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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Guatemalan altarpiece of wonders

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Eugenia Gallardo
Eugenia Gallardo
Literariamente Eugenia se define como hija de Asturias y Cervantes; prima de Monterroso y Batres Montúfar; amiga de Yourcenar y Christie. Su obra ha sido traducida al italiano y francés, e incluida en antologías. Publica poco y escribe mucho; la crítica ha sido generosa con los frutos de su inventiva. En 2020 y 2021 fue nominada al Premio Nacional de Literatura. Floreció en dos hijas y dos nietas. Casada de dos hervores, hoy es soltera empedernida. Creció en Cobán, Huehuetenango y la Ciudad de Guatemala. Entre aventuras y exilios ha vivido en Nueva Orleans, Sao Paulo, Atlanta, Carolina del Norte, Londres, Madrid y Costa Rica. Es Máster en Ciencias en Economía de América Latina (Universidad de Londres). Como economista política se ha dedicado principalmente a la investigación social. Escritora, dramaturga, actriz y artista plástica, su principal motivación es la creatividad y la experimentación.

It was a gruel that got muddy on some papers and some papers to which a sawdust stuck and that, already wrinkled, became mountains. They were little white stones that were roads and river basins. It was a mirror that was a lake where a swan bigger than him sat. It was a moss that ran along the banks and in its path hid the pots. They were hidden pots that were forests and jungles and splendid nature. It was a painted cardboard sky. It was a star of Bethlehem with bricho. They were light green and red chilies. It was a world that marked its borders with chamomile necklaces. They were little yellow girls that appeared here and there. They were little roosters that were plants. They were some pacaya leaves that were table skirts. It was a wizard king on a camel with a wizard king on foot and a wizard king on his knees who spent all December walking careful not to get there. They were holy families of all sizes and shapes scattered in that magical world. It was a bearded man and a beautiful woman looking at an empty manger. It was an ox, a mule and three sheep that accompanied them. This Mystery was the main protagonist where the lights were directed. It was a white embroidered handkerchief covering the manger. It was straw under the manger and rustic wood making a theatrical stable with three walls. They were shepherds with sheep and roosters and chickens and turtles and cows and zebras and cats and little shepherds walking through the mosses, the paths and the rivers. They were rivers of cellophane paper. They were houses and houses and houses of all possible materials embedded in all possible places. It was a house or two balancing on the cliffs. It was wet colorful sawdust brightening up life. He was a rider much bigger than his horse and a baby bigger than his parents and a shepherd smaller than his sheep. They were volcanoes of incense on a plate and, at the same time, a glass of water. They were matches within the reach of children. It was a do not touch anything, do not put carts and do not eat the chamomiles. And it was a child who, being born at twelve o’clock on the night of December 24, became God with splendor reigning in the manger. Good night was good.

Eugenia Gallardo
Raleigh NC

Photo: fragment of my birth in 2022

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