what we wore everything in the name of, and our flags of the future were part of a utopia that possessed us.

And that, perhaps, we have complied in some respects.

We walked through the halls of the college and

ripped off posters or painted graffiti

, believing that this small grain of sand would change this part of the world.

How bold!

I was thinking about what you wrote in the last letter, when you told me that another of your children was going to live in Australia, and that he had left his job, that he abandoned his thesis, his degree, and that he preferred to go clean bathrooms or wash drinks before continuing in this country with no future.

I was very sad, because I know the effort they made in your family.

I apologize if I can't offer you a balm for your grief.

It will take us, and we know it, to get used to this new world.

The fact of feeling so close, of sharing the things that happen to us,

produces these emptinesses in me that can leave me torn to pieces

and, on the other hand, those outbursts of joy that encourage me to continue.

I have also told you that the conversations with my father are, on the other hand, increasingly important.

They have improved a lot since his death, although there are those who think that I am crazy.

The advice that he lavishes on me has been of great value when making decisions that, if it were not for them, the decisions made would not have been possible.

We've both run, run, gone wrong, and found shortcuts.

We have exploded and drowned in emotions.

We avoid obstacles and invent others, we adore religious, pagan and mundane rites.

We were sociable, socialists, socialized, but without abandoning our permanent surrender to solitude.

She, who so many times took care of our soul and destiny.

We thought that passion was everything and that maybe we just had to accept reality, period.

But that leads me to ask you.

Do you think that the meaning of life is given to us by passion?

That what took over our dreams, will burn inside us to death?

Come what may, will it burn?

Will that passion of which we feel so proud so often abandon us to our fate now that we are grown up, now that we are "old"?

It is said that passion does not know the language of reason.

Do you remember that verse that I wrote about the quote from Pascal, it said:

reason has hearts that the heart does not understand


I didn't want to seem too Shakespearean, to think that that passion is enough on its own, it always lands in despair, the sinister is supplied or determined.

I must say that this passion has been an engine that is still running and leads me to the places where I like to wander.

They are fewer and fewer, I know, but it doesn't matter.

Lately I've been thinking about our friend Pedro, I don't know whether to think or remember, I don't know if it's the same.

Sometimes he wondered, I wondered, if after he died there would be something to prolong it, if he had done enough for someone to remember him, miss him, think of him.

The same thing often happens to me.

The friends who left, who died before they should have,

took with them many answers to the questions that we would like to ask them now

or, in some cases, many questions for answers that we would have liked to think of.

Although sometimes old friends come back, as I told you Pedro came back a few days ago, and we remain silent as if we were both alive and neither of us dared to say who, and usually a smile or a tear escapes me. , and he continues his journey where he came from.

Without looking back.

Have you ever criticized me for my constant metaphorization of the world, for my utopian drive to make it poetic, but my vocation for beauty, my staunch defense of the concept of beauty is inherent to me.

But beauty is my protective bubble.

Concentrated on music, poetry and not much else.

I have read somewhere that beauty is the salvation of the different.

And art embodies that salvation, I think that's why the answer to your initial question: life goes on if I sustain my vocation to write.

As I have already told you, I am preparing the publication of a new book that, this time, is about short stories.

One concerns our friendship.

I describe us walking and having these conversations as the sun begins to rise over the sea.

Don't worry, I have faithfully respected your thought.

I'm sure you'll like it.

Someday we should think, as my daughter tells me, of publishing these letters in a book.

I like that she thinks that a book is a place to take refuge

, before she reproached me for advising her to read and read.

Surely that book, she would find a reader affectionate to our concerns.

And, perhaps, she will join us in the intention of saving what is different.

There is one more thing that I wanted to propose to you and it is in reference to a subject that has kept me busy these days.

You are more knowledgeable than me in digital matters.

And, on many occasions, we have discussed the influence of social networks on modern man, as we see him, the digital man.

Now it turns out that this man, through what they call artificial intelligence, could supplant this letter with the simple order that he write to you, answering how my life is going.

I confess to you that I have done it and that the result was formally satisfactory, but disgustingly lacking in feeling, it lacked the character and emotion that distinguishes us.

You would have worried about so much makeup


For this reason, I would like our next exchange, if you like, to be on this topic.

What some call the final catastrophe.

From now on, I thank you for the time you give me, not only when reading these letters, but also for the time you have for your answer, so necessary for my spirit.

It is but that you know then, as a climax, that life is going well, that your company and that of my affections, contribute to the maintenance of the spirit and its joy.

I extend my hug to you, waiting for your answer.



Stephen Charpentier.

Lawyer and poet.

He presided over the PIBES Foundation for 15 years, in which he built schools, bridges, libraries and picnic areas.

He always characterized him as rebellion.

He directed the Contraferia del libro with other poets, and Buenos Aires hurts us.

He has been conducting radio programs dedicated to poetry for 27 years.

He directed the poetic cycle “Maldita Ginebra” for 10 years.

He published 20 books, the last 4 are "You will never see me as you saw me", "Greatest hits volume 1" with H. Urruspuru, "Those Gone with the Wind" (Poetry in Comic) and "Paris Paris" published in France in bilingual edition.

He has lived in Pilar for 25 years where he likes to go and read poetry to the kids in the neighborhoods.

He is happily married and has two daughters to whom he intends to leave a better world.

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2023-03-18

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