A la comunidad argentina en “la diáspora”.
A todos aquellos que partieron un día, huyendo de las crisis o en pos de un sueño. A quienes añoran algún rincón de nuestro suelo. A quienes dejaron atrás familiares y amigos. Les entrego este puñado de cuentos con la esperanza de que les sirvan como maná para el espíritu, de que se sientan identificados con algunos de los relatos y de que compartan conmigo sus comentarios y sus propias anécdotas para convertirlas en nuevas historias.
lunes, 6 de agosto de 2007
As it happens, my brethren’s visit usually coincides with the showing of the Argentine films of the forties which are broadcast by channel 7 on Saturday evenings. The Local Cinema series takes you back to times that were – I will not say better times but – promising. Black and white was in the tape; colour, in the hearts and minds of those who lived that period. Therefore, these films are a must to Nonna and me. And we only interrupt them for a while, when the TV set is switched off to try and create a favourable atmosphere and set our hearts ready.
However, in our case this is not easy at all. It should be expected that, if such liturgical innovations as celebrating Mass in a language other than Latin are unintelligible to Nonna, she will find it even more difficult to understand that you take Communion at home and from a person who is not wearing cloth. Let me add that all this, together with the film interruption, causes Nonna to be ill-disposed towards our visitors, and that, therefore, she enthusiastically hopes their stay will be short. In this context, some memorable situations have taken place.
One day, Nonna decided to join us in saying an Our Father, only she spoke her dialect at her own pace, with such accurate lack of synchrony that I imagined Jesus listening to our awkward prayer and smiling a smile as big as his heart.
On the following Saturday the same rite, but when, after our bilingual prayer, the minister stood opposite me and I was about to take Communion, one of Nonna´s sighs could be heard from behind and a popular maxim: “Whatta can you do! We´ve gotta make it through wintera!” To what the astounded minister, host in hand, only managed to reply: “Oh, yes…that´s right.”
Then she told us she liked joining us in prayer, though she would rather not “communicatte”, i.e., receive the sacrament.
Several normal weekends went by, until one Saturday I was about to take Communion when Nonna solemnly announced: “Todaya, I´d lika to communicatte, too!” She was asked to wait and they explained to her that, not having received this sacrament for a long time, it would be better if she spoke to the priest first, to practise the sacrament of Confession or Reconciliation. All this the minister said very politely, trying to make it clear he was not censuring her, but rather that that was the logical procedure. Far was the minister from meaning to consider Nonna a hardened incorrigible sinner. But he succeeded.
“Whatta on eartha d´you meana?” “I always minda my owne businessa; I never slaga anybody offa; I donna swear or wishe no evil to nobody. I donna needa to talk to the prieste ´cos I donna have any mortale sins. The little thingse anybody has, maybe. But not mortale sins, no Sira!”
There was no point in trying and stop her hurt and hurtful verbosity. Vain were all our attempts to clarify the misunderstanding. The bigger our efforts to straighten it out the more tangled it became.
Once we were on our own again, little by little, Nonna started to calm down. To change the subject, I proposed seeing the end of the film, but it had already finished. Then she fired her parting shot: “Well, in the enda, this overpious creeppa didn´t allowa me to communicatte or leave us alone to see the filme!”