In front of the paper

In front of the paper, pen in hand, we prepare to write a letter to the wise men. Perhaps this is the only letter we continue to write. Its status as a unique specimen and at risk of extinction has filled it with magic and mystery. We take the pencil, we breathe in, and we prepare to draw on the paper some lines that carry our thoughts, our desires, our hopes and, of course, many of our fears. The great Antonio de Nebrija wrote, more than five hundred years ago, that «Among all the things that men found by experience to polish and adorn human life, none other was so necessary or what greater benefits would bring us than the invention of letters ».

Writing by hand marks a different rhythm to thought, it rests it, it calms it down and, at times, it seems to illuminate it (some of the meanings of the verb to illuminate fit here). Lack of practice – who was going to tell us? – makes the fingers tense, the ink does not run, we smudge the paper. Watch out! What we write leads us to lag behind, and it is not right that we are blurred by life. Slowly and well handwriting, they told us; good handwriting, good spelling, good writing. And if we didn’t have enough, we must be clear about what we are going to ask of their majesties from the East. Ask books, books loaded with words; ask for thoughtful or light essays to put your feet on the ground; ask for classic, transguesora, romantic and cloying novels, terrifying by invention or by reality; ancient or modern; ask for winged, narrative, incendiary or intimate poems, or all at once, as poems can be. I ask books for me and for those I love, and those who love me ask books for me. Ask books: show that you want to.