Saturday, July 5, 2008

On returning to places

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."

"En Macondo comprendí que Al lugar donde has sido feliz, no debieras tratar de volver" - "In Macondo I knew that one ought not return to places where he has found happiness".
Joaquín Sabina - Peces de Ciudad

"Hello Madrid, allow me to introduce myself, for you and I are going to make new memories now"
word of advice from my dearest friend (originally in Spanish, replying to yet another histerical email) who has lived in a few places around the globe himself and has sometimes gone back.

"I don't care how many times we've gone there together [...] I now intend to make fresh footsteps which will erase our old footsteps. I can finally walk again" a post by Rehab which did me lots of good going back to Cairo and starting over (took a bit of liberty translating that, for this is what the sentences look like in my quite subjective memory, so listen to the hadouta).

"Por eso aún estoy en el lugar de siempre, en la misma ciudad y con la misma gente, para que tú al volver no encuentres nada extraño, y sea como ayer y nunca más dejarnos."
"So here I am still in the same place, in the same city and with the same people, so when you come back you don't find anything different, so it could be like the old days and we'd never part"
Se me olvidó otra vez (I have forgotten again)

In my favourite terraza** in Plaza 2 de mayo, sharing my thoughts with a great friend, I finally felt at peace with our changes, both mine and the city's, and I felt that once more I could affirm that what they say is true "de Madrid al cielo"***

Paulo Coelho's words and the Latin American concept of "closing circles" come to mind again and again "It is always important to know when something has reached its end.Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over..."

* story in Egyptian dialect
** that's what we call street cafés and restaurants in Madrid
*** literally, from Madrid to heaven

Tajo river in Toledo - photo by Andrea

Read my friend's post "on the significance of being away"