10 April 2018

Short Takes: One Page per Day

Eduardo Galeano 1940 - 2015
Eduardo Galeano is one of Latin America's many distinguished writers. Sadly, too few are translated into English. Thankfully, I recently discover his last gem, published in 2017, a collection of short takes with his classic voice urging advocacy for the environment and indigenous people. Read just one per day, as each small take speaks volumes and will ground your presence.

HUNTER OF STORIES. 250 pages. One small story or contemplation per page. Most have to do with the destruction of the natural world, one of his constant themes., and with indigenous cultures and their prescience, and foreboding, for the future.

Some as small as one line. All pack an amazing punch. Consider "We Were Walking Forests."

Every day the world loses a forest, murdered while only a fe centuries old and still growing. Barren deserts and uniform plantations spread far and wide., burying the world of green. Only a few people have been wise enough to keep up the language of plants that allows them to communicate with the fortress of the oak and the melancholies of the willows.

And "Let's Go Out."
At the end of the nineteenth century, many residents of Montevideo spent their Sundays on a favorite outing:an excursion to the jail and the insane asylum. Contemplating prisoners and lunatics, the visitors felt certifiably free and sane. 

Read one, takes a moment or two, and then you will find it stays with you through the day, perhaps longer, as Galeano takes us back to another time, the time we've let pass and in looking back, we might long for another time, or, perhaps, we might better consider the future.

And then I discovered SALT. Poetry by Nayyirah Waheed, who writes of more personal longings. The eons-old passions and fears fitted to modern life. Again, short takes, one per page, sometimes one line, often Zen. She posts them on Instagram as well and I never fail to stop what I'm doing to think about what she has said. Might be a bit too existential for the masses,, but she has such a lovely way with words. Always in lower case, beyond an homage to ee Cummings, perhaps she means to say, don't take yourself quite so seriously, we are all one.

Again, one per day. Morning is a good time, to leave time to consider her words. Better than meds or vitamins. And she often writes of the natural world. Galeano would approve.

sometimes the night wakes in the
middle of me.
and i can do nothing
become the moon.

the ocean 
can calm itself
so can you.
are both
salt water

SALT is only available at Amazon.com.

Happy reading.