Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Miguel Méndez, from Pilgrims in Aztlán

It was in those days that I crossed the Bacatete range. I spent four days and four nights contemplating the rocks down a ravine, the trees, the animals in the hills, the sky, the riverbeds, and everything that I am and what I do not know. I knew then that I’m an old tree, very old, and you can’t imagine the sap that flowed within me. In my arms, on my shoulders, in my hair, a symphony of birds lived. I felt myself happy, very happy, in spite of how those were the days when the sun hurled its columns of fire at the earth. The nights were cool to me because I went about naked like an animal. You see, I would begin to sing out of happiness, and my voice would go out from the throat of the canyons to fly among the valleys. Have you ever felt yourself to be a raging river? How marvelous it feels! You come down from the heights, roaring like a bull, carrying along with you the dry, useless branches, bringing the greenery to life, and you carry along in your current the seeds for those same trees withered by the years to be born again, just like you were a stream of life. It doesn’t take long for you to feel like a tree yourself at the same time you’re a riverbed. You also feel like a deer when you see them running like they were flying with those horns that in reality are dismembered wings. I sat down to think, wanting to know about the rocks and the sky, when all of a sudden I began to feel myself full of thorns, and why not, since I was made of juicy pulp, full of sap and chlorophyll. If you want to feel like something really, really beautiful, pretend you are a prickly pear.

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