La Voz de Galicia – April 23 →

Cristina PatoToday, I was thinking about how much reading and writing has helped me this year. About how important it is for me to be able to inhabit others’ universes, in the stories of the characters who come to life through literature. I was thinking about the fact that the pace of reading I have acquired this year was proportional to the pace of my unease, and that if it weren’t for those books, for those stories, I don’t know what would have become of my internal life in such a complex time. Thus, citing Ugia Pedreira, this constant «spiraling contemplation» that accompanies me sometimes helps me and sometimes casts me down to the bottom of my fears.

But what happens when one can’t even read? When one is incapable of focusing long enough to follow the plot of a single page? When those depths each one of us possesses end up taking up our whole existence? What can one do when this happens?

It would be impossible to have an all-encompassing answer to that question because each one of us is a world onto ourselves, and as Whitman would say, «contains multitudes.» Still, sometimes, a brief experience, an interaction, may change the course of the day…It happened in the context of a WhatsApp chat, one of those that begins with a single phrase. My own message, «thank you for doing my heart good,» was in response to hers (as symbolic as mine). And so, without meaning to, we began to exchange our thoughts, and little by little, without being aware, I began feeling better.

And then I began to think about the reason that interaction brought me so much in so little time: she, who has enough to deal with, paused to listen to me without judgment…I fell in the web of her immense humanity, and for a moment, profoundly grateful, I felt able to take up the reins of the day…

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