Picking up Pablo

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed reading Pablo Neruda’s poetry.

Today, I picked up “The Poetry of Pablo Neruda” once again. The last time I read it was on 13 August 2009, the night before my Daddy died. Sitting in the isolated room by his bedside, holding his swollen, yellowed hand as I read, tears streaming down my face. Daddy always did enjoy a good book, just like me. Even if it was an entire book of poetry, 3 inches thick. I read for hours that night.

When Daddy died, I chucked the book aside, because it reminded me of all the pain. That intense feeling of loss. Of that awful time when my soul emptied itself. I didn’t ever want to read it again. Desolation seeped from its pages, sadness oozed from its spine, my hatred for it curled the pages into dog-ears.

Today, I hesitantly chose it from the bookshelf. It was as if I was meeting someone new, for the very first time. I studied the portrait of Neruda on the cover. I caressed the pages, holding them delicately as if they were as fragile as tissue. I swept my hands over the smooth cover, remembering the feel of a book I had loved so passionately. But with these feelings also came an avalanche of memories, of the last time I had picked it up.

I am living now. I am discarding the past, like dirty linen. But I will always remember. Everything.