La Marioneta (“The Puppet”)
If for an instant God were to forget that I am a rag doll and grant me a shred of life, possibly I wouldn’t say all that I think, but I would definitely think all that I say.
I would value things, not for their worth but for what they mean.
I would sleep little and dream more, understanding that for each minute we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.
I would walk when others hold back, I would wake when others sleep, I would listen when others talk, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream…
If God were to grant me a shred of life, I would dress simply, throw myself face first into the sun, baring not only my body but also my soul.
My God, if I had a heart…
I would write my hate on ice, and wait for the sun to rise. With a dream of Van Gogh, I would paint a Benedetti poem on the stars, and a song of Serrat would be the serenade I would offer to the moon.
With my tears I would water the roses, to feel the pain of their thorns and the fleshy kiss of their petals.
My God, if I had a shred of life…
I wouldn’t let a single day go by without telling the people I love that I love them. I would convince every woman that she is my favorite, and I would live in love with love.
I would show men how wrong they are to think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, not knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.
To a child I would give wings, but I would let him learn to fly on his own. To my elders, I would teach that death does not come with old age, but with forgetting.
So many things have I learned from you, oh men…
I have learned that everyone wants to live on the peak of the mountain, without knowing that the real happiness lies in how the escarpment is climbed.
I have learned that when a newborn squeezes his father’s finger in his fist for the first time, he has him trapped forever.
I have learned that a man only has the right to look down on another when he has to help him get up.
Such things have I been able to learn from you, but in the end, they won’t be much use, because when they keep me inside this suitcase, I am unhappily dying…
From the book Lo Que Le He Enseñado a la Vida ©1996