'I used to be Hernán Guaracao'
"The Truth is what will 'set you free,' once you get to know it, Scripture proclaims — and as pastors and priests remind us on Sundays."
One of the masters of global literature was born in a Latin American country, in Argentina, specifically in Buenos Aires, and his strong-willed mother raised him in the neighborhood of Palermo, behind "a fence of spears," as he used to write describing the home of his childhood.
That fence, so poetically described, was just a prosaic fence of steel bars that is a typical barrier against the thieves in this type of this middle-class neighborhood in the capital of Argentina, with fenced porches in front.
Argentina, Buenos Aires, the fatherland of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the current Pope Francis, and also of Evita Perón, made "Santa Evita" by that other deceased Argentinian writer, Tomás Eloy Martinez, who also made it to America of the North, and died only a couple of years ago while teaching Latin American literature at Rutgers University in nearby New Jersey.
People are born, grow, procreate (sometimes — Borges was not so fortunate), dream, write (sometimes — Borges was the best of his kind of top-shelf global writers), and, finally, we die, sometimes to glorious memory, sometimes to inescapable oblivion.
Before they die, they dream, imagine, and become, as Borges put it, "Amanuenses del Espíritu" (crafters of the Divine Spirit), the selected few who can put it in writing for others to read, and understand, through wisdom which sometimes manages to contain or convey the Truth.
The Truth is what will "set you free," once you get to know it, Scripture proclaims — and as pastors and priests remind us on Sundays.
The truth is not relative, as Pilate's wife said to her husband when in anguish he asked her if she knew how to differentiate and identify "the true Truth", so to speak, since he, the military man and also the politician, saw so many versions of it in his profession.
Borges knew the truth, and wrote it many times in many different ways. You might consider him the William Shakespeare of Latin American literature, or the William Faulkner of the most southern south in the Americas, down to the Straits of Magellan (still Argentina).
In 1960, Borges wrote, "Borges y Yo", which reads as follows:
"It's to that other one, to Borges, that things happen. (...) It would be an exaggeration to claim that our relationship is hostile; I live, I let myself live so that Borges may write his literature, and this literature justifies me (...) Thus my life is a running away and I lose everything and everything is turned over to oblivion...
"I do not know which of the two is writing this piece."
We remember our childhood more often after turning 50 — this week, for example, I turned 54.
Borges remembered his "fence of spears" and memorialized it in his sentences, so beautifuly crafted, that always sounded like verses.
I don't recall much of mine, which was much less sheltered than Borges' since I was not an only child but one of 14, with Mommy having little time to give to just one no matter that I was the youngest.
Perhaps it is the lack of time that cuts into the quality of our life's experience.
I should give so much of that precious asset — what is left — to my loved ones and, perhaps, my co-workers here at AL DÍA.
Last, to myself, who perhaps sorely needs it as well.