03/11/09

Steinbeck

En 1960, a John Steinbeck le dijeron que tenía un problema cardíaco bastante grave. En realidad le dijeron que podía morir en cualquier momento.

Él decidió que era buena idea entonces tomar un viaje por las carreteras de Estados Unidos con su perro, Charley. De sus notas salió el libro "Travels With Charley in Search of America", un libro atípico para Steinbeck, pero mi favorito por las circunstancias alrededor y del viaje en sí.

El libro comienza así. Es largo este texto, pero vale la pena ver a un aventurero tratar de expresar por escrito lo que siente. Siempre le faltará eso a las letras, la emoción del momento.

"When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship´s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, I don´t improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself.

When the virus of restlessness begins take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going. This to the practical bum is not difficult. He has a built-in garden of reasons to choose from. Next he must plan his trip in time and space, choose a direction and a destination. And last he must implement the journey. How to go, what to take, how long to stay. This part of the process is invariable and immortal. I set it down only so that newcomers to bumdom, like teen-agers in new-hatched sin, will not think they invented it.

Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process; a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it."


"A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places."  Isabelle Eberhardt

2 comentarios:

Camila dijo...

I wish I was a bum

América Gutiérrez dijo...

Que bonito...Ya quiero leer más, así que lo voy a comprar.