The other (The mushroom hunters)

The mushroom hunters

Science, as you know, my little one, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe.
It’s based on observation, on experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe the facts revealed.

In the old times, they say, the men came already fitted with brains
designed to follow flesh-beasts at a run,
to hurdle blindly into the unknown,
and then to find their way back home when lost
with a slain antelope to carry between them.
Or, on bad hunting days, nothing.

The women, who did not need to run down prey,
had brains that spotted landmarks and made paths between them
left at the thorn bush and across the scree
and look down in the bole of the half-fallen tree,
because sometimes there are mushrooms.

Before the flint club, or flint butcher’s tools,
The first tool of all was a sling for the baby
to keep our hands free
and something to put the berries and the mushrooms in,
the roots and the good leaves, the seeds and the crawlers.
Then a flint pestle to smash, to crush, to grind or break.

And sometimes men chased the beasts
into the deep woods,
and never came back.

Some mushrooms will kill you,
while some will show you gods
and some will feed the hunger in our bellies. Identify.
Others will kill us if we eat them raw,
and kill us again if we cook them once,
but if we boil them up in spring water, and pour the water away,
and then boil them once more, and pour the water away,
only then can we eat them safely. Observe.

Observe childbirth, measure the swell of bellies and the shape of breasts,
and through experience discover how to bring babies safely into the world.

Observe everything.

And the mushroom hunters walk the ways they walk
and watch the world, and see what they observe.
And some of them would thrive and lick their lips,
While others clutched their stomachs and expired.
So laws are made and handed down on what is safe.
Formulate.

The tools we make to build our lives:
our clothes, our food, our path home…
all these things we base on observation,
on experiment, on measurement, on truth.

And science, you remember, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe,
based on observation, experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe these facts.

The race continues. An early scientist
drew beasts upon the walls of caves
to show her children, now all fat on mushrooms
and on berries, what would be safe to hunt.

The men go running on after beasts.

The scientists walk more slowly, over to the brow of the hill
and down to the water’s edge and past the place where the red clay runs.
They are carrying their babies in the slings they made,
freeing their hands to pick the mushrooms.

Neil Gaiman

 

Aeonian IV: A tranquil sea

El mar

Antes que el sueño (o el terror) tejiera
mitologías y cosmogonías,
antes que el tiempo se acuñara en días,
El mar, el siempre mar, ya estaba y era.
¿Quién es el mar? ¿Quién es aquel violento
y antiguo ser que roe los pilares
de la tierra y es uno y muchos mares
y abismo y resplandor y azar y viento?
Quien lo mira lo ve por vez primera,
siempre. Con el asombro que las cosas
elementales dejan, las hermosas
tardes, la luna, el fuego de una hoguera.
¿Quién es el mar, quién soy? Lo sabré el día
ulterior que sucede a la agonía.

J. L. Borges

Aeonian IV 

Aeonian IV 

Nostalgia

La luz del sol que se filtra entre las hojas de los árboles, el olor de un libro nuevo, los pinceles que he usado durante más de 15 años, la cámara fotográfica que me regaló mi abuelo, el aroma de las gardenias y las hojas del limonero, el calor de las fogatas, los colores deslavados, el sabor del agua de lima, un espirógrafo, la lluvia y el olor a tierra en una tarde de verano; la voz de mi madre cantando, su risa, sus abrazos, sus ojos y su bondad; los globos de cada domingo, el bosque y la sonrisa de mi padre, el tren del bajío en la noche y los rincones de la casa de mi abuela; recorrer la ciudad en la madrugada, bailar sin pensar en nada, llorar de alegría; enamorarme de las palabras, acostarnos para mirar las estrellas, sentir el calor de las mañanas de domingo, leer palabras hermosas, pasar un día completo en la cama, escuchar la canción que hace que todo se detenga.

Bluebird

Un dibujo rápido que se convirtió en el boceto para hacer un grabado e imprimirlo sobre pedazos de tela que se convirtieron en servilletas, de donde nació la idea de hacer una ilustración que se transformó en una pintura colorida. 

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