Dear readers, allow me to introduce Otsana:
She comes from a unique place, somewhere in Europe, where the highest and most rugged mountains blend with the roughest and yet most beautiful sea and with the most breathtaking valleys, and where time seems to have lost its borders, because, there, you can simultaneously live in the most remote and enigmatic past and in the most clearly progressive present anyone considering an amazing future can possibly imagine!
This magical place is known, in the English language, as the Basque Country – Euskadi, in the local idiom – and its borders can be described as follows: The southern Basque Country falls within the Spanish autonomous communities of the Basque Country and Navarre, and the Northern Basque Country forms part of the French département of Pyrénées Atlantiques.
Otsana – whose name means “she-wolf” in her fascinating idiom – writes mainly in prose, “something”- in her own definition – “between very short stories and fiction chronicles, all with lots of metaphors and an edge – of humour, of sarcasm, of pain, of passion, of compassion, of whatever is felt deep within”, and in the same three languages in which she is fluent: Her native one (the Southern Euskera), Spanish and French.
She has been assembling her latest writings (some originally in Spanish, some in French, none, so far, in Euskera, in this case) in a collection whose original title - Agudas & Crónicas / Aiguës & Chroniques – can be translated as “Acute & Chronic(les)” and of which I leave you here (in my own translation into English) the first sample.
Enjoy, and, on Otsana’s behalf, in advance for your attention,
Eskerrik Asko! (1)
“Acute & Chronic(les)” by Otsana – I – “Le Dernier Cri” (2)
She was carrying, that day, a tiny, very round, well-designed pain, like one of those little hats which, back in the 50’s, one would wear right on top of the head, held with a pin.
An out-of-fashion pain, one might say…or maybe not so much so, since those little hats had lately become, little veils and all, the “dernier cri” (2) again.
Well, she sure felt like screaming, but somehow, that pain didn’t seem compatible with such inelegant displays.
It was a pain to walk gracefully around, with lightness and balance, so as not to fall from the spike-heeled shoes, a pain to wear with glass-transparent silk stockings, “redingote” (3), gloves and eye-liner drawn with surgical precision, and to take to a tea-room for Earl Grey with cream puffs.
Indeed, it was one chic pain, the ultimate chic in pain, probably smelling of Chanel nr. 5 and of the past, a past which, in spite of having become fashionable again – the “dernier cri” – should nevertheless have exhaled its last sigh by now.
What she needed to do, therefore, was to pull out the pin and take off the pain, the little veil entangled in her vision, the gloves, the spike-heeled shoes, the cream-puffs and the “redingote”, and to smash the tea-cup, along with the glass-transparent stockings, to pieces so minute that they could easily be blown off the pavement, along with the tea-room front, like dust.
And then, to allow the scream to come out. Naked, barefoot, dishevelled, smelling of nothing but of body, whole and shamelessly human, jumping over all the surgically precise lines drawn. Yes, to let the scream through, to let it tumble, be shattered, exhausted to its minimal expression – a fragment so minute that she could easily blow it off herself and off the past, not even caring if it was the last. On the contrary, releasing, in the present, at last, a sigh of relief. The first.
© 2006 Otsana – All rights reserved (photo courtesy of Angela at flickr.com)
(1) Thank You! (Southern Basque)
(2) Literally, “the last scream” – French expression that defines something fashionable, “the latest fad”