They can burn books, destroy libraries, forbid languages, ban beliefs, delete past times,
draw new present times, order future actions, torture and execute people...
But they still don´t know how to kill the intangible and bright
bodies of ideas, dreams and hopes.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The house of words

The house of words

By Sara Plaza

3rd anniversary – Helena Villagra dreamed that poets came to the house of words. Words, kept inside old bottles of glass, were waiting for poets and offered to them, mad keen to be chosen: they begged poets to look at them, to smell them, to touch them, to lick them. Poets opened the bottles, tasted the words with their finger and then, they smacked their lips or pursed their nose. Poets were looking for words that they did not know, and they also sought words that they knew but had lost. In the house of words there was a table with colors. Colors were offered to poets in big dishes, and each poet served the color he needed: lemon yellow or sun yellow, sea or smoke blue, bright, blood, wine red...

Excerpt from 'El libro de los abrazos' (The Book of Hugs) of Eduardo Galeano

Edgardo and Sara also went to the house of words. However, there have passed many years since poets crossed its threshold and the old bottles of glass had fell and rolled around, and words were now scattered on the floor. They had to tread carefully among them, squat on their heels, clean the dust that covered them and bring them closer to their ears in order to listen to their sound. There, crouched in a corner, they two discovered the paths that words had walked, the trail they had left behind, and their influence on spoken and written languages, literatures and cultures. Among their whispers, both of them could open their eyes in surprise, grit their teeth with fear, smile or tremble. They could find forgotten tales, contemporary legends, creation myths and death premonitions; they could meet urban chronicles, rural settings, lullabies, declarations of war, peace treaties... They could be up all night listening to the words' stories and awake dreaming about them to fill the empty pages of their log later.

The table had disappeared and the colors had set off in search of new horizons: flying on the dusty broom of a some mischievous witch, entangled in the twisted stick of wise shamans, hidden under the pointed hat of a gnome, climbed on the single horn of the only blue unicorn lost, playing with the strings of an old troubadour's guitar, embracing the canes of Andean panpipes... And exactly there, Sara and Edgardo found them: touring the open veins of a continent, crossing the seas that separates it from the other four, pointed with their fingers those thousands and thousands of white bells that always made a little prince laugh and covered the sky of the five...

And with those words and colors, they have drawn the pages of this weblog: Edgardo started to sketch them, three years ago and more than one has passed since Sara drew her first strokes. Each one with a style, for the things they tell him are different from those said to her, and the colors have nuances that are not the same for blue and chestnut eyes. Week after week, spring, summer, fall, winter and... spring again they both have shared what they thought about, believed in, dreamt about, what made them unhappy. And here they are, they continue walking and telling: with the same curiosity as ever, with more doubts than never, tiptoeing into the house of words, stealing colors from the horizon to outline their own path...