I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Friday, 18 March 2011

Gracias a la Vida

My doctor was a little bit surprised that I'm not depressed. It's a very common co-morbidity with any illness that leaves one housebound. We humans are by nature social creatures. We need the interaction with others of our kind. When that desire is gone, it's a sure sign of trouble. When ability to socialize is taken away, it tends to lead to trouble.

Several years back I realized how much there was in my life that was good. I learned how to be grateful. In practicing gratitude, it became apparent that just by being grateful, I was happier. Taking on the 'attitude of gratitude' is one way of staying positive, and acknowledging my dependence on things and people around me in a way that is not debilitating, but empowering.

When my parents turned 60 and 64, I surprised them both by singing in public (Unheard of. I just don't. I know. I should. But I don't.) - I sang my Mom's favourite song of all time - Gracias a la Vida. Thanks to Life. Today, my mom went off to school with a carefully constructed alphabet costume, which reminded us of that song:

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto,
Me ha dado el sonido, y el abecedario,
Con el las palabras que pienso y declaro,
Madre, amigo, hermano, y luz alumbrando,
La ruta del alma del que estoy amando.

Thank-you to this life, that has given me so much,
It has given me sound and the alphabet,
With these the words I think and declare,
Mother, friend, brother, light that illuminates
The ways of the soul of the one I love

The song, written by Violeta Parra, has been recorded by many artists of different nationalities. My favourite part of Gracias a la Vida is the last verse. It touches on topics that I've written about here in my blog; the merging of joy and sorrow into something more powerful, and the universality of the stories we all carry.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto,
Me ha dado y la risa, y me ha dado el llanto,
Con ellos distinguo dicha de quebranto,
Los dos materiales que forman mi canto,
Y el canto de ustedes que es el mismo canto,
Y el canto de todos, que es mi propio canto.
Gracias a la vida.

Thank-you to this life, that has given me so much,
It has given me laughter, and it has given me wails,
With these I can tell the joy from the sorrow,
The two themes which shape my song,
And your song which is the same song,
And everybody's song, which is my very own song.
Thank-you to life.

For more on this beautiful song, check the links below:
My favourite version of this song, performed by Mercedes Sosa
The original, sung by Violeta Parra herself
The most accurate translation of the full lyrics I could fnd

1 comment:

  1. Andy,gracias por recordarme que hay que continuar dando gracias a la vida.
    Como tu sabes eso a veces es dificil, nuestra familia sufrio dos perdidas demasiado pronto y para mi siempre ha sido dificil comprender el porque, como y cuando. Te extrano a ti y a tu familia con todo mi corazon.
    Sigamos jugando a la vida y queriendonos mucho aunque la distancia es tan grande.

    Besos mi amor.