Amado Nervo, who was also known as Juan Crisóstomo Ruiz de Nervo was an important Mexican poet of the 19th century. He was born on August 27, 1870 and died on May 24, 1919. Apart from being a poet, he was also a journalist, an educator, and the Mexican Ambassador to Argentina as well as Uruguay.
This is a marvelous poem about being in control of your destiny and, ultimately, reaping what you sow. It is no wonder that my father liked it.
20 de marzo de 1915
Muy cerca de mi ocaso, yo te bendigo, vida,
porque nunca me diste ni esperanza fallida,
ni trabajos injustos, ni pena inmerecida;
porque veo al final de mi rudo camino
que yo fui el arquitecto de mi propio destino;
que si extraje las mieles o la hiel de las cosas,
fue porque en ellas puse hiel o mieles sabrosas,
cuando planté rosales, coseché siempre rosas.
Cierto, a mis lozanías va a seguir el invierno;
¡mas tú no me dijiste que mayo fuese eterno!
Hallé sin duda largas las noches de mis penas;
mas no me prometiste tan sólo noches buenas;
y en cambio tuve algunas santamente serenas...
Amé, fui amado, el sol acarició mi faz.
¡Vida, nada me debes! ¡Vida, estamos en paz!
March 20, 1915
Very near my sunset, I bless you, life,
because you never gave me neither unfulfilled hope,
nor unfair work, nor undeserved sorrow.
Because I see at the end of my rough road
that I was the architect of my own destiny;
and if I extracted the sweetness or the bitterness of things,
it was because I put sweetness or bitterness in them,
when I planted rose bushes, I always harvested roses.
Certainly, winter is going to follow my youth;
besides, you didn’t tell me that May was eternal!
I found without a doubt, long my nights of pain;
But you didn’t promise me only good nights;
And in exchange I had some holy peaceful ones...
I loved, I was loved, the sun caressed my face.
Life, you owe me nothing! Life, we are at peace!
The video below is an interview by Jian Ghomeshi of Joni Mitchell. It's a fabulous interview of this tremendously talented woman – a renaissance woman; although I am certain that she would not like that label. I've known that she was a very successful and gifted visual artist, but I was surprised to hear her say that she was a painter first and that she applies painting principles to music. Sigh . . .
There was so much I enjoyed about the interview – one being this poem she wrote at 16. It's titled, The Fish Bowl.
The fish bowl is a world diverse / where fishermen with hooks that dangle / from the bottom reel up their catch / on gilded bait without a fight. / Pike, pickerel, bass, the common fish / ogle through distorting glass / see only glitter, glamour, gaiety / and weep for fortune lost. / Envy the goldfish? Why? / His bubbles are breaking 'round the rim / while silly fishes faint for him.
I also walked away from the video with a nugget of wisdom. It is this succinctly insightful comment she made about her music:
If you listen to the music and you see me, you're not getting anything out of it. If you listen to the music and you see yourself, it'll probably make you cry and you'll learn something about yourself; and now, you're getting something out of it.
It was so perfectly said that I am compelled to borrow her words! If you, look at my art and you see me, you're not getting anything out of it. If you look at my art and see yourself, it'll probably make you feel something, and you'll learn something about yourself; and now, you're getting something out of it.
So happy to announce the opening of my solo exhibit, Fragmentos. Although it is already open to the public, the opening reception will be on Thursday, January 16th from 6:30 to 8:30.
I am also looking forward to seeing two other exhibits that open on the same date and time – As Cosmopolitans & Strangers and Galería Sin Fronteras. For details, click on the links provided.
The image shown below is from the National Museum of Mexican Art's website and the following is their link:
The painting is one of the pieces in my exhibit Plum Girl, 47.50 x 48 inches, Oil on Wood Panel, August 2013.