Bewildering Stories

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Following Gerardo Around

by Jerry Wright

SensaWunda, yeah, that's what it is... Why is SF not as "accessible" these days? Or is it, or what...

I was reading on the Analog forum ( ) a topic called Campbell The Erudite when something our Argentine poster Gerardo said hit me between the eyes...

One thing I do find missing, though, and in that we may agree, is that a lot of present-day SF seems too worried about the next twenty minutes and not enough about the next two million. And there's no way we can start walking if we don't know where we're going. Let's not forget the road isn't actually there, we have to build it as we go, step by step, yellow brick by yellow brick.

I loved that comment, so I asked him if I could quote it, and he came back with something even better!

From Gerardo:

Please go ahead. You don't have to ask. I'm no writer, I'm well aware of that, but I keep hoping something I say will inspire someone who can write, even if it is to prove I'm absolutely crazy.

I must confess, though, that as I wrote my not entirely original paragraph, I was thinking of a rather well-known poem by Spanish poet Antonio Machado, later popularized in song by Catalonian singer and songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat (that's Joan as in John, not the English female Joan).

Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás
Se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino. Solo estelas en la mar.

Wayfarer, there is no road. The road is made as you walk.
As you walk the road is made, and when you turn your eyes back
All you can see is the trail that cannot again be walked.
Wayfarer, there is no road. Only wakes upon the sea.

That's my poor attempt at translation. I have no English edition of his works, and everything I've found online is worse. More's the pity, for he was a forceful popular poet, with an uncommon ability for stating the complex in simple everyday terms. Maybe you'd better quote him.

So I did... Thanks Gerardo! Muy Bien, y muy bonito!

The Bottle Washer


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