Nothingness and boredom. Those were the two words I had expected to hear. That emptiness is – well – empty. Nothing, and a nothingness that somehow is also connected with boredom. A sigh, a yawn. Ennui…
… and despair like a creeping black cloud. Yes, nothingness, boredom, and despair.
So I hadn’t expected to discover that emptiness was exhausting. That was truly radical. Emptiness is exhausting. What a proposition.
He asked the disciples to watch with him through the night, but exhaustion overcame them and they fell asleep.
What is the world coming to? Gabo Marquez died a couple of weeks ago aged 87, and a ‘farewell letter’ has been circulating:
“If for an instant God would forget I’m a rag puppet and would give me a bit more life, I would take advantage of that time as much as I could.
Possibly I would not tell everything I think, but I would definitely think about everything I say.
I would value things, not for what they’re worth, but for what they signify.
I would sleep a little, I would dream more. I understand that for every minute we spend with our eyes closed, we lose sixty seconds of light.
I would walk when others stop, awaken when others sleep.
If God would give me a bit more life, I would dress simply, would throw myself downward on my stomach under the sun, leaving uncovered not only my body but my soul.
I would tell men how wrong they are thinking they can’t fall in love when they are old, not knowing that they grow old when they stop loving.”
(It continues in the same vein).
A friend sent me an email with the last sentence (under a photo of Marquez). Perhaps it was sent in the spirit of emptiness. I liked it and went looking for more.
It was then that I found out about the rest of the ‘Farewell Letter’ and that it is a fake written by a poet from Mexico City many months ago, in fact years before Gabo died. Spirit of Cervantes? Spirit of Gabriele d’Annunzio?
It happened that Gabo found out about the ‘farewell letter’. He called it “cheesy” (in Spanish it means something worse than cheese) .
A few days ago the poet from Mexico City has given an interview claiming that Gabo visited him quite recently and gave him some more friendly words of approval concerning the ‘farewell letter’.
No doubt Gabo was exhausted suffering from his last illness. Radical emptiness encompasses all versions of the truth.