La Honestidad de la Ilusión

Sol. Frío. Azul.
El cielo. Desierto.
Personas de todos los tamaños y nacionalidades.
Réplicas del Chrysler de Nueva York,
después de haber visto el “original” en NYC.
Ilusión. Construcción.
La Estatua de La Libertad.
Músicos en la calle.
Mamás pidiendo limosnas.
Darth Vader. Stormtroopers
Paseando por Las Vegas Strip
El león dorado. David Copperfield.
MGM.
Iron Man.
Slot machines.
Dior. Gucci. Prada.
The Cosmopolitan
Edificios de cristal.
Olor a Navidad.
Cirque du Soleil.
Slot machines.
Las fuentes del Bellagio.
El Caesar’s Palace.
Corredores de apuestas.
Slot machines.
Blackjack.
Puentes.
Carreteras de 8 carriles.
Réplica de París.
El Arco del Triunfo.
La Torre Eiffel.
Gordon Ramsay
¿El original o réplica también?
Limosnas.
Limosinas.
Estatuas griegas,
¿O réplicas romanas?
Strippers.
Sex shops.
¿Slut machines?
Ruletas.
Flamencos de neón.
Cerditos rosados de felpa.
Cielos falsos (falsos) (falsos) pintados de nubes y eterno azul
Gondoleros venezzianos
The Mirage, (mirage), (mirage),
Donald Trump.
Mendigos.
Teatros.
Borrachos.
Coca-Cola.
M&M Store.
Nieve artificial.
Árboles parlantes.
Calabazas gigantes.
Candelabros de cristal.
Poker
Poker tables,
¡Alcen sus apuestas!
Poker-face.

Capital of Second Chances from House of Nod on Vimeo.

La vida como un sueño

Jamás imaginé ir a Las Vegas.

Pensé que era un lugar ajeno a mí, a mis intereses y a mi concepto de diversión, sin embargo, vivir 7 días en la “Capital de las Segundas Oportunidades” fue más que una odisea y un malabarismo económico; fue la oportunidad perfecta para experimentar que esto que llamamos “vida” no es más que un sueño sutil que nos encanta etiquetar como “real”.

Paso tras paso, Las Vegas Strip se presentó en contrastes de opulencia y pobreza; de edificaciones con fuentes interminables de agua dentro de una región que lucha por no secarse; de magnas réplicas de monumentos europeos que son solo un espejismo —‘a mirage’.

Muchos podrán criticar la superficialidad de esta ciudad. Su falsedad. Su opulencia. Su dinámica banal; pero para mí, más que un engaño, es una ciudad que grita honestidad. Una ciudad que a través de imágenes grita desesperadamente la verdad: que todo es una ilusión. Un teatro. Un set de película. Una re-creación. Una réplica de todas esas imágenes colectivas que conforman el mundo como lo conocemos. Una fabricación condensada de la realidad.

Estar en la “Capital de la Ilusión”, más que un recordatorio, fue una experiencia tangible de las cosas como son: un sueño lleno de posibilidades. Un sueño tan tangible y efímero como el dinero que en un segundo tenés y al siguiente perdés jugando black jack. Una evidencia que el espacio es ilimitado para construir realidades y oportunidades.

Las Vegas, más que casinos y apuestas, es la certeza que las personas construimos aquello en lo que nos enfocamos, y que la única apuesta, más que el dinero, es creer que todo es una realidad física, tangible y limitante o una ilusión, mágica, flexible e ilimitada.

¿A qué le apostás hoy?

A dream within a dream?

by Edgard Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Detouring “Into the Wild”

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SPOILER ALERT
This publication contains details about the film “Into The Wild”
[You’ve been warned]

On a cold night, in a foreign country where I’d been living for 16 months, among beers, nachos and work colleagues, my best and only friend, suggested that I had to watch that “Into The Wild” film. The Sean Penn direction thing and the Eddie Vader music just added to the sales pitch.

“The hell with it! if I ain’t finding meaning right now, I can always use *my* time in productive ways… ways productive to me.” and so, my existencial crisis sent me to watch the film during working hours.

 …

CHAPTER I
EARLY AGES

“My way or the highway,” that’s why I went away.

It must have broken my parents hearts to see me leave but I think parenthood includes this kind of growth anyway. My passport? A job offer. It is not my intention to make a biographical story here but a parallel version of events related to the film.

Back to the film, Alaska seemed way too unrealistic… you don’t need to go that far away to start these kind of “journeys”. I moved to another country (less than 200 miles away from where I call “home”) to start this kind of experience because I thought I had a concept about “going away”. I thought it was about detachment, about independence, about needing nothing but oneself; that the world would provide and that *feeling alone* (not *being alone* since I know one can’t truly be alone) was the ultimate satisfaction: a human being connected to oneself, surrounded by oneself, living for oneself… and even though it was satisfying, the other me, a honest, touchy, warm-hearted one decided it wasn’t enough… that my idea of being away was bullshit.

I honestly believe that the worst thing that can happen to you is to get what you want… and I did get what I wanted. I was away. I was alone. I was free. In fact, I was way too free to truly share with anyone and too alone to truly enjoy things. I separated from the world that much that I even disappeared from myself. This “journey” of mine left me directionless. Isolated.

Disagree with me but I don’t think the film shows a surprising story, the only surprising thing about it is that it’s based on a real life event. I really disliked the highly idealised/clichéd “wanderer” profile. I find the story development way too linear (you can identify how it’ll end), the character arch too obvious (that moment of insight when it’s too late), and the plot points are too scheduled, too trimmed to fit… however, it works. I don’t think the real message has anything to do with the anti-system statements but the one about happiness, that it is only real when shared. If anything, I really liked that insight especially because I’d arrived to that very same conclusion just weeks before watching the film.

Happiness

 …

CHAPTER II
MIDDLE AGES

Since I’m 22, I wanted to become a writer. I thought the way to becoming one was writing, living, writing some more, getting drunk, living some more, writing again… and repeat. I also befriended a guy so he could share writing advice. Two things he shared “Write theatre” and  “Find the right words. That’s the writer’s job.” 

This same friend also told me that I had to learn to name things by their name,especially feelings… Months later, there I am watching this film, finding that Supertramp has to learn this as well… “Nigga please! Is this the story of my life?”

The film is beautifully crafted with great photography, decent casting and stunning scenery… soundtrack functions as a plot device vital for story development… but what truly struck me was not the story, aesthetics or technicalities but the “INANITION” thing. It didn’t hit me right away, but when it did, it’d hit me down my belly.

It must be a terrible thing to die of starvation. After learning to “name things by their name”, the character makes a terrible mistake. A mistake with no return…. Goosebumps in my skin. My stomach froze the way it does when anxiety plays in and even though I already knew how the film ended, I kept on watching. If I’d already projected myself into the film, I had to finish it… and as the Supertramp learned during the film, so I learned that my journey was over too.

“Home is where the heart is” I remembered, so my next illogical step was to return. Return to the people I call home.

 …

Deserve Love

 …

CHAPTER III
MODERN AGES 

Months before watching the film, I’d dream of my best friend. A full-of-symbols kind of dream. I shared my dream with her and she said that it meant that I had to learn to accept the love that was given to me… that if anything, that was the real reason why I went away. Touché. The difference between Supertramp and me was that he already knew why he went away. I didn’t.

With a hurt ego I finally accepted I’d been wrong for a long time, that this idea of mine about “loving and leaving” was a mistaken one. That was it. Game over. Full circle. The difference between Supertramp and me was that I could return, so, without remorse or doubts, without judgment or analysis, I returned.

 …

A bus ticket, two suitcases and a five hours road trip sends me home.

Being at home, I started to look inwards and take better care of myself… I even went to the doctor and get blood tests and stuff like that… the results showed that I’m losing some “Ketone bodies”, the ones that regulates energy and metabolic functions. Probable causes: prolonged fasting, lack of proper food or nourishment, INANITION… infections, metabolic problems, diabetes… Doctors have a special way of telling simple things in complicated manners.

inanition |ˌinəˈniSHən|
noun
lack of mental or spiritual vigor and enthusiasm: she was thinking that old age bred inanition.
• exhaustion caused by lack of nourishment.

ORIGIN late Middle English: from late Latin inanitio(n-), from Latin inanire ‘make empty,’ from inanis ‘empty, vain.’

This is when the film truly hits me… that INANITION word that was lingering around somewhere in my head. I’m not worried about health complications since I know that the fasting, the starvation, the nourishing I lacked was that of sharing, of accepting the love, the vastness of company, the richness of the good, the bad and the ugly.

EPILOGUE

The one who recommended the film, the one who taught me to find the right words, the one who spoke the truth about my heart… they are always right. I’m always amazed how my friends know what I need beforehand.

.