Marginalia #92

Emperatriz Plácido San Martín

Time, the great teacher

The other day I was thinking about who I am; I thought of many names and many people. The names of those who named me and the ones they have called me. Then I thought of the times when life has been fleeting and felt eternal. I wonder if it really was. Have you always been called by the same name or with the same voice? Does the name by which they call you still sound in the house where you were nursed?

I had known the district of Tauca since I was a baby through the stories of my grandmother Esther, but it was not until I turned 30 that the virgin received me on her land to deliver the soul of my grandparents. I found this place in my grandmother’s eyes because this body is not only mine and it does not determine who I am, because I am many lives. This body is just another artifact to understand that time disposes of life at its command and desire. Who I am, and who I was, and who I will be is beyond me in ways I can’t explain. Time, like my body, my name and my love, does not have a logical explanation, let alone a solid or immutable identity. Everything I know, think, feel and believe no longer exists, but at the same time it continues to exist in some corner of this world that is an eternal spiral of desires.

In that process, what is security? What is tranquility and calm? Who can own them? Are they not lies that seek to hide chaos and fear in order to aspire to life while denying death? Are calm and tranquility not ephemeral states that move like the tide? In this rhythm of city life, isn’t our abundance and beauty sustained by the exploitation of other bodies? What bodies are those? Can they access that supposed calm that we have learned to aspire to?

Rage, anger, irritation, hatred are punished when they go against the rules of good customs, being death the justification for order. Violence is only allowed to those who believe they own the life and death of other bodies.

“I am not going to die so that others may live”, my grandmother the Empress used to say; and now I, with and in her name, repeat it and feel her life run through my body. Two bodies cannot occupy the same space, but it is necessary to remember that no body is enclosed and that we are not only bodies. We are more than our limits and we are much more than the limits imposed on us by the states created to repress us. It is enough that you feel life and death in your body for you to understand that one is already an eternal fantasy, for better or for worse, that only time, the great teacher, will tell.


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