Saturday, 14 June 2008

Remote islands...

Going through de papers that Miguel Errazu left with me before his return to Gondwana, I came across a notebook in which he had set down the following. MG


I remember a big round rock that was, in color, size and shape, much like the wide back and domed skull of an elephant. It stood at the top of a slope, in the midst of luxuriant vegetation, and sitting there (for hours, it seemed) when I was a little child, I enjoyed the widest imaginable view onto the blue, vaporous distance of a great, uninhabited bay, crowded with countless mysterious islands, all knit together with labyrinthine waterways and, beyond these, out onto an endless ocean. And I would sit there, dreaming great shapeless dreams, wider than worlds, imagining what I would find if only I could wander freely there, exploring those islands and venturing past them onto the ocean that, beyond my sight, melted into the sky.
This is probably where my calling as a travel writer first arose.
Gondwana seems to have attracted me all the more that it surely remains the remotest and least familiar part of the known world. It is so remote, in fact, that it appears quite tiny in the mind’s eye, and this allows one to make out the broader patterns that constantly sweep through the world we live in, though we can’t make them out because we stand too close to them.
Observing all the things that I had stored in my memory on my return from Gondwana, I realized that I could practically give a tangible appearance to the two, tremendous global currents that move like guiding spirits through the human world, commanding its climate and the conditions of our lives: the warm current of the imagined and the cold current of the real. These two together, move endlessly through our minds like the two faces of a single, inconceivable, cosmic conveyor belt. They endless lift new, utterly unexpected and undreamed things out of the imagined and slowly propel them into the real.
This is something I was eager to evoke when I wrote my Chronicles.

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