Growing Old in Many Mirrors

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 4 › view all entries

What is the point of travelling abroad? What drives us (you know who you are) to yearn, so passionately, to see the world? Should we look at this strange desire from a scientific stand point, psychological, or is it something that is as invisible and embedded in our bodies as the religion someone told us we should hold dear? Has is become our religion? A fad? I am more cultured than you. I have seen more. I have met more people. I have seen their art, heard their stories, explored their houses. Passport stamps are the cultural tattoos that no one can remove from your personal history. The middle class man works for a week or a month or two to buy a plane ticket to take him away from today. He arrives, checks into a hotel, heads to a coffee shop, watches people and is watched, looks for a lover a wife or drugs or a long laugh or rush, a connection or a pleasure to remember. He searches for a brilliant realization that only this land, these people, can provide him. He takes a picture of a statue. Her marble smile has grown weary from the hundreds of thousands of smiles she has had to give to the people walking by her, with excitedly demented cameras in hand. They are afraid of forgetting her, but care only fleetingly about her essence. Do the toes of Corcovado hold any more significance than his face? Snap from all angles just to make sure. Where is my purpose in this mess? What can you do for me Argentina? What can I do for you? What can I do for YOU, world? I will do everything for me. I will pack my bags, and I won't know why, but I will keep doing it, and I will explore every last inch of you. I will grow old in many mirrors.



Oh destiny of Borges
to have sailed across the diverse seas of the world
or across that single and solitary sea of diverse names,
to have been a part of Edinburgh, of Zurich, of the two Cordobas,
of Colombia and of Texas,
to have returned at the end of changing generations
to the ancient lands of his forebears,
to Andalucia, to Portugal and to those counties
where the Saxon warred with the Dane and they mixed their blood,
to have wandered through the red and tranquil labyrinth of London,
to have grown old in so many mirrors,
to have sought in vain the marble gaze of the statues,
to have questioned lithographs, encyclopedias, atlases,
to have seen the things that men see,
death, the sluggish dawn, the plains,
and the delicate stars,
and to have seen nothing, or almost nothing
except the face of a girl from Buenos Aires
a face that does not want you to remember it.
Oh destiny of Borges,
perhaps no stranger than your own.
– Jorge Luis Borges

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