La Marioneta by Johnny Welch
Many years ago, this poem was credited to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was widely published and, as recently as last night, repeated and reprinted in tribute to the great writer, who died on April 17, 2014. I posted it here after it was broadcast as Marquez’s farewell letter on our national radio station, the CBC. It was the first time I’d ever heard it.
Since then, it has been helpfully pointed out this is not the work of Marquez at all, but rather that of an obscure Mexican ventriloquist named Johnny Welch.
I am not at all surprised that, as we mourn Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this poem is making the rounds again. We want to believe the dying have found answers to What It All Means. It makes existence less arbitrary (and our own end less daunting). I admit I was touched by the extreme sentimentality of the text, which seemed unlike the author to whom it was ascribed. Death, that unknowable landscape, might well make even an extraordinary writer more emotional and less eloquent.
However it is also understandable the original author was nonplussed at having his work so widely disseminated while receiving no credit. I have no desire to repeat that omission.
La Marioneta was originally published in a Peruvian newspaper in 2000. While it is not the work of Marquez, I will leave it posted—and properly credited.
If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability.
I wouldn’t, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful l of all I say.
I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express.
This is the beginning of the rug made of mom and dad’s old tee shirts. Our harp-seal-disguised-as-a-cat has decided it’s the best thing ever; an endless rope of happiness.
This past Sunday, C and I went tobogganing at Delaware Hill.
This is a (locally) legendary sledding hill I used to visit as a kid. In the summer, it’s populated by grazing cows, but when there’s decent snow coverage you’ll find a line of cars parked along the road by the access gate.
The beauty of this hill is that it’s actually two hills, with a narrow plateau in the middle. Little kids and chickens (like me) can start halfway down; the coolest/bravest ones can test their resolve at the top. (It’s steep.) Check out C coming down from halfway up the top half. If there was a dialogue balloon it would say “AHHHHHHH!!!”
We were lucky—we went early and only had to share the hill with two little kids and their dad. By the time we left, another car had just parked and, when we passed by in the afternoon, the hill was packed.
On the way home, we stopped and had breakfast at the 50s Diner and picked up an enameled 1930s stove-top coffee pot.
So all in all (according to Adult Selves and Inner Children both) it was a pretty great morning.
Just before they left for the UK, my sister and brother-in-law gave us these Japanese Fantail Willow branches. “It’s starting to root,” my brother-in-law said.
Sure enough, there were wispy little white roots reaching out into the water. Then, sometime around Christmas little green buds appeared at the branch tips. It became clear we would soon be in possession of a tree.
We’ve potted our new addition and, if it enjoys life in soil, we’ll plant it at Stegelburg in late spring.
Thank you for Christmas at Stegelburg
Thank you for coming.
Thank you for sleeping on a sofa.
Thank you for bringing delicious food
(and for complimenting the food we served).
Thank you for giving us a good reason to use pretty dishes.
Thank you for the beautiful flowers.
Thank you for sitting by the fire
(and occasionally falling asleep).
Thank you for making Christmas warm and peaceful
and just like home.
We can hardly wait for next year.
(That’s how long we estimate it will take for us to stop being so full.)
Worked all day and into the night to get the living room sorted for the holidays. Does the Stegel-half of Stegelburg recognize this chair?
Thanks to a wonderful brother for sending it back “home.”
When Meatball gets really excited, he flops over on this back and bats at things with his hind legs. This time the catalyst for his paroxysm of happiness was a pen.
This cat weighs almost 20 pounds. When you see him go after a toy or a bug, there can be no doubt he’s a predator. He could, if he chose, destroy our apartment and injure us horribly—but instead, he agrees to poop in a box and be adorable.
I can’t believe our luck.
Living Room Update
C just sent me this picture. The trim in the living room is (half) painted and the walls (half) primed.
The halves are because we have yet to tackle the gigantor wall-unit that covers one whole wall, so the paper and trim behind it remain intact. For now.
Besides my adorable mountain-man of a husband, those window moldings are the handsomest things I’ve ever seen!
Things Kim Kardashian and I do not have in common:
1. I started working on a braided rag rug yesterday. It will be made of my parents’ old tee shirts.