La mejor lección de la niñez por Pablo Neruda / Pablo Neruda’s Greatest Lesson from Childhood

por Lewis Hyde [English below]

Jugando en el jardín detrás de la casa, un día cuando todavía era un niño pequeño, Neruda descubrió un agujero en la cerca de madera. “Miré a través del agujero y vi un paisaje como el de detrás de nuestra casa, descuidado y salvaje. Di un par de pasos atrás, porque tuve la sensación de que iba a pasar algo. De repente apareció una mano—- la manita de un niño de más o menos mi edad. Para cuando volví a acercarme, la mano se había ido, y en su lugar había una preciosa oveja blanca de juguete.”

“La lana de la oveja estaba desteñida. Sus ruedas habían desaparecido. Todo esto sólo la hacía más auténtica. Nunca había visto una oveja tan maravillosa. Volví a mirar por el agujero, pero el niño había desaparecido. Me metí en casa y saqué algo equivalente que yo tenía: una piña abierta, llena de olor y resina, la adoraba. La coloqué en el mismo lugar y me fui con la oveja.”

“Nunca volví a ver la mano o al chico. Y nunca he visto una oveja como esa, tampoco. El juguete que acabé perdiendo en un fuego. Pero incluso ahora, cuando paso por una tienda de juguetes, miro furtivamente al escaparate. No tiene sentido. Ya no hacen ovejas como esa.”

Neruda ha comentado este incidente varias veces. “Ese intercambio de regalos—-misteriosos— se instaló profundamente en mi como un depósito de sedimentos,” dijo una vez en una entrevista. Y él asocia el intercambio con su poesía. “He sido un hombre afortunado. Sentir la intimidad de los herman@s es algo maravilloso en la vida. Sentir el amor de la gente que amamos es un fuego que alimenta nuestra vida. Pero sentir el afecto que viene de aquell@s que no conocemos, por esos desconocid@s para nosotros, que cuidan nuestro sueño y nuestra soledad, que vigilan nuestros peligros y nuestras debilidades— eso es algo todavía más grande y más bonito porque amplía las fronteras de nuestro ser, y une todas las cosas vivas.

“Ese intercambio me hizo darme cuenta por primera vez de una idea preciosa: Que toda la humanidad está de alguna forma unida…. No te sorprenderá entonces que yo haya intentado dar algo resinoso, terroso, y fragante a cambio de la hermandad humana…..

“Esta es la gran lección que aprendí en mi infancia, en el patio de atrás de una casa solitaria. Puede que no fuese otra cosa que un juego que jugaron dos niños que no se conocían y que querían pasarle al otro alguna de las cosas buenas de la vida. Incluso puede ser que este pequeño y misterioso intercambio de regalos ser quedase dentro de mí también, profundo e indestructible, dando luz a mi poesía.”

–Lewis Hyde, de “El regalo

Pablo Neruda’s Greatest Lesson from Childhood

Playing in the lot behind the house one day when he was still a little boy, Neruda discovered a hole in a fence board. “I looked through the hole and saw a landscape like that behind our house, uncared for, and wild. I moved back a few steps, because I sensed vaguely that something was about to happen. All of a sudden a hand appeared—a tiny hand of a boy about my own age. By the time I came close again, the hand was gone, and in its place there was a marvellous white toy sheep.

“The sheep’s wool was faded. Its wheels had escaped. All of this only made it more authentic. I had never seen such a wonderful sheep. I looked back through the hole but the boy had disappeared. I went in the house and brought out a measure of my own: a pine cone, opened, full of odor and resin, which I adored. I set it down in the same spot and went off with the sheep.

“I never saw either the hand or the boy again. And I have never seen a sheep like that either. The toy I lost finally in a fire. But even now…whenever I pass a toyshop, I look furtively into the window. It’s no use. They don’t make sheep like that anymore.”

Neruda has commented on this incident several times. “This exchange of gifts—mysterious—settled deep inside me like a sedimentary deposit,” he once remarked in an interview. And he associates the exchange with his poetry. “I have been a lucky man. To feel the intimacy of (sisters and) brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that come from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses—that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.

“That exchange brought home to me for the first time a precious idea: that all humanity is somehow together…It won’t surprise you then that I have attempted to give something resiny, earthlike, and fragrant in exchange for human brotherhood…

“This is the great lesson I learned in my childhood, in the backyard of a lonely house. Maybe it was nothing but a game two boys played who didn’t know each other and wanted to pass to the other some good things of life. Yet maybe this small and mysterious exchange of gifts remained inside me also, deep and indestructible, giving my poetry light.”

–Lewis Hyde, from “The Gift”

About awakinOAK

Intentionally located in east Oakland -- to, on the one hand, overcome institutionalized violence and on the other hand, be showered by the multicultural love and wisdom from neighbors-- this small community strives for integral nonviolence and supports activities that foster fearlessness, courage, autonomy, unconditional love and compassion for all beings. Every Friday for the last 10 years, the anchors of Awakin Oakland, host "Wednesdays on Fridays", an open-house meditation night that was inspired by a family in Santa Clara who has been doing this for close to 23 years [2020] No teachers or gurus. No set agendas or proposed beliefs either. Just one strong principle -- when you change within, the world changes
This entry was posted in ahimsa, ARTivism, Awakin Oakland, natural philosophy, nonviolence, poetry, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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