I am a long distance runner, mother of five children, a bilingual poet, living in northwestern Argentina. Sumay Pacha means land of beauty in Runasimi, the language of the Quechua in the province of Jujuy at the northern tip of Argentina bordering Bolivia. I went for nine days in July, 2012 during the children's winter school break. It is the adobe home my cousin shared with me as a gift of solitude.
The Light of Argentina: a philosophy diary conversations with Hannah Arendt
ISBN-978 987 1726 19-6
Having studied the coexistence of beauty and violence as a paradox of the very ground of Latin American culture, the hope and obstacles vying to overpower daily life, I give voice to voices seldom heard.
The Light of Argentina: a philosophy diary Conversations with Hannah Arendt as a project bridges the Americas through poetry and narrative nonfiction. It begins on the seventeen hour bus trip from the international Book Fair in Buenos Aires to San Miguel de Tucumán where Hannah Arendt’s phrase to open the eyes of the mind summons the narrator to answer as she watches the Argentine light across expanses of land.
The interactions between the texts read by the narrator and the diary create an active space for change to occur with the narrator’s journey following a contemporary time line with four sojourns into the past. Hannah Arendt answers the narrator from her own time frame.
The project is reminiscent of Simone de Beauvoir’s diaries written in French where she engages with the life of Existentialism, Thomas Merton’s philosophical confrontation in his conversion to Catholicism as a Trappist monk in the autobiographical Seven Storey Mountain, Rainer Maria Rilke’s Rodin and Cezanne notebooks in its single minded trek through Hannah Arendt’s thoughts. Far away from the centers of the world in a small city in northwestern Argentina, in one of the poorest regions of Argentina known for its stark beauty, corruption and fighting, land of the Incas and even earlier of the Diaguita warriors, I bring philosophy to life with Hannah Arendt’s insistence on a common world of action.
Amaicha: Language Lost and Found
Amaicha, the title poem, is an imagined dialogue between a sixteenth century Diaguita warrior of Amaicha, a small village beyond the mountains where I live, and a young woman of the Pueblo de las Canoas off the coast of what came to be known as California. Kakán was the language of the Diaguitas, a name given to the Quilmes, Cafayates, Yocaviles, Capayanes, Andalgales, Amaichas, Guachipas, Malfines, Acalianes, who resisted the Incas, and later the Spanish in northwestern Argentina. Kakán was a gutteral language imitating birds, their flight over peaks, las cimas in Spanish. As flight didn't need to be written down, neither did the sounds of their language. The idea of loss does not occur. Beauty is experienced in the moment. All amas de casa have learned this.
The Grace Poems/Poemas de la Gracia
"Philosophy is a way of potecting the world, the child, innocence. Truly to see the world anew, with new eyes. Philosophy protects questioning what the world is like, the possibility of revealing its Being.
It has been wonderful to realize after more than ten years in northwestern Argentina that what I discover each time I sit down to write, and later urged by necessity to translate into either Spanish or English, is the heritage I pass on to our five children. To continue a path begun by my mother and grandmother.
Writing stops time. One must have time for questions. One must have/hold a vision. Risk taking responsibility. Reach what guides the other. Together, we reach you, reader. This is the text. This, the art. " A translator's Preface
Cielo. Cielo. Cielo.
"Cada cual tiene su gracia para acariciar el mundo. Y meditarlo. Un equilibrio al caminar con dos idiomas distintos, hace que el mundo suela vacilar en su presencia aparente. Pero siempre resultará algo verdadero, deducido o entrevisto en la volatinera poética de expresarlo.
No recuerdo el tiempo que hace cuando conocí a Alexandra Newton Rios. Memoro, eso sí, su fervor, la sinceridad, su honesto deseo hacia la poesía. Y tantas ansias por alcanzar el volantín - la cometa - poética decorada con un solo idioma.
Traductora y poeta, consta que progresó en ambas imágenes. Hoy esos poemas van señalando en el camino inaugurado y extremo, el logro de convertir dos arboledas distintas en una sola." Néstor Groppa, poeta Argentino