French kisses

Although the concept is very American, I loved this photograph of a child who instead of selling lemonade, we are accustomed to seeing through the media, is selling kisses.

The kiss is a gesture common among humans and among many animal species and it consists of touching something with the lips; and, the kiss benefits the health of those that give it and those who receive it.

The kiss, because of its connotation has been the inspiration for art in its various manifestations, as we can see in these pictures.

The Kiss (Gustav Klimt)

Alfred Eisenstaedt's V–J Day in Times Square

Pablo Picasso´s The Kiss

Still from "The Kiss" (1896 film)

 

 

 

 

Robert Doisneau´s The Kiss at the Hôtel de VilleEl beso del Hôtel de Ville. Robert Doisneau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auguste Rodin´s "The Kiss"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 75 years ago my grandmother married my grandfather Alejandro. They came from a region with very primitive customs, so that in his machismo, she was only his wife. My grandmother never knew it, but she was very much ahead of her time, for many years, I saw her as an eccentric. Of course, as such, she could not stand my grandfather´s infidelities; and, two or three years later, ended their marriage, without giving him a chance.

Legal divorce was not necessary because my grandmother´s determination was unique and that was enough  for my grandfather to sleep by her feet for the rest of his days. After many years, up until 1973, following a request that my grandmother made to a Bible college, where she requested that missionaries be sent to take care of several temples she had built, Ramon Nunez arrived, he was the supervisor of the Methodist pastors in the norther region of the country, and she fell in love with him at first sight.

I cannot say anything in relation to her internal conflicts, only that her platonic love led her to write many poems and essays about love, all with figures of speech, trying to hide from the public and perhaps from herself, her feelings; feelings perceived by three girls who shared her roof for several months each year.

After a little more than a decade, both were widowed in their senior years, and got married (a relationship that lasted 24 years until her demise). The girls grew up and came to be their grandmother´s confidants. I can vouch that if she lived in this February, she could have taken these verses by Gabriela Mistral to dedicate to him.

There are kisses that speak for themselves
the guilty judgment of love,
some kisses are given with a look
some kisses are given with a memory.

And I would say, citing Gustavo Adolfo Becquer: Grandmother: “The soul that can speak with the eyes can also kiss with the eyes.”

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