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

miércoles, 8 de octubre de 2008

as far as militaries go

56th entry to the Colonel`s Scrapbook
Birthdates which occurred on October 01:
1207 Henry III king of England (1216-72) , got lots of headaches from Simon de Monfort père and the barons1685 Charles VI Holy Roman emperor (1711-40),father of Empress Maria Theresa.patron of Antonio Vivaldi
1865 Paul Dukas Paris France, composer (The Sorcerer`s Apprentice),perfectionist,great teacher
881 William Edward Boeing founded aircraft co (Boeing), but lots of people have heard their planes go boing boing before a crash
1904 Vladimir Horowitz Kiev Ukraine, pianist, one of the best interpreters of Chopin
1924 Jimmy Earl Carter (D) 39th Pres (1977-1981), who allowed Somoza Debayle to be overthrown by the Sandinistas and then ate peanut butter to face the fact that he spoke loudly but carried a fly swatter(contrary to Teddy Roosevelt,who spokesoftly and shrilly but carried a big stick)

1896 Sherlock Holmes adventure "The Veiled Lodger" takes place (BG) thanks Sir Arthur1898 Jews are expelled from Kiev, Russia, of course after the Tsar confiscated everything

The sword and the pen, not in the same hand

Someone was telling me today that the title of this book of entries based on history, real life and memories I harbor sounded like an oxymoron. A figure of speech that contained opposite concepts. Like sweet torture. No torture can be sweet. So no colonel can have a scrapbook, because it is generally held that militaries don`t own a literary brain. Of course,
Without forgetting exceptions like Feodor Dostoyevsy(sublime epileptic lieutenant from Russia)or the wonderful father of the modern psychological novel Frenchman Pierre Choderlos de Laclos ,whose masterwork The Dangerous Liaisons is a masterpiece, I tend to agree with the young Iranian scholar who pointed that out to me. It is well known that Einstein said that any man who could march like an automaton to the noise of a military march without questioning orders deserved his utmost derision. I tend to agree with him too,and not because we are both Jews(imagine we would have been expelled from Kiev on a day like today). Most militaries in fact don`t know how to dress when they strip off their uniform,which invariably smells bad whether the one who wore it was Serbian,Armenian, Nicaraguan or American, Plain clothes look like they are miswearing the soldier. Fortunately, having been a fashion model, that never happened to me. Last week when I went with my friend and student Jazmina to look for clothes at the “exclusive” department store reserved for militaries and those corrupt politicians who can buy a card to get merchandise at duty free prices, she noticed there were no choices for a chic woman to choose from. Being military usually implies a complete contempt for all that is beautiful, truthful, delicate and nice in life. I also tend to agree.
I know your question, the thick raised eyebrow above those magnificent currant eyes of yours. You are a military, you will remark, surprised to confirm that the best hurting chip comes from the selfsame tree. My becoming a military is one of those freak accidents that should not happen to anyone, almost like what Jewish Mexican paintress Frida Kahlo said about her two accidents being the bus crash in which she was skewered and her marriage to Diego Rivera. At least both accidents filled Frida`s life with color and creativity,and love in her own way. What did my accident with military life leave me? A confirmation that most militaries are as rude and stupid as we make them out to be? Militaries in totalitarian regimes are perhaps the worst of the lot. Picture yourself a naïve yet scholarly young woman, gold plated virgin with a fabulous genealogical tree, and the most rapacious yet clever army general, both meeting in a third world country where the guy with one eye gets to be king because the rest of the population is gopher-blind. When money can`t buy someone containing the bluest blood you can imagine , threats seem to work. Confiscation. Incarceration, Persecution. Ostracism. Boycott. All big words that should be as offensive as four letter words. Give her to me. Of course, we ask for what we lack. Or we snatch it away under threat.
I landed smack in the middle of that mud and blood puddle that was Nicaragua in 1983, with the beginnings of snarling enmity against the United States. It was the year Reagan denied that he was invading Grenada while the 82d Airborne Division was falling upon the island which still remembered the beautiful warm body of doomed Maurice Bishop. And there I was, single, with a PH D and three BA degrees, wonderfully complete in my academic formation but knowing zilch about practical life. Served on a golden platter, dusted with cement from the factory my dad ran as a benevolent manager, offered to Ares the god of war so I could be sacrificed at his altar while chanting in five languages, food for the bullet, ambrosia for the shrapnels, nectar with my lifeblood still thawing from so many years of living abroad, my spine the white spear consecrated in my bloodwine, and also the elongated host to be consumed by warmongers who deem themselves priests, my rib ready to be splintered by the arrogant butt of a Garand when I said NO to someone who offered to bed me, my wrists ready to be broken into tiny shards, my feet ready to be broken and snakebitten. Yes, it is a list. Worse than Schindler`s List, because at least that supreme womanizer from Germany had a list to save people, but my list contains all the pains I would meet face to face while role playing as a war correspondent-translator. Worse things could have happened to me, like getting knocked up on a tree trunk by the army general `s right hand(but he did much more than place his hand down there, hands don`t impregnate you) and then bearing a love child, like one correspondent did because she thought that having sex with a top officer would prevent her from getting shot in her meager blond ass.
Pain?Of course I became acquainted with pain. So much that no one can be surprised if I tell them that even when awarded a gold medal, the general`s clumsy hands pierced my left breast while insisting on condecorating me himself. I was in and out of the hospital so much that I should have moved my mailing address to that place. The doctors and nurses knew me by nickname by then .”Otra vez vos, aqui, Gata?” Once again here, Cat? They would have been surprised if in one year I wasn`t back on the stretcher, put on the slab, bathed in my own blood, pale and pitiful, eliciting compassion although never a mortal victim of self-compassion. Think about it, I could have even been maimed enough so that I might have not had any kids. I could have allowed the military to destroy what is most valuable in me or any woman, the utmost superiority of being able to bear children! Nothing is worth that. Mother sounds infinitely better than being called colonel. Or general or whatever. Sterility wears no stars,not at all, gentlest reader of my heart.
The truth is that this book of entries was named not for stars worn on shoulders, but for stars in my eyes when I write. It is my own kind of tribute to my favorite Spanish-language author,Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez, who wrote a book called The Colonel has nobody writing to him. It is a about an elderly male colonel who has given his best in a war-torn country, and then at the dusk of his life awaits every day for a pension to be allotted to him by mail from the government now in power. That colonel always awaits for that letter which will ease his hardships and save him from duress. The letter never comes. In my case, a pension from the army is not an answer to prayers I have never made. I serve not Ares, god of war. A cat may look at a king and feel the monarch is beneath him.I didn`t say that, just quoting my beloved T .S .Eliot, delighting in the fact that I can quote him and someone in olive drab can`t because you cannot quote what you haven`t read nor will ever read. Thus, this humble Jewish writer, veteran of so many fractures, who has stared at death in the eye and seen her smile back, can look down upon a simple colonel who doesn`t even have the size that is necessary to look at her in the eye. I dare any man in top uniform to show his badges, medals and stars and match them against my broken spine, my snake-bitten feet, my splintered rib and my reconstructed wrists. I, who can still look like a Mucha painting, with hat and flimsy dress without looking like a transvestite, challenge anyone to match my score. I lost blood, tears, bone and flesh. But never did I lose my humanity, nor the contents of my brain. So if a cat can look down upon a king, a mere premenopausic woman at the height of her intellectual powers can challenge any soldier of the desk, any officer of bureaucracy, any knave of the uniform, to grab a kendo sword or anything he may deem necessary, and match his ignorance to words, and his blind obedience to the liberty I have conquered for myself. Never hath the sword and the pen been in the same hand at the same time and functioning well,said poet and libertarian Jose Marti from Cuba. Boy, was he right! Because although I have worn the uniform, the camouflage has not worn me inside out and an outfit is just the skin that like any wise snake would do, can be immediately shed. The only true armory is worn inside your skull, and it is nothing more shining than the brain itself.

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