Monday, 30 May 2011


A typed letter from my brother Guillermo.
Date: December 14, 2008.
Brother's Location at the time: Australia
My Location: Mexico

The story of this letter holds -as with all our correspondence- a great sentimental value to me.
 In 2008, my brother typed this letter which I recently came to find on the ceiling of his flat. Yes, that's right, the ceiling. He loves sketching and drawing and his flat is the purest homage to Michelangelo Buonarroti's Sistine Chapel, for it is a plethora of lines and forms Guillermo has depicted throughout his life, and is well proud of.

A few months ago, he traveled to Europe. I was minding his flat and in a contemplative state of mind, mesmerised by the drawings, many of them had escaped my eye and so I took the time to observe carefully. In doing so, I came across this wonderful message and the echo of typing fingers. Joyfully, I grabbed a chair to pull down the letter and read it carefully. I found the voice of my brother speaking to me as it had happened many a times in the past when we lived in different countries. The letter talks among other accounts, about his new purchase, the typewriter, and the feeling of being at home in a rainy day and making use of it for the first time. The last part of his letter is a transcription of Thomas Traherne's poem. Today, on the occasion of my birthday this comes to me as a reminder that life is a constant walk.

To walk abroad is, not with eyes,
But thoughts, the fields to see and prize;
Else may the silent feet,
Like logs of wood,
Move up and down, and see no good
Nor joy nor glory meet.

Ev'n carts and wheels their place do change,
But cannot see, though very strange
The glory that is by;
Dead puppets may
Move in the bright and glorious day,
Yet not behold the sky.

And are not men than they more blind,
Who having eyes yet never find
The bliss in which they move;
Like statues dead
They up and down are carried
Yet never see nor love.

To walk is by a thought to go;
To move in spirit to and fro;
To mind the good we see;
To taste the sweet;
Observing all the things we meet
How choice and rich they be.

To note the beauty of the day,
And golden fields of corn survey;
Admire each pretty flow'r
With its sweet smell;
To praise their Maker, and to tell
The marks of his great pow'r.

To fly abroad like active bees,
Among the hedges and the trees,
To cull the dew that lies
On ev'ry blade,
From ev'ry blossom; till we lade
Our minds, as they their thighs.

Observe those rich and glorious things,
The rivers, meadows, woods, and springs,
The fructifying sun;
To note from far
The rising of each twinkling star
For us his race to run.

A little child these well perceives,
Who, tumbling in green grass and leaves,
May rich as kings be thought,
But there's a sight
Which perfect manhood may delight,
To which we shall be brought.

While in those pleasant paths we talk,
'Tis that tow'rds which at last we walk;
For we may by degrees
Wisely proceed
Pleasures of love and praise to heed,
From viewing herbs and trees.

Thomas Traherne