13 Feb Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A Man Says Farewell

… Gabriel Garcia Marquez has retired from public life for reasons of health: lymphatic cancer. Now it seems that he grows ever more ill. He has sent a letter of farewell to his friends, and thanks to the internet, it is being diffused. I recommend it to you because this short text, written by one of the most brilliant Latin-Americans of the most recent times is truly moving:

“If God for an instant would forget that I am a cloth marionette and would give me a piece of life, possibly I would not say all that I think, but I would definitely think all that I say. I would give value to all things, and not for what they are worth, but for what they mean. I would sleep little, dream more; I understand that for each minute that we close the eyes, we lose seventy seconds of light. I would walk when others pause, wake when others sleep. I would listen when others talk, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice-cream! If God would give me a piece of life, I would dress simply, throw myself face-down, leaving bare, not only my body but my soul. My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hate on ice and wait for the sun to rise. I would paint with a dream of Van Gogh on the stars, a poem of Benedetti’s and a song of Serrat’s; it would be the serenade I would offer to the moon.

“I would water the roses with my tears so I could feel the pain of their thorns, the incarnate kiss of their petals . . . My God, if I had a piece of life . . . I would not let a single day pass by without telling the people I love that I love them.

“I would convince each woman or man that they are my favorites and I would live in love with love. I would prove to the men how mistaken they are to think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.

“I would give wings to a child, but I would let him learn to fly by himself. I would teach the old that death comes not with age, but with forgetfulness. I have learned so much from you, humanity . . . I have learned that everyone wants to live on the top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness lies in the way of climbing the slope.

“I have learned that when a new-born grasps with his small fist the finger of his father for the first time, he has him trapped forever. I have learned that a man has the right to look down upon another only when he must help him to rise. They are so many, the things that I have been able to learn from you, but really they will not help me much, because when they put me in that suitcase, unfortunately, I will be dying.”