Clock, stop your journey

February became a reality in my life in regards to friendship. About 17 years ago, I left my job in order to take up the most difficult and wonderful of enterprises, my family. Left behind was also a great friend with whom I shared the same office for nine years. Those who know me will understand how difficult it is for me to give credit to technology and this time, again, I have to do so. Thanks to FB, I found my friend Xiomara Jimenez, and eventhough there is still some catch up to do, as we say here in the Dominican Republic, it seemed as if time had not elapsed.

At that time, in addition to sharing the same technical trade, we shared a love for crafts. I taught her to embroider, and together we did small projects for her home and details for their children. I never thought she would become an events decorator and I, a visual artist. How many turns of fate, and how wonderful when those turns of fate you meet again with loved ones and so magical. You feel that time stopped and that you occupy the same place in the heart of that person and vice versa. That is what I call friendship, something we can not impose eventhough we put all our desire to it, and to me, rather than a spontaneous feeling and reciprocal, is a divine gift.

And just like old times, she honored me by allowing me to embroider the wedding dress for Linett, her eldest daughter, and to make their hairpieces, and citing the famous Mastercard ad: “priceless”.

February is long gone. I had promised to talk about my country, love and my grandmother. I hope others Februarys come, if I were there, I will have frozen time.

I see the moon, and the moon sees me

Guillermo Armentero´s photo

There is no better accomplice for those in love than the moon, with its pale, silvery light, and imposing circular shape. The moon is the celestial body larger than we observe for hours without optical damage. It haunts me, I believe in its power of attraction and the fascination that it has aroused in mankind; and let´s not forget about the moon’s influence on nature, including humans.

At different times in a span of 30 years I have been questioned at some point on a deep desire, and without thinking, the answer comes to me “walking in the moonlight with my loved one”.

There are so many fond memories from my childhood, and I say this because I belong to a generation and environment where nature played as important a role as for a primitive society. One of those fond memories is going out on the road in full moon nights to play “step on the reflected shadows”.  Back then, I had never heard of Peter Pan and his adventures, but by way of the collective unconscious, our shadows were so loved and protected as his was for him.

Referring to the moon, in art and literature we find, among others: Beethoven´s Moonlight Sonata, one of my favorite tunes, which I share with my beloved Rebeca.

Kiki Smith with her handscreen wallpaper “Maiden and Moonflower,” which tells a beautiful story about a woman who used to sit under a tree in the moonlight, surrounded by nocturnal animals and the stars.

 

And Pablo Neruda in his poem “If you forget me” refers to it, and reading it revives in me the moment I received one of the few poems of love that I have ever inspired.

If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Pablo Neruda

Our enchanted world

I don´t know if it´s the fabric yoyos research; or because yesterday was my beloved grandmother´s, now deceased, birthday; maybe I’m exhausted from too much work; or perhaps it´s what they call a “midlife crisis”. It doesn´t matter, whatever the cause, all lead me to relive the most unforgettable moments of my life, shared with my beloved sisters, Ray and Flori, and this fills me with longing.
The idea, in principle, to have a blog was no less than telling my story. My husband and many of those who have heard it have made comments like: “I would like to be close, even if looking through a peep hole”, others have suggested that I write a book, and others tell me “those are amazing things, I would like to listen to the three versions in order to compare: something like the Gospels, because these things can not be true”.
My sisters and I, in addition to the shared memories, we have in common things like the love of art, nature and, above all, our faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, not everything is rosy, it’s amazing how we keep the habit of quarreling like children, but as such, nothing happens, everything is forgotten immediately and enjoy it in our own way.
The Paredes sisters are very different women, not superior, but very different. Because of them, I honor the family name that for 25 years, many have not heard, but yes, I am nothing more and nothing less than the middle child, who stayed in her “terrible twos”.

Flori, me, and Ray in our 130,790 square meter backyard

My father is fond of animals, especially cows, and still retains some.

Part of the old corral

Begonias: we really feasted on these flowers, of course, hidden from our grandmother.

Zinnias, our favorite flowers. Hundreds of butterflies settled on them, which we would catch in cans, to later set free in our grandparent´s house.

Cacao trees, from our grandparent´s plantation.

Cocoa beans: I still remember the aroma when it was recently removed from the pods, and as it dried on those big slabs of concrete that, at night, in the moonlight, was our playground.

How many times did we weight ourselves? Each day, each time when our grandfather, who was devoted to the cocoa production and sales, received the locals with their horses loaded with cocoa beans.

That blue pot I picked up from the yard recently, I literally dug it from the yard, this was the pot where several heads of garlic was boiled daily so that my grandfather would have an infusion, one of his eccentricities, and the small vase, I only know that I have seen since I have recollection, one of the many knick-knacks, then called "bisquits" that adorned my granparents´ coffee table.

Part of their "so prized tableware," that was not used daily.

I keep many of their things, but what I treasure in my heart is all the fantastic stories that I lived every day with my sisters in that place called La Bija, in Cotuí, that´s why "I don´t want to grow up"