The Story of the Look

Look Capitán, there was a time, a long time ago, in which nobody looked.
It is not that the men and women who walked these lands did not have eyes.
They did per se, but they did not look. The greatest gods, those who birthed the world, the very first ones, had per se birthed many things without making exactly clear for what or why or whichever the reason or job that each thing should do or try to do. Because in that each thing had its why, well yes, because the gods that birthed the world, the very first ones, were per se the greatest and they did know well for what and why each thing, well they were gods.
But it turns out that these first gods did not worry very much about what they did, they did everything as a party, as a game, as a dance. Per se, the oldest of the old tell that, when the first gods got together, surely there had to be their marimba, because surely at the end of their assemblies came the song and the dance. Moreover, they say that if the marimba was not at hand, well there just was no more assembly and there were the gods, just rubbing their bellies, telling jokes, and playing pranks on each other.
Well, the point is that the first gods, the greatest ones, birthed the world, but they did not make clear the for what or the why of each thing. And one of these things was the eyes.
And did the first gods say that the eyes were for looking? Nope.
And so there the first men and women went about who walked around here, with tumbles, giving each other blows and falls, running into each other and grabbing things that they did not want and letting go of things that they did want. Just like many people do now per se, who take what they do not want and does them harm, and let go of what they need and makes them better, who go around tripping over each other and running into one another.
In other words the first men and women did have their eyes, well yes, but they did not look. And many and varied were the types of eyes that the very first men and women had. There were eyes in all colors and in all sizes, there were eyes in different forms. There were round eyes, fish eyes, oval, small, big, medium-sized, black, blue, yellow, green, brown, red, and white eyes. Yes, many eyes, two in each first man and woman, but none which looked.
And everything would have continued like this until our days if not because one time something happened. It turns out that the first gods, those who birthed the world, the greatest ones, were doing their dance because, well, it was August, month of memory and of tomorrow, when some men and women who were not looking ended up where the gods were in their party there they just ran into the gods and some ended up against the marimba and knocked it over, and then the party became total mayhem and the music stopped and the singing stopped and well the dance also was halted and a huge mess was made, and the first gods from one place to another trying to see why the party had stopped, and the men and women who did not look were continuing to trip over and run into each other and the gods. And like this they spent a good amount of time, among crashes, falls, insults, and curses.
Then finally after a while since the greatest gods realized that all the disorder had been made when those men and women arrived. And so they got them together and talked to them and asked them if perhaps they were not looking where they were walking. And so the very first men and women were not looking because they did not look per se, but they asked what “looking” was. And so the gods who birthed the world realized that they had not made it clear to them what eyes were for, that is what was their reason for being, the why and the for what of the eyes. And then the greatest gods explained to the first men and women what looking was, and they taught them to look.
Like this these men and women learned that it is possible to look at the other, know that it is and that it is there and that it is other and like this not run into it, nor hit it, nor pass over it, nor trip over it.
They knew also that it is possible to look inside of the other and see what their heart feels.
Because the heart does not always speak with words that the lips birth.
Many times the heart speaks with the skin, with the look, or with steps it speaks.
They also learned to look at those who look looking at themselves, who are those who look for themselves in the looks of others.
And they knew to look at the others who look at them look.
And the first men and women learned all the looks. And the most important one that they learned is the look that looks at itself and knows itself and knows about itself, the look that looks at itself looking and looking at itself, that looks at paths and looks at tomorrows which have still not been born, paths still to be traveled and mornings to be given birth to.
And since they learned this, the gods who birthed the world gave these men and women, who had arrived tripping, crashing into, and falling over everything, the task of teaching the rest of the men and women how to look and what looking is for. And then the various peoples learned to look and look at themselves.
And not everyone learned because the world had already begun to go and men and women already went about everywhere, tripping, falling over, and running into each other. But some did learn and these ones who learned to look are the so-called men and women of corn, the true ones.
Viejo Antonio remained in silence. I looked at him look at me look at him and turned my view looking at whichever corner of that pre-dawn morning.

Originally published on August 11th, 1999.
Click here to read the full translation of the communiqué in which it was published.
English translation copyright © 2014 by Henry Gales. All rights reserved.

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