A call from a friend earlier this afternoon. I have to quote Machado in an attempt to cheer my friend up after a painful loss. Antonio Machado has often been a wonderful homeopathic remedy. Here is a selection; I hope it cures [Free translation].

Hugs, Álex.

“And when the day for the last journey comes,
and the ship of no return is ready to set sail,
you will find me on board, travelling light,
almost naked, like the children of the sea.”

(Antonio Machado)

 

Light of the soul, divine light, lighthouse, torch, star, sun… A man gropes blindly foward; he carries a lantern on his back.

Cantares (Songs)

All goes, and all remains,

but our task is to go,
to make our way as we travel
cutting paths across the sea.
I never sought glory
or to leave my song
in human memory;
I love the subtle worlds
weightless and charming,
like soap-bubbles.
I like to see them, daubed
with sunlight and scarlet,
quiver, under a blue sky,
suddenly and burst…
I never sought glory.
Traveller, the path is only
your footprint, and no more;
traveller, there’s no path,
you make your path as you walk.
As you walk you make your way
and if you look back
you will see a path
none can tread again.
Traveller, there are no paths
but wakes on the sea…

Once in this place
where the forests are now clothed in thorns
the sound of a poet’s cry was heard
‘Traveller, there’s no path,
you make your path as you walk …’
step by step, line by line…
The poet died far from home.
Shrouded by dust in a neighbouring land.
At his parting they heard him cry:
‘Traveller, there’s no path,
you make your path as you walk …’
Step by step, line by line…
When the goldfinch can no longer sing,
when the poet is a wanderer,
when nothing aids our prayer.
‘Traveller, there’s no path,
you make your path as you walk …

Step by step, line by line.’

(Joan Manuel Serrat/Antonio Machado)