Archivo de la categoría: Memorias

La mujer singular y la ciudad de Vivian Gornick

I.

El escritor romano del siglo III Cayo comprendió que el origen de sus numerosas dificultades en el ámbito de la amistad radicaba en su incapacidad de sentirse en paz consigo mismo. “Ningún hombre tiene derecho a esperar la amistad de los demás”, escribió, “si no es amigo de sí mismo. Éste es el primer y principal deber de los hombres, ser amigos de sí mismos. Hay miles de personas que no sólo son hostiles consigo mismas, sino que frustran las mejores intenciones de los demás de servirles; y, aun así, ésos son los que más suelen quejarse de que “en este mundo no existe tal cosa como la amistad”.

II.

Conforme fueron pasando los años, comprobé que el amor romántico estaba inyectado como un tinte en el sistema nervioso de mis emociones, entrelazado a conciencia en el tejido del deseo, la fantasía y el sentimiento. Atormentaba a la psique, era un dolor de huesos; se incrustaba con tal profundidad en la naturaleza del espíritu que hacía daño a la vista contemplar sus enormes consecuencias. Sería un motivo de sufrimiento y conflicto durante el resto de mi vida. Atesoro mi corazón endurecido -durante todos estos años siempre lo he atesorado-, pero la pérdida del amor romántico todavía puede desgarrarlo.

III.

“Todos los hombres en soledad son sinceros”, decía Ralph Waldo Emerson. “En cuanto entra en escena un segundo, comienza la hipocresía […]. Un amigo, por lo tanto, es una especie de paradoja de la naturaleza.”

IV.

Empecé a darme cuenta de lo que todo el mundo sabe y olvida sistemáticamente: que ser amado sexualmente es ser amado no por el yo real, sino por la capacidad de despertar el deseo en el otro. Era un hecho que el poder conferido al yo que Manny deseaba duraría poco. Sólo los pensamientos de la mente o las intuiciones del espíritu pueden atraer para siempre, y ésos, Manny no los amaba. No los odiaba, pero tampoco los amaba. No le resultaban necesarios. En última instancia, aquella conexión de los sentidos significaba que tendría que encerrarme en mí misma hasta un grado intolerable, que me sentiría tan vulnerable que muy pronto me ahogaría en mi propia inseguridad.

 

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Negroland de Margo Jefferson

I.

So much melancholy, I think, reading these pages. But why choose that word instead of “depression”? “Depression” has gone flat from so much use. I mistrust “depression” because it´s too easy (for me, anyway) to forget the rage, even petulance, inside it. “Melancholy” is prettier than “depression”; it connotes a kind of nocturnal grace. Makes one feel more innocently beleaguered.

II.

“The human psyche is pathetic,” I say -I declaim- to my psychopharmacologist.
“It´s what we have, Miss Jefferson,” he replies, “it´s what we have.”
And what I have is what I take to my psychotherapist each week. What I have is what we make together, each supplying the material she knows best.
There are days when I still want to dismantle this constructed self of mine. You did it so badly, I think. You lost so much time. And then I tell myself, so what?
So what?
Go on.

El primer hombre de Albert Camus

Quería sentir su vanidad satisfecha, y en parte ya lo había conseguido y, sin embargo, en el momento de salir del campo verde, volviéndose hacia Muñoz, súbitamente una sorda tristeza lo acongojó de pronto al ver la cara descompuesta del que había recibido sus golpes. Y supo así que la guerra no es buena, porque vencer a un hombre es tan amargo como ser vencido por él.

Between the World and Me de Ta-Nehisi Coates

I.

I grew up in a house drawn between love and fear. There was no room for softness. But this girl with the long dreads revealed something else- that love could be soft and understanding; that, soft or hard, love was an act of heroism.

II.

So you must wake up every morning knowing that no promise is unbreakable, least of all the promise of waking up at all. This is not despair. There are the preferences of the universe itself: verbs over nouns, actions over states, struggle over hope.

III.

“You exist. You matter. You have value. You have every right to wear your hoodie, to play your music as loud as you want. You have every right to be you. And no one should deter you from being you. You have to be you. And you can never be afraid to be you.”

Hillbilly, una elegía rural de J.D. Vance

Pero hay algo poderoso en darse cuenta de que has estado vendiéndote por debajo de lo que vales, de que por alguna razón tu cerebro confundía la falta de esfuerzo con la incapacidad. Ésta es la razón por la que, cuando la gente me pregunta qué es lo que más me gustaría cambiar en la clase trabajadora blanca, digo: “La sensación de que nuestras decisiones no tienen importancia”.

Nine Suitcases de Béla Zsolt

To hell with doctrines, ideas and objectives! When the French accomplished their great revolution all they wanted was to improve their own lot; they wanted to eat more, pay less in tithes and taxes, suffer less harassment from the nobles and officials – and, thanks to this ruthless selfishness, not only did the material conditions of life improved over the next century and a half, but the intellect and the arts flourished, and the social existence of humanity, which had always been coarse to the point of brutishness, was tempered by such a defree of gentleness and tolerance as had probably never been experienced before. This wasn´t the result of doctrines, ideas and idealism, but of logical, sensible, base selfishness. To hell with ideas – if people always did what, on careful consideration, was in their most selfish interest, there would be nothing wrong with the world. Who wants to die and starve? Nobody. If people weren´t driven crazy by ideas and by their God, nobody would, for instance, go to war in order to starve and to die a beastly death.

Close to the Knives de David Wojnarowicz

I.

Last night I felt unbelievably sad and sometimes it happens that way: a sensation comes out across the landscape into the cities and further into the window of the car as I´m coasting the labyrinths of the canyon streets. It feels for a moment like nothing more than wind; it´s something I don´t see coming and suddenly it´s upon me and my eyes are blurring with tears and fragmented spills of neon and ghostly bodies of pedestrians and smokestacks and traffic lights and I´m gasping from a sense of loss and desire. I can´t think of anything I am truly afraid of and I´m trying to give something unspeakable words; some of us live in big cities so we can be alone, so we can avoid ourselves, and yet by living within massive populations we can have help or love within reach if necessary.

II.

I wanted a radical shift to occur so I could have a few minutes´peace or experience the silence of my brain. I wanted to be another person living a quiet farm life in a foreign culture. (…) I wanted to be physically erased and start over again. I didn´t want to be here. I didn´t want to be there. I guess I wanted to be nowhere, I wanted to listen to my brain talk inside of nothingness. I wanted to be untouchable and have no need.

III.

I don´t think the society or the situation is sitting there waiting to reject people; I don´t think it´s aware enough to say, “You don´t fit in”. (…) We set a standard that we can´t even live up to. We expect too much of a society that is probably going to reject us – it´s probably not even thinking of us.  (…) I want to adapt. I don´t think I´ll be giving anything up. I don´t care if I don´t value the thing I want to adapt to; it´s there – it´s a structure.

IV.

If silence equals death, he taught us, then art equals language equals life.

Olivia Laing, sobre David Wojnarowicz.

V.

It is exhausting, living in a population where people don´t speak up if what they witness doesn´t directly threaten them.

VI.

Smell the flowers while you can.