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Joxe Ertzinbengoa Otaegi > Extracts

Narrative (short story and novel)

Hook of Love |

It has started to get dark. This very autumnal day has brought a ray of light to the screen, because I am writing on the small, white screen full of little boxes in front of me about what a wonderful, attractive, charming postcard brings to my inner self.

First of all it has to be said that the postcard is not a normal one. Even if I tried, I would not be able to buy such a large one, and most likely there would be nowhere to buy one like it.

It is stuck onto a wall in my house, or hanging, just as remarks and reflections are stuck or hung in the depths of my being.

The postcard is nearly two metres long and just over a metre wide. I often gaze at it as the day is drawing to a close and night is taking over; on as many other occasions a sensitive desire I keep hidden caresses me, creating a tingle that has no name in my inner self. I particularly appreciate this and I often express gratitude by glancing at the postcard briefly.

I am not a very loquacious person, you know, I am not a good talker. However, from time to time, just when I least expect it, feelings bubble up inside me, like the green waters of the spring in Arteta, you know, in Goņibar, where they explode in the shelter of the crags in the most bountiful periods of winter: in the silence, in the intimacy.

How sweet is a rosy apple in a yellowish atmosphere of love and how much I love to bite into it and hear that little crunch. Exquisite pleasure!

The postcard is mostly green but many different shades of green stand out if one looks at it carefully, and that is just what I've done now, while the afternoon is giving way to the evening. So, without any shame whatsoever -just like a small child has no shame at all after having taken off all his clothes and is naked on the beach- I can say that inside the nakedness of the green I feel the acute intimacy of the postcard, even though I am sitting in front of this unfeeling, pale screen; in other words, it is similar to the hidden mystery felt in the darkness of a deep lake.

Behind the lustful green I am seeing a miracle, which never ceases to amaze me. You know what I am talking about, my dear friend. The emotion that is brought on by optimistic, encouraging hopes occurring to me in large numbers whenever I see mountain summits dressed in snow: it seems like a miracle, and it is no ordinary one. I cannot avoid it, or rather, I do not wish to avoid it. The life-creating liquid which a white summit causes me to pour out is more violent that the special strength I have concealed within meā Now the whitish secretion goes to the lake in the postcard very gradually, as it mixes with the waters which were frozen in winter and which have now melted. I have often felt the desire for that natural symbiosis to happen, and even if it seems to happen in a utopical way, I am happy, and the tall fir trees gazing around my happiness also see me happy.

I can see the rushes of small reed beds on both sides of the fir trees, just like the ones I used to see at one time on the edge of the leaden Amute river of Jaitzubi: narrow, thin, longish, erect, flexible, in other words, of the type which fall in love with the to and fro movement of the unpretentious water. Next to them, not far away, lovers are there, each one happy in the other's charm, with red and yellow wild flowers beside them, as if they wanted to break the heavy monotony of the general, dominant green.

There are still stones in the depths of the leaden waters, looking dead, shrunken and humiliated by the very pressure of nature. If only one could see the smooth, supple, Olympic swimming of one of those small, thin fleeting fish, but not even thatā The colourless elements in the depth of the choppy waters do not give my postcard the light it deserves. Everything appears to be of an unbearable material, like a sterile, lifeless idea, which should therefore not appear in the postcard. Those things at the bottom of the lake do not even admit of the reflection of the trees, and they have endeavoured to build the magic reward that corresponds to their pessimism in that perishable, sad situation. Let them lie there for ever and ever. Amen.

A small house built, goodness knows when, by the white mountains appears on the hard-soft, rough-smooth side: hut, shack, cabin, refuge, treasury, hovelā What could it be? The hut that looks as if it is made of wood seems to have been built and erected by trunks that have been born and have grown into trees right there. It is small and fanciful and prompts one to think that it would hardly be suitable for more than two people. Above the door there is no name, nor number, because names and numbers are unnecessary in the favourite place where love is made between two beings. In such cases I find putting names and numbers to love incomprehensible. And what about you? Is it possible to know what your valued opinion is about this? On the other hand, no smoke comes upwards out of the chimney of the hut. In the same way, no thread of the love affair ever comes out of the burning atmosphere from inside a couple: that warm spring has its beginning and its end in the same spring.

What happiness! But even though no smoke can be seen coming out of the hut, the silence can be heard as it goes up through the wooden windows whenever it wants to find a new direction, in the same way as the birds in the heavens go upwards whenever they want to build a new sentence. There on the summits that capacity for silence seems to coincide with the ownership of the blue, with the emptiness of space, with the nest of emptiness, with the sweet goldfinch of the nest, and with the stickiness of honeyā, becoming entirely one with passionate desire.

And all this, dear reader, I have told you as I have felt it. Remember, it was the Hook of Love.

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