I know that what I’m about to say is neither new nor revolutionary. Utterly uninteresting would be a quite accurate description, as a matter of fact. But when the realization of this insignificant detail dawned on me today, my heart skipped a few beats. So, without further ado, my triviality in all its splendour: It’s been over a month since I last posted here!
Devastating, the speed of time, isn’t it? “The river, the image of your life and my life, that lazily rushes by”, wrote Borges in Rubaíyát (the original is in Spanish: “el río la huidiza imagen de tu vida y de mi vida que lentamente se nos va de prisa”). I must admit, though, that a lot of things have been going on in my world lately, and that would partially explain why the tick of the clock has accelerated so much in my perception. Hence, I’ll go over some of them in this post, as a way of putting my ideas in a certain order and letting you, my few but faithful readers, in on what’s occupying my mind, time and energy.
I arrived in Buenos Aires on July 10th, and things were looking up for me. I celebrated my birthday, got a call from Armando Ribas (yes, the same guy from this post) telling me he had a job offer, met some friends I hadn’t seen in a long time… Most of all, I was enjoying the fact that I was back home and that my holidays had begun. Unfortunately, the “homecoming bliss” didn’t last for long. On July 15th my grandmother had a cerebrovascular accident. Hospitalization, the intensive care unit, her memory loss. As usual, my family relied on me to “rise up to the occasion” and “be strong for everyone”. I couldn’t. The feeling of letting everyone down and the knowledge that the situation was escaping my grasp were too much to handle. And then I got an email from my brother, inviting me to visit him in Texas for two weeks. Three days later, I landed on Fort Worth International Airport.
Maybe it’s because my brother isn’t exactly what one would define as “outgoing”, or because it was summer and everyone had gone to cities near the beach, but the thing is that Plano turned out to be very boring. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that it was the place that inspired Badfinger’s “No matter what”: “Nothing to say, nothing to see, nothing to do”. Ironically, that “nothingness” was what I needed to reconnect with my brother. Moreover, it provided the perfect context for me to devote myself to one of my greatest pleasures: reading. I took with me Conrad Hilton’s autobiography, “Be my guest” (about which I’ll be posting later on), and then bought four Terry Pratchett Discworld novels (“Thief of time”, “Interesting times”, “Carpe Jugulum” and “Making money”) and “A conflict of visions: Ideological origins of political struggles” by Thomas Sowell. As if this was not enough, my brother gave me an e-book reader.
As a consequence of all this reading, lots of ideas started to sprout in my brain. The one that has already become a reality is my tumblr account. It was inspired by a sentence I read in “Thief of time”: “Against one perfect moment, the centuries beat in vain.” I just loved the idea that perfection can be reduced to a moment in time. It could only last for a few seconds, but that evanescence doesn’t make it any less perfect. Ephemeral as it may be compared to the centuries gone before it and the centuries to come after, its relevance by far surpasses their span. Thus, “Lausen” (as my tumblr was creatively named) is a place where I post daily what I think makes a perfect moment: something I read, a song I heard, a conversation with a friend, a comic strip, a video, etc. The only way in which I participate in the content there is by choosing what I post, but otherwise, don’t expect any personal reflection. Furthermore, the language used depends upon what made my “perfect moment” on a given day, so you’ll find material in both English and Spanish.
The third day of August found me back in Buenos Aires, with my energies renewed. As soon as I got home, I set up a meeting with Mr Ribas to see what his offer was all about. It turns out that he is running a publication on Argentinean Economics, and he wants me to write a few articles for it. Even more, he gave me two extremely wide subjects to write about, and asked me to do what I please with them. I don’t have to tell you that I felt like a kid in a candy store, and that I jumped at the opportunity to work in such an exciting project with him. I had to get the scheme of work for my first paper ready by yesterday, and my boss seemed to be very pleased with what I did. My second deadline is tomorrow, so I’ll be typing against the clock today. But I’m very happy and highly motivated, so I don’t mind the effort. Plus, as my insomnia seems to be here to stay, it will give me something to do while everyone else sleeps.
There’s another project that I had been working on for about a year and that I had to drop when I went to Barcelona, due to a lack of time to pursue it properly. But now that I’m back, I took it up again: I’m proofreading a novel! Robert Girandola, an amazing artist, scientist and now writer, whom I love very much, has honoured me with the task of commenting on his first novel. This activity has brought nothing but inspiration, happiness and beauty to my world. There is nothing surprising about this, though, because that’s what Robert has meant to me since the day I met him, almost two years ago.
As to my own writing, apart from the articles that I have to submit to Ribas, I’m working on a paper dealing with the theory of capital. I find that it’s a whole world in Economic theory that got tossed aside, but that has a lot of areas crying for further development. The authors that I’m analyzing at the moment are Karl Marx, David Ricardo, Eugen Böhm-Bawerk, Knut Wicksell, John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter, Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig Lachmann. Most probably I’ll be posting about them, because writing about what I’m thinking helps me understand my ideas better. If anyone out there has any material to add, please feel free to comment, send an email or tweet it to me. I’ll be more than grateful!
Some more random activities:
I want to revive my first blog, The Forgotten Man (which, despite its name, I write in Spanish), but I want to give a different spin to it. The posts there were born out of frustration and anger towards a political reality that I thought would never change. Today, I don’t know if I’m more mature, but I do approach these issues differently. I want that blog to provide a constructive view, even though I still disagree with the way politics are handled in Argentina.
Another past love that I’m picking up again is music: I found my old guitar scores and I’m practicing everyday, in order to get my technique back. Up until now, I’ve been able to make the bouree from Bach’s Suite No. 1 for lute almost recognizable. It’s not much, I know, but this is a process that requires one baby step at a time. Or at least, that’s what I want to believe
Finally, my interest in hotels has not waned, so I’m also evaluating some offers I got for the summer in the coast, and getting in contact with international consulting groups that have offices in Argentina, to see what opportunities may arise.
And this is basically it. Adding to these projects the fact that I have a social life, completes the picture of why time flew by without me posting anything. But I don’t want to leave another long gap between posts, so I’ll try to write something at least every two weeks.
One last thing: Congratulations on making it this far! I promise to keep it shorter next time. And thanks for reading