A Cuban Writer

Carpentier book

The radio was on and a song took me back to another time. (I never knew love like this before) A sunny morning, walking into university. Well, not walking, dancing, floating on air. A song in my head and love in my heart. A joyful love song whose lyrics echoed exactly how in love I was and hearing it today, I remembered that feeling. I was in love and knew I was loved back. Words and music can do that.

Next week, I’m going to Cuba. And I realised that the author of a book, The Lost Steps, had also written words that had struck my heart. Alejo Carpentier, born in Havana in 1904, lived in Paris and Venezuela, returning to Cuba after the revolution and dying in Paris in 1980.

There is a moment in The Lost Steps that highlights Life. It is about the moment that is perfect, a life that is perfect, but we can be so busy trying to get back to what is familiar and what we think, better, that we don’t realise until too late what we have thrown away. It is a ‘No! You fool! Don’t do that’ moment.

I can’t remember much about the book except a few images and this revolutionary moment. So, I have taken the book out of the bookshelf and I’ll be re-reading it. Good books – ones you read again and again. And funny how things reappear, coming together with a common link. The Lost Steps. Alejo Carpentier. Cuba.

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