ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN RANGE
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.