Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

domingo, marzo 27, 2011

The Market Of Dreams

Where has it gone? I wander the dark streets, I avoid the dangerous blocks, but it seems to have moved. I can’t find it. I take a cab. The driver nods and seems to know where it is. When I get out, I’m in a block I haven’t seen before, there’s nobody around, and still it’s nowhere to be found. I wander around looking for it. It’s not here. I decide to go back to the beginning and start over again from there. Maybe I made a mistake, a wrong turn, and that’s why I can’t find it now. Then I can’t find the beginning. The streets seem to have been changed around. They don’t go to the same places. So I walk in what I think might be the correct general direction back toward the beginning. After a while, nothing seems at all familiar. I’m not really lost, I think. I just can’t find it. I wonder how I could get lost in a city I’ve known for decades, one I know so well, one has such familiar streets. It doesn’t make sense. The sky starts to turn pink and orange, the sun will soon come up. I notice the birdsongs. Now it’s too late anyway. The market will be closed before I can find it. I resolve to try again soon.

Eduardo Galeano writes,

“She wanders through the market of dreams. The market women have spread out dreams on big cloths on the ground.

Juana’s grandfather arrives at the market, very sad because he has not dreamed for a long time. Juana takes him by the hand and helps him select dreams, dreams of marzipan or of cotton, wings to fly with in sleep, and they take off together so loaded down with dreams that no night will be long enough for them.”

Memory of Fire (Genesis)(1658).

Why am I looking for this market? Dreams are like everything else. When they become tattered they have to be repaired. And if they’re worn out completely, they have to replaced. Because eventually they stop working. What once was a red, steel arched bridge high over a wide, muddy river, with a border checkpoint at the very peak and hundreds of people pulling pushcarts waiting for admission, waiting to have the guards read their papers, has crumbled. It’s rusted out. Nobody goes there any more, and most people don’t even remember it. And the river is gone also. The waiting for admission, the conversations, the smells, the sun, all gone. Even the Asian languages they spoke are gone. I’ve tried, but I can’t go there any more.

It’s not like I want to find a new bridge at the Market. That’s not how it works. You give the market woman what remains of the dream you wore out, and you gently haggle about it and what she has for you on her blanket, and then you pick out something completely different. Something you think will work. The very best thing they have are the wings. I like mine. But mostly, I like to wander the streets of this sleeping city on foot.


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