"And for a long time yet, led by some wondrous power, I am fated to journey hand in hand iwth my strange heroes and to survey the surging immensity of life, to survey it through the laughter that all can see and through the tears unseen and unknown by anyone."
Nikolai Gogol 1809- 1852 "Dead Souls" 1942 vol 1, ch. 7
It's been a busy time for me, preparing to go on my sentimental journey to Chile. Five more days and I'm off. Today I spent time sorting out the proposed travel wardrobe which I will pack in a day or two. It's always a game of 'elimination' when I'm packing, making the right decisions isn't always easy. This time I have to prepare for a day in the icy winter weather of Toronto en route home. It's late Spring in Chile so no need for many heavy clothes there. Up in the foothills of the Andes in Argentina, at Mendoza the temperature is a moderate 68F
I'm meeting my friend Patrick, from Germany, in Toronto and we fly together to Santiago. He has already phoned Cecilia, our friend Anibal's ex-wife and she is very excited about our arrival. I'm so looking forward to my visit with her, both in the city and at her place by the ocean where she has made a little memorial shrine for Anibal. I've bought a candle embedded with tiny seashells to leave in his memory. I'm sure she'll show us all the places in Santiago that Anibal told me about. And another friend of his is going to be in Valparaiso and has invited us to see his city too. Of course, one of my main desires to visit all three of Pablo Neruda's houses, especially the one at Isla Negra. It was Anibal who introduced me to the Poet.
The trip up to the Andes (by bus from Santiago is about 7 hrs to the border) should be another spectacular part of the trip. This will be in memory of my Argentine friend and soul-brother Roberto Hallberg who passed away in Athens six years ago without having been able to get home to Buenos Aires again. I wish we had time to go to B.A. but this trip is only two weeks so there won't be enough time to see it all.
This week I'm winding up my lessons and even working one shift at the daycare. So I'm looking forward to this vacation after a busy Autumn season.
This will be my last blog here for a couple of weeks, but you can keep track of my travels on my travel blog: http://travelthroughhistory.blogspot.com
"You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
Tu sabes como es esto:
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otono en mi ventana,
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la lena,
todo me lleva, a ti,
como si todo lo que existe,
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran ewquenos barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.
Pablo Neruda -- from "If You Forget Me" (The Captain's Verses. The love Poems.)