Monday, August 18, 2008

Discovery Of Life

Discovery of life

Gentlemen! Today is the first time that I realize the presence of life! Gentlemen! I beg you to leave me alone for a moment, so I can savor this formidable, spontaneous and recent life emotion, which today, for the first time, enraptures me and makes me happy to the point of tears.

My joy come from what is unexperienced of my emotion. My exultation comes from the fact that before I did not feel the presence of life. I have never felt it. If anyone says that I have felt it he is lying. He is lying and his lie hurts me to such a degree that it would make me miserable. My joy comes from my faith in this personal discovery of life, and no one can go against this faith. IF anyone would try, his tongue would fall out, his bones would fall out and he would risk picking up others, not his own, to keep himself standing before my eyes.

Never, except now, has life existed. Never, except now, have people walked by. Never, except now, have there been houses and avenues, air and horizons. If my friend Peyriet came over right now, I would tell him that I do not know him and that we must begin anew.
When, in fact, have I met my friend Peyriet? Today would be the first time we became acquainted. I would tell him to go away and come back and drop in on me, as if he did not know me, that is, for the first time.

Now I do not know anyone or anything. I notice I am in a strange country where everything acquires a Nativity relief, a light of unfading epiphany. No, sir. Do not speak to that gentleman. You do not know him and such unexpected chatter would surprise him. Do not put your foot on that tiny stone: who knows it is not a stone and you will plunge into empty space. Be cautious, for we are in a totally unknown world.
What a short time I have lived! My birth is so recent, there is no unit of measure to count my age. I have just been born! I have not even lived yet! Gentlemen: I am so tiny, the day hardly fits inside me.

Never, except now, did I hear the racket of the carts, that carry stone for a great construction on boulevard Haussmann. Never, except now, did I advance parallel to the spring, saying to it: 'If death had been something else....' Never, except now, did I see the golden light of the sun on the cupolas of Sacre-Coeur. Never, except now, did a child approach me and look at me deeply with his mouth. Never, except now, did I know a door existed, and another door and the cordial song of the distances.
Let me alone! LIfe has now struck me in all my death.

---Cesar Vallejo

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