You can be absent, and yet in a way you are with me. Someone can exist in our memory and in the possibility of their return. If there is no one around you it doesn’t mean that you are necessarily alone. Solitude is, in fact, an incomplete and unique way of living in this world. Ancient myths have tried to explain this situation. Human beings are devoured by love because of the immense necessity of finding a mythic original unit. You try to find someone else as if you were searching for a lost part of your own body; and you are in pain if you do not find that part. Loneliness has a very tight bond with communication; we are forced to communicate, even when we don’t want or can’t communicate with other people. However, we have the conviction of someone else’s existence and we are aware of how much do we need that person. Inside of us, in our intimate conviction of someone else’s existence and in our painful experience of his absence, therein lies the sentiment of solitude. To become alone it is mandatory wanting to be two, at least, or having been two and preserving the respective nostalgia.
There can be three different categories of loneliness. The first one is the result of the death of a very dear friend or relative. Something you are familiar with. The second category consists in organizing the other’s absence, we exist because he is looking at us, but we have no control over his eyes or his presence. Our existence depends on the other person, jeopardizing our own independence. Then fear forces us to run away from the other, to forget him, in an attempt of regaining control of the situation. We disappear to make the other one disappear. We rush into loneliness because we are so afraid of being alone. We surrender to solitude, and there is always the risk of getting used to it. The third category is idealization; the other one exists because of us, and we see in him what we wish to see, we project intuitions, ideas and illusions; we create an imaginary being. But what happens when the other one shatters our fantasies? We walk away and we find out that we were always alone, since the very beginning. Reality doesn’t meet our expectations and therefore we become lonely beings. A totally happy solitude is impossible, however, in a mature way loneliness can be something positive. It is a learning path that allow us to accept our frustration and also to get rid of obsessive socializing with others. We have to find the balance, we have to feel comfortable when we are lonely if we want to feel comfortable with someone else.
|my sketch / mi boceto|
A French author, Hannon, in his book ‘Nos solitudes’, has some interesting insights. Loneliness can be an ambiguous notion, we all get to be lonely every now and then; but at the same time the idea of remaining alone is unsettling and frightening. In the past, you had to seclude from the rest of the population to be alone. Hermits or poets were socially allowed to be alone. Today you can be lonely even if you are surrounded by people. The crowd that surrounds a lonely man is like a mirror that reflects his condition. ‘Multitude, solitude, similar and convertible terms’ said Baudelaire once. In the past, at least, a lonely figure could be respected but now a lonely figure is considered suspicious or undesirable. Pascal said about the human being: ‘description of men: dependency, desire of independency, necessity’. We are authors and victims of our own loneliness. I need someone else but I behave as if I could live without that person. So, loneliness is associated with the idea of isolation and disgrace. And more often it is deemed as the cause and not the consequence of an existential problem.
El día de ayer el gran Max Maradiegue tuvo la buena voluntad de acompañarme a la presentación del libro del Británico sobre la obra –siempre irónica, juguetona, llena de referencias y homenajes a los más importantes artistas occidentales– de Eugenio Raborg.
Al final, luego de un par de copitas de vino, terminamos cenando en La 73 –paradero gourmet– y luego de una rica entrada, un buen lomo quinoto y un maracuyá sour, pudimos conversar sobre diversos temas y ponernos al día, después de todo, no nos veíamos desde hacía casi tres meses. Como siempre, fue un gusto compartir un momento tan agradable.
Hoy en la noche, asistí a dos muestras, una en Miraflores y otra en Barranco. En Corriente Alterna se inauguraba “Escorzos” de Ricardo Cassinelli, una propuesta que juega con nuestra mirada y con el concepto de perpendicularidad que, de un modo u otro, limita nuestro campo de visión.
Según el curador Gustavo Buntinx, Cassinelli hace alusión a la sociedad limeña desde una óptica inclinada, incompleta, inicua que a su vez retrata las diferencias sociales que parecen caracterizar nuestra ciudad. En esta ocasión me encontré con mi buen amigo Andreé Ferro, y también conversé con David Rejas y Christian Fuchs, con quien no coincidía desde hacía un par de meses.
De inmediato, Andreé y yo nos dirigimos a Dédalo, donde se inauguraba “A tomar el té”, nueva línea de muebles de la extraordinaria artista Ana Teresa Barboza, que centra sus diseños en la reutilización y el reciclaje de elementos que muchos considerarían inservibles. Allí me encontré con Pedro Casusol, saludé a Eduardo Lores y a María Elena Fernández, y también charlé brevemente con Carmen Alegre e Isabelle Decencière.