Sunday, January 24, 2010

Translation: Un Oso y un Amor

Un Oso y un Amor (A Bear and a Love) escritó por (written by) Sabine R. Ulibarrí de Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico

The Mountain Range

It was the end of June. The lambs had already been born earlier that spring and the sheep were sheared. The cattle was making its way up the mountain. Abrán was directing them. I followed alongside the donkeys, which were loaded with supplies. From now on life would be slow and tranquil.
I found a fitting spot. I unloaded the donkeys and pitched the tent. I cut branches for the beds. I began to prepare a meal for when Abrán would return. Already the first flock of sheep was arriving. Sometimes I would get up to stop them, to redirect them, so they could get to know their first campsite.
The grass was tall, fresh, and lush. The aspens, black and white, with shaking leaves, sang a trembling song of life and happiness. The fragrances and the flowers. The icy, crystalline water of the stream. Everything was in peace and harmony. This is why the Gods themselves chose to live in the mountains. The range is an eternal celebration.

The Banquet
Soon I heard familiar laughter and voices. I gave a shout. These were my friends from Tierra Amarilla, the Yellow Land. Abelito Sanchez, accompanied by Clorinda Chávez and Shirley Cantel. The four of us were in ninth grade. We were fifeen years old.
We unsaddled and staked out our horses. Momentarily, we began enjoying ourselves. There was so much to say. Questions. Jokes. So much laughter to resume. Now I shudder to remember it. How beautiful was that moment! We were young. We knew how to love and how to sing. Without alcohol, without drugs, without uncouth vulgarities.
When Abr
án arrived, we ate. I had a tasty, delicious-smelling side of lamb, roasted on the coals. They had brought delicasies that we were not accustomed to in the range. The joy and good food, the joy of friendship and the idealic location transformed this experience into a feast to remember forever.

Shirley Cantel and I had grown up together. We went to school together since we were children. I carried her books. Later we could bring the cows in together in the afternoons. We played in the stables or in the haystacks. We had horse races. In the school plays she and I always had the important roles. We would always compete for the best grades. It never occured to us that we were in love. This past year, we discovered our affection, I don't know how. Now things were getting serious. I see it now like an illusion of glory.
Shirley had a white dove which attracted a lot of attention. She always took it along while horseriding. The dove perched on her shoulder or positioned itself in the mane or on the rump of the horse. It grew to know me and love me as well. Sometimes the dove would come with me. It would fly away and come back. The dove was another bridge of sentimentality between us two. Today it recognized me. Right away it positioned itself on my shoulder. Its sensual 'crucru' in my ear was a message of love from its owner.
Shirley was a gringa but she spoke spanish as well as I did. This was normal in Tierra Amarilla. Almost all of the gringos from here spoke spanish. We were one single society. We got along very well.

The Bear
Jokes and annecdotes. Laughter and more laughter. Fleeting flirtations. Loaded questions. Unexpected replies. The celebration in its height.
Suddenly, the cattle is frightened. It whips from one side to the other. It comes towards us, as if in waves. Bleats of terror. Something has frightened the cattle.
I grab the rifle. I say to Shirley: "Come with me." We hold hands. Coming around the bush, we find a bear. He has drowned a sheep and ripped open the entrails. He has a bloody snout. We are very near him.
Ordinarily, a bear would flee upon meeting a human. There are exceptions: when there are cubs, when it is hurt, when it has tasted blood. Then it becomes fierce. Even a dog beccomes fierce when eating.
This was a young bear, maybe two or three years old. These are the most daring and dangerous. We interrupted him while he was eating. He was enfuriated. He came at us.
The others had approached and were nearby. They were watching the action. The bear circled us slowly. He stopped, shook his head and growled. We backed up slowly until we bumped against a fallen tree. There was no espace. We had to confront the animal.
Nobody did anything to help me. Nobody said anything. The girls were silent. There was no hysteria. I was dying of fear. But my girlfriend was at my side. Her life depended on me. The others were watching me.
I had never felt as much a master as I did now. Never so much a man, never so capable. My first instinct was to protect my woman. She and every other girl had confidence in me.
I raised the rifle. I aimed, firmly. I fired. The shot entered through the bear's open mouth and came out at the back of the neck. The shot echoed through the mountain range. The bear fell dead at our feet. Shirley hugged me. I wanted to die of happiness.
I skinned the animal myself. I felt the hot blood on my hands and my elbows. I felt like a conqueror.
Once I had given Shirley a ring that my mother had given me. Another time, I gave her a box of candies. This time I gave her the skin of the bear. She recognized it immediately. When she left, she took the skin with her, tied to the straps of her saddle.

Years passed. I went to one university, she went to another. This seperated us. Then I left for the war and this seperated us even more. When a river divides in two, nothing can join those two rivers back together.
I did not go to see her in those days. Sometimes somebody would tell me something about her. She had married, and her family lived very far from here. I remember with affection the childhood that I shared with her.
Recently, an old friend told me that he had seen when she lives and that he knows her family. He said that in front of the fireplace, she has the skin of a bear. She still remembers.

Translation: Leyenda

Leyenda (Legend) escritó por (written by) Jorge Luis Borges de (from) Argentina

Abel and Cain met each other after Abel's death. They walked through the desert and recognized each other from afar, because they were both very tall. The brothers sat on the earth, made a fire, and ate.
They remained silent, in the maner of those who are
tired at the end of the day. A star appeared in the sky, one whose name nobody can remember. By the light of the flame, Cain noticed the mark of a stone indented in Abel's forehead and the bread he had raised to his lips fell before he could eat it and he asked whether his crime had been forgiven.
Abel answered:
"Did you kill me or did I kill you? I already cannot remember, and here we are, together like before."
"Now, you must have forgiven me," Cain said, "because to forget is to forgive. I will, too, try to forget."
Abel replied softly"
"That's right. While the remorse lasts, so does the guilt."

Translation: El Tiempo Borra

El Tiempo Borra (Time Earases) escritó por (written by) Javier de Viana de (from) Uruguay

Indalecio Returns

In the pure-blue sky not a cloud moved. Spread across the plain grazed a multitude of cows. Some were black and white, others yellow and red. It was neither hot nor cold; there was no breeze, no sounds. Only light and silence, an intense light and an infinite silence.
As his horse advanced through the countryside in a zigzagged trot, Indalecio could feel a deep sadness in his soul, but it was a gentle sort of sadness. He wished at times that he did not have to continue with this voyage, and sensations of fear pulsed through his body when he thought of the surprises that might await him.
How miserable was his return! Fifteen years and two months of absence. He relived in his memory the gray afternoon, the dispute with Benites over the ill-won race, the fight, the farewell to his beloved land, to his cattle, to the rancho so recently constructed, to the wife he had been married to for only a year... Then he was only twenty-five years old and now he returned aged, destroyed by those fifteen years in prison. He returned... what for? Did his wife and son still even exist? Did they remember him, love him still? Could one really wait for another to escape from the tomb of prison? Was he even certain that this was his land? He did not recognize it. Before there were no white structures, such as those that had sprouted to his right. Still, he continued along the countryside with a broken heart, propelled by an irresistible force.

The encounter

He stopped his horse. Was this really his ranch? He doubted it for a moment. Nevertheless, in spite of the zinc roof that had replaced the one of straw, it was the same ranch.
"Hey! Come down!" An old woman, standing in the kitchen door, cried out to him. She rearranged her hair hastily as he approached. She was surrounded by half a dozen curious children.
"How are you?"
"Well, thanks. Come inside."
She did not remember him. He could see his pretty wife in her tired face, and in her gray hair, which was tied with a large handkerchief.
They entered the house and sat down. He asked:
"You don't know me?"
She looked at him carefully, then paled and exclaimed in astonishment:
She began crying, and the children surrounded her. When she calmed herself a little, she began talking, trying to justify herself:
"I was alone; I couldn't look after the property. One day someone would steal a cow, another- someone would butcher one of the sheep; and after... five years had passed. Everybody told me you would never return again, that you were condemned for life! And then... Manuel Silva proposed. I resisted for a long time... but then..."
The sad woman continued talking, talking, repeating, recollecting, defending herself, defending her children. But for quite a while Indalecio was not listening. He was seated in front of the door, looking at the landscape, at the vast green plain, which trailed into the eastern forests of Uruguay.
"Do you understand?" the woman continued, "if I had known you would return..."

The Departure

He interrupted her:
La Banda Oriental still fighting?"
She stopped speaking, astonished, and responded:
"Yes; a few days ago another group of soldiers passed through here, headed for the black lagoon, and..."
"Bye,"- interrupted the gaucho.
And, without another word, he got up, went to find his horse, got on, and rode toward Uruguay.
She stood in the porch, watching him in astonishment until he was out of sight. A small satisfied sigh escaped past her lips and she returned to the kitchen, to sizzle the grease in the frying pan.

Translation: Sala de Espera

Sala de Espera (The Waiting Room) escritó por (written by) Enrique Anderson Imbert de (from) Argentina
Costa and Wright rob a house. Costa kills Wright and keeps the small suitcase filled with jewels and money. He goes to the station so he can escape with the first train. In the waiting room, a woman sits at his right and begins talking. Annoyed, Costa pretends to yawn as if he is tired and intends to sleep, but he hears the woman continue to talk. He opens his eyes and sees, seated at his right, the ghost of Wright. The woman looks right through Costa with a sharp gaze and gabs with the ghost, who returns the conversation with friendliness. When the train arrives, Costa tries to get up, but he cannot. He is paralyzed, speechless and he watches, astonished, as the ghost picks the suitcase up calmly and walks with the woman toward the plantform, now talking and laughing. They board, and the train leaves. Costa follows him with his eyes. A man comes in and beings mopping the deserted waiting room. He vaccums the spot where Costa sits, invisible.

Translation: La Casa De Lencho

La casa de Lencho, escritó por Gregorio López y Fuentes de Veracruz
(Lencho's House, written by Gregorio López y Fuentes from Veracruz)
Lencho's House
The house... alone in the valley... was at the top of a small hill. From here one could see the river, and, next to the farmland, the cornfield, ripe with the bean flowers that always promise a good harvest.
The land lacked only rain, or at least one heavy downpour. In the morning, Lencho… who knew the farmland very well… did nothing other than examine the northeast sky.
“Here comes the rain, old one!”
And his old wife, who was preparing the food, responded:
"God willing."
The older boys worked in the farmland, while the little ones played near the house, until the mother called out:
"Come eat..."

The Storm
While they were eating, the drops of rain began to fall, just like Lencho had predicted. In the northeast they could see the clouds the size of mountains roll in. The air was fresh and sweet.
The man left to excused himself to search for something in the farmland simply for the pleasurable sensation of the rain against his body, and exclaimed:
"These are not drops of water which fall from the sky; they are fresh coins; the bigger drops are ten-pieces and the smaller ones are worth five..."
And he watched with satisfaction as the ripe cornfield with its bean-flowers became covered with the transparent curtain of rain. But then, suddenly, a strong wind began to blow and hail began to fall with the rain. These really did seem like pieces of silver! The younger boys, caught in the rain, ran to grab the frozen pearls.
"This is terrible," exclaimed the man, mortified. "I hope it will all pass soon..."
But it did not pass. In an hour, the hail fell onto the house, the vegetable garden, the woodland, the cornfields, and the entire valley. The farmland was white, as if covered with salt. Leafless trees. The cornfields, destroyed. The bean stalks, without a single flower. Lencho, with a soul full of misery. After the storm, standing in the middle of the field, Lencho said to his sons:
"A cloud of locusts would have done worse... The hail did nothing: we will not have beans or corn this year..."
That night was one of lamentations.
"Everything we worked for, gone!"
"And nobody can help us!"
"We will go hungry this year..."
But in the hearts of the inhabitants of this miserable house survived a single hope: the faith in God's help.
"Do not worry yourself so, even if the damage is vast. Remember that nobody dies of hunger!"
"That's what the say: nobody dies of hunger..."

Lencho's Idea
And, during the night, Lencho thought of his only hope: help from God, whose eyes, without explanation, saw everything, even that which we keep in the background of our consciousness.
Lencho was an uneducated man, and he worked with animal persistence in the fields, but for all his crudeness he knew how to write. The next Sunday, with the first light of the day, having strengthened his faith in Him who protects us all, he began to write a letter which he would later carry to the village to put into the mail.
It was nothing less than a letter to God.
"God," Lencho wrote, "if you do not help me, my whole family will go hungry this year. I need one hundred pesos to plant another harvest and to live while we are waiting for it, because the hail..."
He finished, wrote: To God on the envelope, put the letter inside, and, still preoccupied with his letter, set off for the village. In the mail office, he put a stamp on the letter and dropped it into the mailbox.

The Mail
A worker, who was a mailman and also helped in the mail office, was laughing as he showed a letter adressed to God to his chief. Never in his job as a mailman had he encountered this adress. The office chief... fat and kind... also started to laugh, but very soon he grew serious and, drumming the edge of the envelope absentmindedly against the table, he commented:
"What faith! If only i had the faith of that man who wrote the letter! To believe as he believes! To hope with the same confidence as with which he can hope! To try and talk to God!"
And, so as to not disillusion such a wealth of faith, found only in a letter that could not be returned, the office chief devised a plan: to answer the letter. But, as he opened it, he realized he would need more than good will to answer it, more than ink and paper. But he followed through with determination: he asked for money from his employer, who gave him a part of his salary early, and then a few friends helped him in his "act of charity".
It was impossible to collect all one hundred pesos for Lencho, and the chief could only collect for the farmer a little bit more than half of what he asked for. He put the money into an envelope adressed to Lencho, an envelope that had only one word as a signature: GOD.

Lencho's Reaction
The following Sunday, Lencho arrived to ask, much earlier than usual, whether there was a letter for him. The same mailman handed him the envelope, while the chief, wild with the joy of a man who has done a good deed, watched from a the door near his office.
Lencho showed no surprise at seeing the money... so great was his certainty... but he got angry upon counting the money. God could not have been mistaken, not deny Lencho what the farmer had asked!
Immediately, Lencho approached the window to ask for paper and ink. He sat at a table and began to write, wrinkling his forehead at the effort that expressing his thoughts gave him. When he finished, he asked for a stamp, which he moistened with his tongue and affixed with the blow of a closed fist.
As soon as the letter fell into the mailbox, the office chief ran to open it. It read:
"God. From the money which you sent, I only recieved sixty pesos. Send me the rest; I need it very much; but do not send it to me by mail: those who work here are thieves. -Lencho."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Step 1. We are born and proceed to martyr everyone around us. We scream, we demand. We need.
Step 2. We become idealistic. We decide to try playing the martyr for once. Initially, it feels good. It justifies all the senseless suffering. And then we become trapped.
Step 3. We destroy ourselves with ceaseless attempts to save others. We become jaded and search for an equal.
Step 4. We grow bored of the safety. And proceed to martyr those that make us safe, returning to step 1.

Happiness lies in getting stuck between the steps of the cycle.

Monday, January 18, 2010

First Storm

There are two trees next to my window. They scrape against the wind, branches stabbing into the howling air. Leaves tear from their arms, whirling into white space. The trunks beat against the glass in an ancient rhythm, the rhythm that gave oracles and storytellers their words.
I grow weary watching the trees fight the wind. They bend and the tension to stay upright is obvious. I can feel them wanting to lay down, to rest, but some force which I cannot understand keeps them resistant to gravity. The storm bends them down with invisible hands, and yet, as soon as the hands are lifted for a second, the two trunks are upright.
Never weary.

Somehow the storm gives me life. Those are the things that bind us. There are places in the world that are desert, and those that are forest; there are oceans and cities and plains that define for us what 'home' is. But things like the moon and the sun and the rain and the wind- those things travel like God into omnipresence. I taste the rain, I close my eyes and listen to the wind. I am no longer bound by time or space. I heard this wind when I was five, struggling with sleep and listening to the trees craft fairytales. I tasted this rain last summer, back home. I saw this sky. I can close my eyes and feel the passion of days gone by, hear it in the howling of nature. I can imagine that there is Russian bread in the closet-sized kitchen, that the forest ten floors down is muddy with rain. I can imagine that my family is only 20 miles away, that I know how to get home from Chehov to Pushchino. Moscow can be two hours away, and love- just an open door into the city.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Puedo sentir todo contigo;
Y esto es una sorpreza.
Pero siento un fuego
En mi alma,
Un fuego cual no nació
Del curazon
Pero del infierno.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shine On

To dance is to fly
Like angels, soaring beyond
Man's eternity.

What do I understand? I'm not even a woman. They used the word 'budding' to describe me, 'innocent', even.
I don't feel so innocent.
I feel damned.

The world is made of fences. And I watch them leap over, propelled by their parents' money. And the lone ballerina in the studio at midnight is a fairytale. Ballet studios at midnight are expensive.

I can only dance on lies.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

And when I press the keys; it all gets reversed.

I don't think the sound of loneliness makes anybody happier. My problem is that I don't know how to believe. I look for evidence. I am a Christian because I have evidence. I need to hear the truth, even if it's a lie. How many times have I fallen for 'I love you?' or a hug...
I'm just like any other girl.
But the thing is I want to believe. It's just difficult when it seems that others are out there to burn you. Who else has felt like that? I want to be beautiful, and wild, and free. I dance because I want to fly. Is there any other reason man tries to defy gravity? I want to DEFY what people believe. I believe so much in the impossible that the possible seems to be a dream.
I dance with my words. Syntex, split leaps, arabesques, diction... I don't see a difference. This is a dance to a song. My words fit the patterns.
Now if only I had some help with the choreography. Solos sure do get boring fast.
Although I can never be lonely... I wish I had some faith.
Or at least some evidence.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Too Much Fun

We were talking about this today with a friend. Honestly, I'm not one for things that waste your time, but this is amazing. Simple pleasures for simple minds? Who cares.

Monday, January 11, 2010


How does one believe in justice?
I recently wrote a college essay in which I advocated reform of laws to advocate... well, reform, rather than punishment. I believe that individuals are shaped by the environments they are exposed to. However, this story made me think:
In a small town, there were three families. In two of them, there were two young boys, nine and ten years old. Both were active in school and very good dancers. They were curious. In fact, too curious.
The other family was the priest, his wife, and their small daughter, four years old. One of the mothers of the boys hated the priest's family and probably passed these feelings on to her son. In any case, the two boys were playing with the girl after church one day. They had walked far away from the building when sick curiosity struck them. They wanted to know what the entrails of a human being looked like.

The girl was found the next morning, still alive. There were sticks poked into her body and she was bleeding all over. The boys beat her and tore her apart with any objects they could find. However, they did not kill her, and eventually left, had dinner and went to bed. Eventually, the girl died, after much suffering.

One could argue that the boys are not responsible for their crimes. They were just children after all. This is the theory that the law agreed with. They were sent off to a reform school, along with liars, thieves, and vandalists.

However, is there an age for crime? I still believe in reform over punishment- it is simply more successful. We cannot be arrogant enough to play God, or Nitzche's uber-man. Death is not for us to decide, however, punishment is. But how does one deal with crimes of this nature? This, after all, is a four year old child, martyred for no cause.

I probably have no readers yet, but when I do... let's hear some opinions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Five Seconds

Who says that time can hold us captive?
I think it is every individual's job to defy time.
People seen a day define a year.
People caught in moments span our lives.
People drifting into the rivers of our existance
stain the riverbeds that make us human.

Until next week then.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The First Truth This website belongs to the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. It is made to inform americans that God hates their country, that 9/11 was a gift from God, that all the dead soldiers from Iraq are in hell, and, of course, that fags are abhorred by the maker. Now, I am a Christian. Sometimes I struggle in my faith. I don't know the Bible half as well as I should but I BELIEVE in God, I seek information. When I have doubts, I don't throw them away, I face them and figure out how to get past them. I struggled with every one of these issues. Does God hate the world? Well if He did, why would He not change it? He is allpowerful. No, the world is the way it is because of PEOPLE. God didn't create 9/11. People did. God does not make planes go down, cars crash, murders happen. God does not addict people to drugs. People do. Well then why does God not stop it? Why does He not look down and see the wrecks we all have become and trasnform us? Because He loves us so much He gave us the freedom to live our lives as human beings, not as robots adherent to his will. We make our own choices and our own destinies. I can't quote the Bible for you here, but this is something I know as strongly as if it were written in those very pages. GOD DOES NOT HATE US. He gave us everything. He made us out of the image of himself because we meant so much to him. He fought over us more than He fought for the angels- those divine beings whom He made too perfect. Instead of anything else, He chose to love us. To speak through us, to save us, to appear to us, to give US his one son!
America is in a state of sin. That is undeniable. But this state applies to individiuals and all individuals sin. And the world is in a state of sin. Look at us! Look at the wars we are fighting, at the terror we live in. But it doesn't have to be this way because the life of every individual is in their hands.
And as for homosexuality? Yes, I believe it is a sin. But guess what? So is the white lie you told your wife when she asked if she looked fat this morning. So is the curse word that escaped into the abyss of your car when you had to slam the breaks this morning when that obnoxious biker zoomed by. So is that affair you're having, so is that judgement you passed on a stranger-
We all live in sin. All sin is equal. Now you can say we're all going to hell, or you can try to save each other. I do not believe that loving someone of the same sex is a sin. I believe fornication is, and acting out sexualy on this is.
Sin is a thing of the Devil. There is no Devil in love. Love is all from God.
God does not hate. That's what Lucifer is for. And I would ask everyone to pray from those individuals who are being mislead by the Westboro Church. And to fight against this abomination. To fight for the God we all believe in.