Why do this?

My father, José Luis Villamizar Melo, passed away in my home town of Cúcuta, Colombia, in August last year. The law and economics were Dad's profession, but literature, history and academia his passion. He wrote and published several books, articles and book chapters. The thing is that so many people have missed out on his work, particularly on his beautiful poetry, which he wrote in Spanish prior to the world wide web. So I thought, what a better way to keep Dad's legacy alive than to bring his writing beyond his world and share it with mine. That is why I am translating over 250 of my Dad's poems to English and publishing them here, one a day, Monday to Friday during 2011 (Dad, a family man, always believed that you shouldn't work on weekends).

Monday, February 28, 2011

Men and dreams pass by (Pasan los hombres y los sueños)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about life’s ‘what ifs’ and about the endless possibilities it offers us.  When is the right time to dream and when should we just stick to reality? Who’s affected by one single person’s decisions and what sort of chain of events follow these decisions?  Is it possible to go back and make things be the same as they once were?  From my Dad’s book Twilight Theory (Teoría del crepúsculo). 

Men and dreams pass by (Pasan los hombres y los sueños)

I have reread old scripts
kept year after year without apparent use.
A meticulous and severe scrutiny
has brought me back to circumstances which left
a testimony, a yellowish piece of paper,
a few phrases that do not say the same today,
in occasions their indecipherable purpose
made me lock them away.
I revise one by one each of those papers,
youth afflictions, and I do not distinguish
nor I clearly remember what those papers told me,
the sadness that in those days
I considered infinite
now changed
for the wonderful oblivion and the kindness
of different sorrows and worries.

How much time changes us!  How we go through
human condition leaving behind
a little bit of us, whilst things
remain the same.

How it has been always since before,
just like this morning,
like yesterday,
and how it will be one day.

Men advance and reflect.
They search for the light
walking behind the shadow.

Men pass by and with them their dreams.

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