Uit: Before the End (Vertaald door Marina Harss))
« Beneath his harshness, my father hid a more vulnerable side, a candid and generous heart. He had an amazing esthetic sense, and when the family moved to La Plata, he designed our house. Late in life, I became aware of his passion for plants, which he cared for with a tenderness that I had not seen before in his dealings with people. I have never known him to go back on his word, and with age, I was able to admire his fidelity to his friends. As in the case of Don Santiago, the town tailor who became ill with tuberculosis. When Doctor Helguera informed him that his only hope was to move to the mountains in Córdoba, my father accompanied him there in one of those tiny railway cabins in which contagion seemed guaranteed.
I always remember this attitude. It was an expression of his devotion for friendship, which I was only able to appreciate years after his death. Life can sometimes appear to be a long series of missed opportunities. One day, it was too late to tell him that we loved him despite everything and to thank him for his efforts to warn us of the inevitable misfortunes of life; these misfortunes teach us important lessons.
Not all my memories of my father are terrible; I remember with nostalgia some joys, like the evenings when I would sit on his knees and he would sing the songs from his home, or when, in the afternoon, after his card game at the Social Club, he would bring me a box of Mentolina, the mints that we all liked so much.
Unfortunately, he is gone now, and some fundamental things between us have remained unsaid. When love can no longer be expressed, and the old wounds are left untended, we discover the ultimate solitude: that of the lover without his beloved, the child without his parents, the father without his children.
Many years ago I went to that town, Paola de San Francesco, where my father fell in love with my mother. I caught a glimpse of his childhood in that eternally longed-for place, facing the Mediterranean, and my eyes clouded over.”
Doorgaan met het lezen van “Ernesto Sabato, Wilfred Smit, Yves Bonnefoy, Scott Oden, John Ciardi, Matthijs Kleyn, Madelon Székely-Lulofs, Josse Kok”