Tras haber creado mi anterior blog cecilmundo varias personas, muchos de ellos mis alumnos, me sugirieron que creara una secciòn dentro de cecilmundo para publicar mis obras de docencia de idiomas. Dado que la cantidad de documentos de explicaciones, ejercicios y exàmenes de inglès son muy numerosos porque tengo màs de 30 años del ejercicio de la docencia, preferì estrenar blog con mis alumnos a como ellos realmente merecen. En este blog planetcecil no solo iràn mis documentos didàcticos de inglès, sino tambièn la producciòn literaria de varios alumnos que se destacan en las letras. Tambièn darè oportunidad a aquellos que tienen excelentes obras pero que no han logrado publicarlas ya que en mi paìs Nicaragua todo se mueve por la marrana polìtica, y si una no pertenece a determinado partido no verà jamàs publicado su opus. Tambièn tenemos la desgracia de contar con seudoeditores quienes al no conocer verdaderamente de literatura se convierten en mercenarios de la imprenta solo para llenarse ellos mismo de dinero y fama a costillas de los escritores. Todos aquellos que deseen participar en este blog, denlo de antemano por suyo. Aunque lleve mi nombre en un arranque de egolatrìa, yo soy sencillamente vuestra servidora.Cecilia

Las alas de la educación

Las alas de la educación
La educación es un viaje sin final.

La lección de física

La lección de física
Casi aprendida

domingo, 24 de febrero de 2008

are we really here?

pour mon père

originally written in Spanish, translated by the same author

Cecilia Ruiz de Ríos

The first thing my daddy taught me was to avoid trying to hide the sun behind one thumb because of the impossibility of this. That is why today I shall speak to you about War, although I must make it clear that nobody likes to speak about it. Among military terms you can find abbreviations and euphemisms, and in all languages in which aggression is practised. One term in English that has always bewildered me is M.I.A. Missing in action. Disappeared during combat, or while in action.
How much use or abuse was given to this during World wars, or during the French intervention to Chad from where my uncle returned home with no more appetite for red meat, or during the Vietnam conflict from which many blondie gringos never came home, and who knows if it was destiny `s retaliation charging its unpaid bills and on that occasion it deemed necessary that all those lads who went to fight in order to wolf down the southeast should be trapped in tunnels, o water clinks o who knows how…

But War, as I speak to you about it, as I saw it through my astonished eyes, anyways always turns you into a M.I.A. Something from you gets stuck in the slime, which is thickened by blood or that piece of human kidney that you unwittingly stepped on with your boot, over there in the battlefield, without realizing what it was, only that it made a strange and nauseating noise when you walked over it. No, sirs, don `t ever misguide yourselves by humming that tune about beloved, suppose that I go far, so far that I shall forget my own name, beloved, mayhaps I am indeed another man, taller and not as old….

The Sweet Abyss is a masterwork of the new Cuban troubadours, but War is not so. So beware, the one who stays behind enemy lines is the lady while the male of the species goes to face combat. We always handle War terms in masculine, forgetting the Celtic women who were the best warriors, even outdoing men, or beautiful Boadicea swallowing poison before Paulinus Suetonius could lay a hand on her. Or gorgeous Nzingha of Ndongo and Matamba fighting against the Portuguese so that they wouldn`t convert kingdom into an endless source of slaves for the colonies, or Candace the empress of Ethiopia astride an elephant commanding her troops and scaring away blond Macedonian Alexander the Great, who preferred not to battle than to end up being the laughingstock of everyone because a female would have beaten him.
WE must be clear that War is feminine, it is a man`s game according to sexist males like the paunchy general who, barely fitting into his uniform like a sausage in pork`s tripe, would rudely scold me saying that it was ugly for a women to speak about War, only to mask the fact that he was terribly embarrassed because he couldn`t know who William Wallace formed his troops , ready for battle.

But thus is how things work, and I have told you that we would have a yarn about War and I have been droving the skittish goats of my old spites. There are things in the everyday life of combat, whether you are just a war correspondent as were D`Annunzio or Hemingway, or as a soldier, that turn us into M.I.A. As veterans of all barbarous actions, we will never again be the same, and no tale ever wrought by Lovecraft, no bizarre tale write by Poe with two liters of moonshine dancing between back and belly, no dead is dead said by Stephen King, can be compared with the horror of War. The photogenic smile stays the same, but behind the light pupil, if we really focus on it, there are the debris of fear, beyond what is never a sweet abyss of memory there is our instinct for survival, tense, drawn tight like a cello string ready to burst. Our bloodiest mementoes are the permanent guests of a memory that still trembles, its mailing address is the last remote corner of our eyelids, next-door neighbours to the oniric World of our dreams. They visit us as soon as we drowse, sometimes in full color, with their own soundtrack and with credits for lights! Camera! Let`s get the action rolling! All this at the end of the latest session from midnight atwixt the sheets. We arrive punctually for the summons made by our traumas.

And in my dreams I am again in the north, by Jalapa, covered with blood with the rank, dank smell of copper, so drenched that even my bones seem to dissolve amidst the 170 pounds of my Rubensian Venus plumpy, and it is not the wetness of a storm that has abated, but blood, fortunately not mine, but it still pains me. And how can I explain that incident in La Penca, when I spent a whole night gabbing about the most diverse matters with a soldier, in the middle of the darkest night, but when the chopper finally came to evacuate us the man was dead with wide open wounds, and when we brought him to the morgue in Managua the forensic doctors determined that he had been dead for more than 12 hours, and since he couldn `t have opened his mouth to deny that... thus ended the story. Conversation with a dead man, and that is not the name of a good Hitchcock flick.

Often, even after so many years after Teotecacinte, Jalapa, La Penca or Operation Danto, revulsion smacks me in the face with its Tyranosaurius Rex visage, between the preparation of the mushroom sauce and the seasoning of the filet mignon with which I will agreeably surprise my family for lunch, and the violent and gaping red meat resembles the wide open, always bleeding wound of War. Even after so many years of not wearing a comfy pair of Jungle boots, War is like an old pal from kindergarten, it returns with its round-trip ticket and unexpiring visa towards daily the terror that lives in my nightmares. I want to say that I have gone back to normal life, and I really do enjoy it when my daughter sees the ad for a new war flick and we go to enjoy it together, saying that the bloodier, the better. I don `t want to affirm that I cry ,hiding so no one sees me, when I wake up, shaking and drenched in cold sweat, with wide gaping eyes, because it is not really that what bothers me anymore. On November 11th, Veteran `s Day because on that precise date in 1918 ended the First World War , I wear a red paper flower on my breast and I want to convey a cheap sentimentality that I am far from feeling but that is very much in fashion nowadays

If my father were alive, he would dig out his medals and he would put baby powder over his tattoo with the number that was engraved in pain over his elbow in Auschwitz, and he would wink his eye at me. But he would, also, caught at that precise moment without warning, be forced to admit that he as well as myself as well as all war veterans,
up to a certain point continue to be soldiers who are missing in action, no matter if our bodies did come back and that now, we truly enjoy our nests and our families. Maybe we might never know what we left behind on the battlefield, something that Frederick of Prussia didn `t mark on his military maps, nevertheless something that visits us, from one night to another, in our nightmares or during our day-to-day life with our reflexes and fear of having someone approaching you from behind without making noise. We too, even though we may now enjoy the right to live in peace as so Uncle Ho yearned for, are still M.I.A.

5 Oct. 2000

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