A gala night

In each generation, there a those who will question the natural state of affairs


Fachadas del pueblo Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
The town’s facades
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

At that moment, Felipe’s expression changed, for he had recognized the voice of Pilar’s grandmother, the unmistakable voice of Angelica, that extraordinary woman, who so boldly had dared to publicly play the violin, during those times in which the instrument was played only by men.

     Felipe felt goose bumps rise, for the voice corresponded, matching perfectly, and so exactly, that for a brief moment he even imagined having recognized Angelica’s features, delicately delineated in his own wife’s beautiful face.

Fachadas del pueblo Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
The town’s facades
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

 “The night in question, when that miserable creature penetrated into our lives so audaciously, was not just any night. Certainly not, and especially for us. It was a very special night. That particular night was an exceptional, gala opening night in the Maldonado Theater. At the time, the theatre had been recently remodelled. Occasionally it was used for presentations by orchestras visiting Colombia. It had its own peculiar charm. Unfortunately, a few years later it was demolished and the Colon Theatre was built there in its place,” she concluded with a nostalgic tone in her voice. Immediately, she continued:

Los paisaje de la Puna Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
La Puna landscapes
Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

“That night was thrilling, my dear! The Symphonic Orchestra of Vienna had arrived! So exciting! Julian would be conducting the orchestra, as the invited Director. And that night they would play Mozart’s 5th Concerto for violin and orchestra! Two musicians from Bogota would participate, playing the oboes. And I would play First Violin. It was my debut; can you imagine just how important that night was for both Julian and myself?”

Cielos jujeños Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina
Skies from Jujuy
Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina

 

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Mother and daughter conversations

And how many conversations took place between a mother and her daughter, through innumerable civilisations and uncountable millennia

En el cementerio Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina
At the cemetery
Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina

“That was how it turned out, that on one night, my mother and I, happened to share this long conversation. It consisted on the history of my father, that same person, whom I was always so terrified of.”

El inicio de la Ruta 9 La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina
The initial point of Route 9
La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina

“Whom also, as yourself, I had never understood. Much less, how things could have turned out in life, finally allowing such a great person, as my mother, to wed such a low life, an individual of no merits at all, to understand her marriage with such a despicable individual of the likes of Jaimito Arevalo.”

Calle de Salta Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Salta Street
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

Before she continued, Pilar, before anything else in life, a great artist, breathed deeply, closing her eyes. Concentrating, she began to recreate that narrative in her own style, which others may have considered theatrical in extreme. Her melodious voice, also deeply sensual, acquired a totally different personality to her own person. Meanwhile, Felipe totally engrossed and taken aback, slowly enjoyed his wine:

“The story that I must refer to this night, necessarily goes back then, to describe how we met Jaimito, perhaps on a predestined night, and to the most peculiar incidents that gave way to this event.”

La calle Buenos Aires Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Buenos Aires Street
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

 

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Unveiling the truths

Sometimes, it’s best to let sleeping truths lie


Seguiré viviendo Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
I shall live on
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

“Let us continue and forget about these matters for the moment. We will surely get back to it and recognize your noble sentiments and of course your legal perceptions which, by the way, have my absolute support and credit.”

“But, for now, to center this discussion which I have decided to open tonight. Allow me to invite you to go back, barely two years ago. If you remember, darling Felipe, that was the moment when my parents decided to embark on a tour through Europe. Their absence was considered, at the moment, as indefinite. They had plans to present themselves at different European countries and hadn’t considered the when of their return.”

La Querencia Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
La Querencia
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

“My mother, probably thinking of the possibility of some misfortune on the road, or perhaps, reflecting on her own mortality and her brief passage through life, decided to finally reveal the story of that infamous Jaimito, and disclose the vague mysteries related to his death. “

Casa Vieja
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

At least, as far as I was concerned, there were a lot of unresolved doubts related to that particular subject. By some kind of mutual agreement, we had never broached the subject before and touched it only in the passing and in a most superficial way, without ever delving into the details.”

Caminos del pueblo Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Country roads
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

 

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Ideas and realitites

The evident and the obvious passes on occasions, imperceptibly 


El altiplano de Jujuy Ruta 9, Jujuy, Argentina
The highlands in Jujuy
Ruta 9, Jujuy, Argentina

Pilar remained in silence for a while, quietly observing as she felt herself alive and overflowing with admiration for the ideas so energetically expressed by Felipe. The profound conviction she heard in his voice filled her with brimming emotions, and at that moment, she felt so much closer to him, as if this were humanly possible.

“The thesis that I have promoted among my colleagues, resides in that if we consider these acts from a strictly penal point of view, then we must admittedly consider that to assault, ridicule, or demean a person because of their beliefs or preferences in life, must ultimately carry criminal penalties with all the legal implications and consequences.”

Los paisajes de La Puna Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
La Puna landscape
Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

“And these acts would even entail repercussions of the most severe degree, in the case of an aggressor, who finds him or herself acting in the role of a superior moral authority before the victim, such as happens in the case of a parental figure before a child.”

“Lamentably, I have found scarce sympathy among my fellow attorneys, but there is one thing that is totally clear. I shall still promote these concepts as long as I have the strength in life to pursue it, for I am absolutely convinced of the necessity of this matter.”

El puente del Inca Ruta 9, Jujuy, Argentina
Puente del Inca
Ruta 9, Jujuy, Argentina

Pilar gathered strength from that indomitable reserve that resided in the core of herself, her steady gaze reflected the total recognition and admiration so deeply felt towards her husband, as she carried the conversation back to its original theme.

Teo en la calle Salta Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Teo at Salta Street
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

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Verbal violence

And, with so much aggression, her self.esteem and desire to belong, made her so much more vulnerable


Mediodía Humahuaca, Jujuy. Argentina
Mid Day
Humahuaca, Jujuy. Argentina

Immediately, Felipe replied, “I totally agree! Personally, I realize how fortunate, my life had been, and I am fully aware of the fact. I never experienced a situation like yours, at least, directly. But, since we met, rather I was exposed to this situation, for I observed it at as a guest in your house and as your friend.”

Los álamos Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
The alamos
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

“Perhaps, we have never discussed this before, but as a consequence of all those experiences, I have tried to promote a concept which for now has fallen by others into the category of too bold, and is possibly just a bit too advanced for our times. Specifically, I refer to a concept I have formulated, and have also named, Verbal Violence. It just can’t be, my love! How just a few years to the beginning of a new century, the year 1900, we hold on to such obsolete ideas that should have never formed part of our societies collective thought.”

Sombras de la tarde Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Afternoon shadows
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

Pilar gathered strength from that indomitable strength that resided in the core of herself, her steady gaze reflected the total recognition and admiration so deeply felt towards her husband, as she carried the conversation back to its original theme.

Esas calles Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Esas calles
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

 

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Existencial childhood doubts

Her worst doubts in life were when she doubted herself


El gallo Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina
The rooster
Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina

“Where do I begin? You already know how that conniving scoundrel, without the least bit of scruples, boldly hindered and interfered with both of my most cherished affections…”

“And, allow me to elaborate on this issue: on the enormous scope of the influence exerted by an adult or should I say a grown-up, in the life of a child, or rather, in my case, of a young girl.” “That such a person, whom you have come to regard as the ultimate authority in life, and assuredly, with more knowledge than yourself, should dare ridicule and mock your beliefs, openly opposing your efforts… Now please, try to imagine this as seen from the perspective of the child.”

El patio Yavi, Jujuy, Argentinas
The patio
Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina

“Do you understand, my dear Felipe? At that very moment of your incipient, budding potential, you come to believe he must surely be right, for he has lived longer and decidedly has more knowledge of life than yourself… And, what was the ultimate result of this underhanded situation?”

El trueque Cangrejillos, Jujuy, Argentina
Barter market           Cangrejillos, Jujuy, Argentina

“That I began to question myself, and to doubt my authentic passion for music, particularly the piano, as well as my deeply rooted love of reading. For, a gigantic illuminated character was telling my little person that she was totally wrong, and so innocently, I blindly fell right into the trap.”

La ventana Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina
The window
Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina

 

 


 

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Painful memories

Pronouncing himself as her father was, indeed, one of the most selfish act in his life…


Las calle del pueblo Yavi, Jujuy, Antioquia
The villages streets
Yavi, Jujuy, Antioquia

“The truth of the matter is simply that all the recollections associated with this scoundrel and his presence in my life are, still today, painful in extreme,” Pilar remarked, centering the conversation, “On the other hand, my love, I barely learned the truth hidden behind this rogue, barely a short time ago.”

El hostal Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina
The hostel
Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina

“Darling,” Felipe began to say, “if this question pains you so much…” But, he was brusquely interrupted by his wife.

Las casas Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina
The houses
Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina

“My Dear Judge, I appreciate your concern, but please, do not interrupt me, for it is not at all easy for me to delve in these painfully awkward matters. Allow me to anticipate that the what I am about to disclose, concerns you as my ever-faithful husband and friend and, of course, as my most cherished companion. But, in addition, you must also analyze these matters in your role as a Judge of the Supreme Court, for we shall discuss proceedings of a criminal nature.”

Vida rural Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina
Rural life
Yavi, Jujuy, Argentina

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A decidedly negative influence

Among that multitude of recollections that lay in lost in oblivion, she searched, perhaps fruitlessly, for but one memory of her lost father, which could inspire, at least, a trace of affection.


Buscando entre recuerdos perdidos Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina
Searching amongst lost memories
Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina

She was pensive, gathering her thoughts. After a long moment, she continued, a clear determination could be her in her voice, for she had finally resolved to broach the subject on that night.

“I mentioned the fact that it had been a decisive moment of change y my daily life at the time. It represented a turn of events that manifested itself in two main components.”

La gaucha Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina
The gaucha           Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina

“The first of these events consisted in a decidedly positive influence; thanks to which, the girl I once was, finally initiated herself into the mysteries of poetic fantasizing. I will always be grateful to Miss Teresita. She was kind enough to awaken that unquenchable thirst towards exploring, and further still, communicating my experiences, those that stirred so intensely inside my young self.”

“The second influence, the negative counterpart, consisted in the indisputable negative effect, that affected my earliest years, due to a totally despicable character of dubious worth, known to all by the name of Jaimito Arevalo, who unfortunately was also my father, though he never acted like one.”

El gaucho Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina
The gaucho          Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina

“At this point, my dearest Felipe, you surely must wonder why we had never discussed this subject before. Especially, due to the most definite way this has influenced my life, and also, considering the immense trust with which we have always shared everything in our life between both of us.”

Felipe resettled in his stool, so he could face Pilar directly. In her voice, as well as in her delicate features, the deep pain she felt was evidently reflected. And, any incident that could provoke these deep emotions in Pilar, was undoubtedly of the most importance for him.”

La Pareja Peña Blanca, Jujuy, Argentina
The couple           Peña Blanca, Jujuy, Argentina

 

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The first poems of a little dreamer girl

As old as humanity, were the first dreams they had and their strong desire to share them


Caminos de la Quebrada Peña Blanca, Jujuy, Argentina
The Roads at  La Quebrada
Peña Blanca, Jujuy, Argentina

“Let us abbreviate and get down to the heart of the matter. It was Miss Teresita who awakened the love of reading, in all the girls in my classroom. Of that perhaps, a small group of little girls, there’s not, but one that later in her life… didn’t turn out to be an ardent reader. Still today, we all read anything and everything that we encounter, even the occasional writing on the walls. She would organize these discussion sessions, where we commented on our reading. I´m sure you’ll think I exaggerate, but let me tell you that these gatherings were quite fun and decidedly entertaining.”

Vista a la Quebrada Tres Cruces, Jujuy Argentina
Vista to the Quebrada
Tres Cruces, Jujuy Argentina

“Teresita taught me to love Poetry. She marked such an enormous difference with respect to the series of piano teachers of my life, for she was whom conducted me one step further ahead. It was thanks to her that I began to write. How to explain… the charm in beginning to explore that vast and wonderful world of my inner-self?”

Puente sobre el Río Grande Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
The bridge at Río Grande
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

“Can you imagine, Felipe? I was barely eight years old and already writing my own verses. Both of us were ecstatic and overwhelmed. Teresita believed that I showed a lot of potential, and she did everything humanly possible to stimulate my creative sensitivity. As for myself, I was overjoyed! It was the equivalent of tasting this incredible sweet dessert, and finding that you wanted to repeat it again and again… always encountering these new hidden flavours full of exquisite possibilities.”

La cañada Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina
The gully         Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina

 

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Angels and demons descend from Heaven and Hell

There are bad birds that are found in the deepest marshlands, and they inspire confusion, but equally, the white birds are also there… the beautiful birds of the Illumination.

A fragment based on the Short story, The black birds and destinies, from the book Living between borders, by edudelcorral


Las bicicletas La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina
The bicycles
La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina

Having said that, they both began to laugh quietly and a shade nervously, as can so easily happen when one talks about such matters in the quiet of the night.

“Anyhow, on the very next day, the Principal’s assistant replaced her temporarily. Now that was a strange kind of a woman. All the girls in the classroom agreed that she resembled a bird of prey, could have been an eagle or some type of an owl. She had these rapacious, predatory eyes, and when she fixed her gaze on you, a calculating stare, it paralyzed you, as she froze you unmoving in your place.”

Jujeña Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Woman from Jujuy 
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

Don Felipe interrupted to add, “Of course, I know the feeling. When I was in the third year of Law School, we had a professor by the name of Bonifacio Arredondo. Let me tell you, my dear, he was a dog! A Saint Bernard, at that. Look, he only lacked his little barrel round the neck… His disposition, he was a sweetie, the nicest person! Always kind and loving with us all, just your regular Nice Guy. You see, darling, he was too kind, and of course, everyone took advantage of him.”

Llamas del altiplano Abrapampa, Jujuy, Argentina
Llamas from the highlands
Abrapampa, Jujuy, Argentina

“Well, that woman was a with. A voracious, predator of souls! Kind? No, not a caring feather in her wings. So, of course, no one ever even dreamed of taking advantage of her, for she had the sharpest claws and positively long-reaching. Happily, her stay with us was of a short duration. The third day after she appeared as the substitute, Miss Teresita Villarreal, arrived. She was twenty-three years old at the time. Still, for us, she was undoubtedly one of the grownups. However, unlike that nasty harpy from Hell, to us, Teresita felt more like an Angel that had just descended from heaven.”

La ciudad Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
The city
Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

 

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