Wednesday, October 6, 2010
There Is a Space, a Metaphysical Place Inside of Me
Reflecting upon this journey and all the journeys I have taken--Mexico, Ecuador, Peru---what comes to mind is Cesar Vallejo and his poem, Espergesia. For what is it that pulls us out of the routine life, that modicum of secure dreams, and into the world of not-knowing? Sometimes we are pushed by fate, and forced to fly into territories we may never have dared to venture into otherwise. Cesar Vallejo was a Peruvian genius, a poet born and raised in the stark Andes who ended up in Paris during the early 1900's. He startled the literary world with his universal poetry, and continues to be translated to this day. "Hay un vacio/ en mi aire metafisico/ que nadie hay de palpar" --"There is an emptiness/ in my metaphysical air /that no one dares to touch". The American poet James Wright takes this image further in a similar poem, but his bones turn "to dark emeralds" in the end.
But this space, this metaphysical place within us, does it not contain those often unidentifiable yearnings? The desire to leave our home and make new of something that has grown stagnant, aloof, without purpose?
In a culture where consumerism clutches our very being, Mexico appeals to the heart and soul of many. When I told people I was returning to Mexico, it seemed as if I became their dream. I was the hidden desire made manifest, and I was carried forward not just by my resolution to redefine myself as a writer, but by the torch of their longing. Within the journey was a momentum and a force that seemed apart from my purposeful planning. Twice I felt a pull within my solar plexus during my stay in Mexico; once while listening to a Mayan descendant speak about his ancestors' visions for the future, and another time standing on a ceremonial site outside of San Miguel, as the spring solstice arrived. Was it my "metaphysical air" that was being yanked? Why had I really come to San Miguel?