ON THE OT­HER SI­DE OF THE MOUNTAIN RAN­GE

Arte por Excelencias - - La Columna -

From the lan­gua­ge flowers, ex­ple­ti­ves, sto­ri­es, ple­a­su­re, desi­res, dre­ams, si­len­ces are born ... We we­re just cros­sing the bor­der and the­re we­re two dif­fe­rent and equal worlds: sun-tan­ned skin, an­ces­tral fe­a­tu­res, dif­fe­rent ways of mo­ving the ton­gue ...

I fe­el that Chi­le is still a qui­et country, a bit her­me­tic. I could say that the mountain ran­ge has a lot to do with it, or the ye­ars of dic­ta­tors­hip, or the cold of the mountain, or a strong an­ces­tral trait, that is figh­ter and has suf­fe­red. The city is full of im­mi­grants. I'm lis­te­ning in the air to the sounds, the ton­gues mo­ving. I get used to all of them quickly and I re­cog­ni­ze them.

So on short trips I he­ar the voi­ces of pe­o­ple ro­o­ted in their land or their his­tory. For exam­ple, the gar­de­ner of the hou­se of Pa­blo Ne­ru­da in Is­la Ne­gra, who tells us, nos­tal­gic, how he grew up in that pla­ce whe­re his fat­her was al­so a gar­de­ner. He al­so tells how the po­et ar­ri­ved with his fri­end pain­ter who li­ved in the hou­se op­po­si­te and sat on a bo­at anc­ho­red in the pa­tio, over­lo­oking the sea, to take their drinks. It is a so­li­tary and nos­tal­gic voi­ce, happy to live what has be­en li­ved.

Then the­re is the voi­ce of one who takes ca­re of the back do­or of a lu­xury ho­tel in Al­gar­ro­bo. The­re is the lar­gest po­ol in the world. “It is for­bid­den to swim ... one drow­ned and now the po­ol only ser­ves to sail by bo­at,” says the ca­re­taker as we look at the po­ol with its two hun­dred and fifty mi­lli­on li­ters of wa­ter and its thirty-fi­ve me­ters de­ep. This deso­la­te si­te has one thou­sand three hun­dred apart­ments and ele­ven buil­dings.

In the me­an­ti­me I me­et with my sin­ging fri­ends and sha­re a “pis­co”, if the­re is, or in their ab­sen­ce a bott­le wi­ne or an earth­quake. Spring co­mes and the sun shi­nes, shi­nes, shi­nes. The­re are pro­tests on the stre­et and the city has two faces and a lan­gua­ge puzz­le, so I ke­ep a cou­ple of sto­ri­es to tell from the south.

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