A letter from the front (of sorts)
from: “Items, Forgotten” poetry collage series
Another stack brought in from the kura barn to spark some goodness / Gary Snyder, Poets on Peaks, field guide to Cascadian trees, Douglas Coupland, David Byrne, Wes Anderson, Dr Suess, and Hergé (including some rare Tintin) / + snippets of paintings on our self-made wooden wall > all atop a piano on handmade cloth from island of Yap.
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
Princess Bride & pizza at Tsuchida Cottage + Update: Today, Ryoko wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, we moved some rocks with a tripod and hoist, hanged some art and a kitchen shelf. And, most shockingly, I was able to navigate the complexities of renting a movie through Apple. Yes, everything is possible!￼
Have you read “War and Peace”? Now is a pretty good time.
It’s rather enjoyable￼, but if you find Tolstoy’s original *too long*, both Lenin and I did “remix” or maybe “fanfiction” of the classic.
It’s one of the only things we have in common.
PS May I interest you in my “Letters from Russia” mixed media project? It was inspired by Tolstoy and written in the form of letters from someone in Napoleon’s army going into Russia in 1812 back home to his lady friend – All associated artifacts are within this archive.
Roll around Japan with ambient train window views from various locations and rolling stock including the Thunderbird Limited Express towards Kanazawa and a Shinkansen service from Yokohama towards Osaka. In situ sound with no narration or drama rather a rather meditative “space cruise” looking as rice fields, towns and stations go past, and occasionally abstract from the speed, plus the whooshing of zipping through tunnels. That’s all. Enjoy the ride.
Recently my “whole life archive” from 4X+ years of creativity arrived after a trans-Pacific journey to my home is Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan… so, I made a little video spiel – or tried to rather – while sort-ganizing the artifacts the “kura” (grain barn). However, the video was out of focus and the sound well, non-existent (guess i don’t know how to use this new gear… sigh).
This clip (which i didn’t know was filming) of puttering around in schleppy work clothes (and a fine hand-crafted hat) exists… so, here’s a little clip mixed with still photos of putzing around my life’s worth of books, records, scrapbooks, tools, trinkets and whatnot and finding some interesting things (while trying not to be overwhelmed by all the memories and dauntingness of it all).
No narrative per se, just an excuse to play you a song and say hello… carry on.
I was *clearly* saying something fascinating here :) – probably about Kerouac, scrapbooks, artifacts, vinyl etc and likely say “personal archeology” & ”intrepid” + mention stash of amusing hats, lounge wear and of course, smoking jackets but, you will just hafta trust me (or don’t, that’s cool).
Importantly this song: pal George H. wrote music and sings/plays (but says its not “finished” so don’t tell him unless you wanna tell him you LOVE it) – the words are mine from escapades in NYC 1990ish. Anyhow, thanks for coming along for this flashback.