“If I were confined to a corner of a garret all my days, like a spider, the world would be just as large to me while I had my thoughts about me.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
NOTE: For reasons of health, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia’s illustrious Nobel Laureate for literature, has declared his retirement from public life. He has terminal cancer and sends this letter of farewell to friends and lovers of literature.
This charming, beautiful last letter from the dying writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is too beautiful, heartfelt and inspiring to not read.
As such, read on and go hug, kiss and tell people you love them:
** Farewell Letter **
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability.
I wouldn’t, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful l of all I say.
I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express.
I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.
I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.
If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy.
To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.
I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.
To old people I would say that death doesn’t arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.
I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.
I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father’s finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.
I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.
Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.
If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say “I love you.”
There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you & that I will never forget you.
Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.
Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them “I am sorry,” “forgive me, “please,” “thank you,” and all those loving words you know.
Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.
Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.
Send this letter to those you love. If you don’t do it today…tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn’t matter either, the moment to do it is now.
For you, with much love,
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Stocked up / ready for anything (mostly, as long as *anything* only requires shiitake mushrooms)￼.
Really, this delightful gift arrived by courier yesterday from one of the wife’s fans/friends￼ and I am so happy about it￼ – Taguchi-san cultivates these beauties in logs, as well as all sorts of other fruits and mountain vegetables. Yum! ￼
“I got some groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days…
￼I got three passports, a couple of visas – You don’t even know my real name”
this ain’t no disco
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain’t got time for that now… (Actually, i have allll the time for lovey dovey ;))
The fact that this peanut butter is like as good as any peanut butter I’ve ever had in the world, and it’s available at a certain store that the wife found and totally reasonably priced, organic, made in Canada and delicious… makes Japan perfect for me , no change required (well maybe a few things about the patriarchy but that’s another post)
Strange as it goes as feels sometimes like i was writing messages to a future self as i reflect back on words i wrote then but need moreso now,
Art makes the future, make for yourself first – if you don’t “feel it” don’t waste your time. Channel a mix of joy and anguish and mix with honesty.
Don’t cheat yourself or any potential audience. Don’t pander and don’t “give em what they want” – this process might get lonely, you will see other “enjoy” the buzz of immediate attention but this is a sugar-rush which likely doesn’t last long. Instead, prepare yourself for the long haul of making creations which will inspire the generation behind you.
There are wee doppelgänger of you growing up, struggling with identity and understanding – maybe in school or maybe in retirement – you seek (unwittingly perhaps) exactly what you are capable of creating.
Visualize them if you desire an audience and then share your work, standing behind your creation with integrity, and let the audience breathe life and meaning into your offerings. Your rewards will come in mysterious ways.
But the reward isn’t the point – self-fulfillment and endless giving of creativity is your compass.
Roll slow, be gentle, eat healthy, look out for your vulnerable friends and neighbours, minimize TV, start a novel, watch all the foreign films you’ve always meant to, crack open War & Peace like you should’ve years ago / hit me up if you need some podcasts or train videos #hugs
I add: If anyone makes interesting things or needs a bit of encouragement or even maybe advice about their projects, or has just made something they want to share and want someone to click on something and share them along, I got you, Im yer dude #InstantFanClub
Playing the game / possibly last cycle (note 3 country citizen, live in different 4th) PS likely did not pick a winner (as usual ).
More complete update:
I unpacked scrapbook materials from Nagasaki and folded laundry (though i did tick my primary ballot, have not watched any debates, based vote on quality of copywriting in voter booklet (mostly))
Great service from Thurston county auditor getting my ballot out here in Japan in a timely manner too