Archivo de Columns
The best films I've seen in my personal movie theater of my laptop, alone, presumably at night, but not too late, but at the gates of the night, say around nine or ten, as an appetizer of wakefulness, as food for the vigil and hallucination. Do not watch a movie before going to bed because the film is still, sequence, trick, the very same powerful attributes of sleep, and that would be an unfair competition.
Christmas and New Year’s are almost here…. In a few weeks, Christmas songs will begin playing on radio and television to the point of saturation; even Chicho, my dog, can hum José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad.” My mouth will go dry from repeating “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” so often, and I’ll get a pain in my right wrist from signing so many holiday cards.
Although I was born in Havana, the city where my parents also were born and lived, I was taken to live in Varadero when I was very young. In Havana, my father, immersed in his zeal for music, began to make a name for himself and his quartet, Los Zafiros, and my mother applauded his efforts from the seats and balconies of the city’s most prestigious theaters and nightclubs. My teen years in Varadero were an experience that I would repeat if it were possible to return to that age, when I would leave footprints in the sand and dream about mermaids and starfish.
How many times have we heard the question, “a Cuban from where?” followed by the comment, “We Cubans are everywhere!” How many times have we been astonished and dumbfounded to find that, wherever we might be, in whatever far-flung corner of the world, a Cuban has come, saw and conquered?
During a recent visit to Havana, I saw, on one of the social networking sites that half the world now uses, a beautiful photo that moved me to the point of sweat in my eyes, so as not to say tears.
I had almost finished writing my August editorial, in which I recounted my meeting with Tamara, a honey-skinned, curly-haired Cuban woman who followed her heart one day 11 years ago, woke up in Rome and still has not found her return ticket, when our editorial director subtly reminded me that this month’s edition of OnCuba was devoted to the ocean.
We have had bridges since prehistoric times; our need to shorten distances and to cross streams and rivers gave rise to them. According to those who are interested in unraveling history, the first bridge may have been a tree that was used to span two riverbanks. Later on, wooden planks and stones were used, and as time went by and the need to span rivers and facilitate transportation grew, we improved our techniques, eventually building the great bridges that today join mountains, cross bays and connect large cities and even countries.
The June edition of OnCuba is special edition. For me, the subject of Chinese immigration to our beautiful country is a very interesting one. The Chinese have had an undeniable impact on my life,and have created many memories.
My neighbor, an elegant man of few words who takes each step as unhurriedly as a sunset, is a very persevering Cuban. Every weekend he gets up at the crack of dawn, bends down on brittle kneels in his colorful garden and, with more determination than skill, attempts to plant a type of light-colored, shaggy grama grass that just does not take, no matter how hard he tries. We have lived in the same area for five years, but I have greeted him only three times; he is a very introverted and serious man. He seems to be a good person, though.
Despite being born into an extremely musical family and having learned to read music and play the majority of percussion instruments when I was little, I never wanted to be a musician or be associated with the world of entertainment.