Miguel de Cervantes wanted Don Quixote on his deathbed to collapse, look back, reconsider his adventures, repent of them and puncture his own expectations and the fears of others with a beautiful and sad phrase: “Let’s go little by little, Well, in the nests of yesteryear there are no home birds ”. Their delusional struggles against the mills, the raging releasing of prisoners, the magical helmet, the dreams of great monsters and rich islands shine more brightly in the history of our literary topics; We have not perpetuated in our memory a sane Quixote but a madman. And that sane character who recapitulates in bed and who considers the dreams that he harbored as impossible is quite similar to ourselves these days, in this time of inevitable inventory and retrospective that the end of the year keep.
Everything is manufactured in the measurement of time that humans do by separating years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. As it is artificial, this measurement system is of sharp computation: what in nature is a gradual modulation of good weather to rain, from light to shade, from autumn to winter, that which in the sky is a “let’s go little by little ”, is on the clock an orchestrated to go from twelve to one. Nothing will be more rhythmic than our end of the year ceremony: on the 31st they will give us 12 chimes and there will be an interval of silence between two moments of noise, the one at the end and the one at the beginning; Then a new year will begin, although nothing changes: the masks will continue, we will continue the usual ones and those that we have missed for months because life took them off the agenda will be missing.
In the artifice of the year, which has its natural correlate in more organic cycles, such as those of the harvest or the seasons, we have secularly rested our marks at the end of the stage. It is a convention, but the year works for us as a unit of measurement of life. And that shows the tongue. We have used the year to measure what has fed us for centuries: the land and the animals; the yearlings They are the mountains that were one year old after being cleared of bushes and weeds; a year of life of calves and lambs served to call them yearning. What happened each year was called corpse and the contrast, painful or not, between the previous year and the present year served to name two beautiful adverbs: yesteryear (before the year, a year before) and homey (this year, this year). Both are in the quixotic phrase: the yesteryear that names everything from yesterday and the homey that names everything of today. This second adverb, the one referring to the most current time, is curiously the one that has become out of date: it was used by Cervantes to represent a Quixote who gave up, but we no longer use it as speakers of today. We like to look back more, to the adventures that characters made us in the past, and not to a home that we feel too complete or hard. But I believe that there is always a new adventure to get into your head to play Quixote for a while, so there is hope and it makes sense to wish a happy 2022, as I now do to my home readers.
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