Communion at la Chascona

Communion at la Chascona

Reading a recent description of one of Pablo Neruda’s homes in Chile I found myself frustrated by my own lost passion, my lost hunger for romance, my loss of the person I once was: foolishly idealistic and certain that one sublime love was not only possible but destined, and that attaining that love was worth every price and every risk.

Then I wondered if Neruda had ever lost his magical sense of the romantic? It might, to one casually acquainted with his life and times, seem that after his epiphany at Machu Picchu he shifted its essence to a continent and its people. After all, how much passion can one soul contain? But his actions belie that conclusion although the focus of his poetry certainly changed, as it would again during the latter stages of his life when the mundane became the miraculous.

Somehow, I sense that he managed to contain it all in his enormous soul, all the joy, all the sadness, all the suffering all the hope. All the things that he somehow simultaneously coalesced into the verbal imagery that so strongly shakes my soul and provides me with inspiration when the world seems such a hopelessly unfair and incoherent home.

“I confess that I have lived” is how he titled his autobiography.

Unfortunately for me and, I think, for much of the world, through no fault of his own, he just didn’t live long enough.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2015; all rights reserved