Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Nuestra Amistad", un poema por Maycol y TS

Finally worked out the Spanish translation of "Our Friendship". This goes out in the mail to Maycol tomorrow:

Nuestra amistad es como un cuento
Que lei solo escuchas pero
No lo vez asi es contigo;
Solo te veo en fotos y leo lo
Que me cuentas pero no te veo en verdad.

Nuestra amistad es como el sol sobre mí
Ilumina mi mundo y
Calienta mi corazón; Cuando veo
La puesta del sol es porque pido el sol
Para enviar mi amor a su salida del sol.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

A thousand kisses from Colombia

Got mail today from Maicol dated September 09. There is an obvious delay lately in the supply chain of Compassion's mail centre, possibly due to rearrangement of manpower in the wake of the earthquakes in Haiti. But holding Maicol's latest letter in my hands beats any delay I had to endure.

This boy is really something else. I'd summarise his letter here but I thought you should read it in his own words, or rather as close to his Español as possible:

Querido Mr. ------, (Dear Mr. ------,)

I am so happy to write you again. I have a thousand things to tell you for you have asked me a lot of questions in your letters. I thank you for your beautiful letters. I had fun reading them and I loved the pictures of the zoo. What was your favourite animal? How old are your parents? They look young in the pictures and so do you.

I want you to know that in Colombia we celebrate el mes del amor y la amistad... the month of love and friendship in September. It is very lovely to see everything decorated with hearts and in schools they play secret friend. Have you ever played secret friend? What I like about my country is that it has diverse landscapes and weathers. My favourite drink is soda. I like it because of the gas and my favourite food is fried fish.

I also want to tell you that thank God my brother Andres is doing well. Lately I have read an interesting book called Damas y Caballeros... "Ladies and Gentlemen", which talks about a theatre where they represent warrior princes. I like reading history books. As for the ranch you asked me about I guess it is the project's farm and it is doing well. We have many roosters and chickens that grow up quickly.

Finally I want you to know you are always in my prayers. Now I ask God to bless your parents and that we get to meet in Colombia soon. I also ask you to help me pray that I do well in school. I say goodbye with a thousand kisses. Dios te bendiga y gracias por tu cariño... God bless you and thank you for your affection.


Maycol Barón

I don't know about you but everything about what he said gets under my skin in the good way. Maybe I'm just like a parent who never tires of speaking about his children while the listeners try very hard to hide their boredom out of sheer politeness.

I love the fact that he enjoys reading. And history books! Honestly just how many kids love history?

It breaks my heart that he's looking forward to the two of us meeting as much as I do. And nothing gives me more joy than him committing it to prayers. I can't think of anything else that draws me closer to him more than when we're both praying for the same thing.

The question plagues me everyday: Who am I to deserve this boy's love and thousand kisses?

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Through the silver screen darkly

Though movies, or any narrative storytelling, seek to portray life, they differ from life thus: In movies, the bad guys are easily far more believable and intriguing in their badness than the good guys are in their goodness. Unlike the good guys who need to be in one way or another coerced into taking the side of good, bad guys are bad because they just are.*

Like the antagonists in our own experiences, we love to hate them and hate to love them. But in movies we're also glad that they are there standing between the good guy, supposedly an onscreen proxy of ourselves, and what he wants. This almost never happens in life. Good movies take care of that under two hours and open up a window to an instant insight we desire but rarely encounter in life. It is in this inversion of reality, by rationalizing the human experience through fiction, that stories are, and must be, told.

* You might take exception to the theory and refer to stories like Hannibal Rising, where a sort of origin story is told of the bad guy. But for all intents and purposed of the author(s) Hannibal Lecter is the "good guy" in that he is the sympathetic character through, more or less, whose point of view this particular story is told, therefore rendering the bad guy theory inapplicable to him in this instance.

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Says who #18

          LT. COL. FRANK SLADE

(Scent of a Woman, 1992)

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