Sobrevuelos 2015 & 2016

Mortal Wounds


Print View

Goto page: Previous 1 2

Do you remember the little oaks that began to grow out of the acorns I found last winter in the Basque Country? Look how they are doing:

© Viggo Mortensen.
Hélène Grimaud is Messi. Today I saw her playing the piano with precision, sweetness, fury and an invincible love in a recent concert I just finished watching on the ARTE channel. It was the Concert for Piano and Orchestra number 4, op. 58 by the greatest master of all times, Ludwig van Beethoven, with Manfred Honeck conducting her and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

The Piano's <i>Pulga</i>
The Piano's Pulga
And now I'm watching the San Lorenzo match that they're winning 2-0 against Atlético de Rafaela after 47 minutes of soccer. Our defence is scary at times, especially against their 7, a good player, but the drivetrain of Mussis to Corujo to Ortigoza to Blanco to Cauteruccio to Belluschi to Mas to Blandi is impressive. We have so many variants on attack that it's impossible for the Crema to know where we're coming from. Up to now a great Belluschi goal at 14 seconds and the second (another one!) from Blandi who only had to push it after a beautiful collective play. I like the order that Aguirre has imposed, and the high pressure that he demanded in the stadium today. Mussis is playing a great match of constant relays with a lot of intelligence. We're doing well.


Hello, Viggo:
I'm here in the kids' home taking care of them until Guada comes back from teaching classes. I moved two blocks away to be close to them. Yesterday, I got an email from Lisandro who's in Boston and what he said made me cry. It gave me some strength. I'm trying to teach classes and trying to renegotiate books with Planeta to have some extra income. The truth, champion, is that I have no good days. I wake up at five in the morning with the Horla [tr. note: an invisible being in an 1886 French horror story who sways the minds of others in order to subjugate them] and try to do things in order to lower the flotation level of my anguish.

As a song by Antonio Solís says, "The rhythm of life seems wrong," so much so that I only follow the Ciclón out of the corner of my eye. We are short on cash and that's complicated. I don't do karate, don't meditate, don't laugh. But I hope that this passes and I go back to feeling happy. It's just that you have to go through the pain and the work uncertainty walking like a fakir. I hope you're well. I always think of you and bring to mind those happy moments that we spent together in Boedo, in the south filming, having dinner at my house, smoking under the stars, drinking Zubrowka in your little rented house in La Lobería. Do you remember?


Of course I remember! I'm calling you on the phone now. I need to listen to your voice, Cuervo.

Thanks for the conversation, brother. It was lovely to hear you. I feel what I feel when you tell me what you feel. What I feel is my own and I can't explain it to you, like you can't explain yourself to me, not completely, not the root of your pain least of all. But we listen to each other and we talk to each other, we write to each other and we read each other.

I was leafing through a book by the Uruguayan writer, Idea Vilariño. There's a lot that's from another era and maybe it doesn't get to us as directly, but she also wrote simple, universal, eternal phrases. She reveals herself in an astonishing way. For example:

It is Clear

It is clear that I
one of these days will be
a mute bit of soil
a bit of garbage
that is not
but how to accept that they my own
that their own dust
will not see it
will not touch it with a soft finger
will not touch it with the tip of their tongue
that it will not know
will not know.

Did you see the match against Godoy Cruz?


Here I am, Viggo. As I don't have Wi-fi in my house, I don't check emails that often. I'm trying to straighten up the little house a bit to be with the children. I didn't see CASLA, and now I'm in a bar and, in the afternoon, I'm teaching some classes at college. Today, after leaving the children at home, I dedicated most of noon to be with Rita in the park for quite a while. I miss her very much too. I smoked three cigarettes. I recalled what a Hindu sage said to Leonard Cohen when he told him that he no longer smoked "Friend, what is life but smoke?"


I'm in Italy to present Captain Fantastic at the Rome Festival. We were put in a nice hotel right in the centre, not very far from Piazza del Poppolo. Sometimes, when they invite you to a festival, they put you in one of those hotels where you wouldn't stay on your own. When I was about to enter my room with my suitcase, I was greeted in Spanish by a guy who seemed to be a security guard. After a while I opened the door to see whether he was still there, in the hallway.

"Hello. Excuse me, where are you from?," I asked him. "Argentina." "Ah, nice. I´m Viggo, what's your name?" "Alberto." "Pleased to meet you. Are you working security for the festival?" "No, for the president." "President? Of..." "The Republic. Macri." "Macri is here?" Looking at the opposite door, he says "Yes, right here." "Incredible... Alberto, wait a second please." I went back to my room and took out a CASLA sticker from the suitcase (as you know, I carry them everywhere to leave a mark.) I go into the hallway and show it to Alberto. Please know, so you can be at ease, that Daddy is round the corner for anything you need, if you need a helping hand. Anything. Here I am." Big smile from Alberto. "O.K." "Good luck, Alberto." "Good luck to you too." I didn't give him the sticker because I'm sure he wouldn't give it to the Bostero in office and because I'd rather give it to a Roman who appreciates it. Also I don't think that Alberto passed the message to the favourite son. Judging by his reaction - unless he´s a great actor - I don't think Alberto is a Cuervo. I'm not saying he's a Bostero, but a Cuervo he is not. I´m sure he would have thrown the sticker in the trash can. Half an hour went by. Nobody came, so I guess the son has everything he needs. Speaking of soccer, coming from the airport, at reaching the outskirts of the city we ran into a very soccer-crazy gentleman. I don't know what he was called, but he's from Sardinia and didn´t stop talking really fast about soccer players from that island while he played ball next to our car.

© Viggo Mortensen.
The one he talked about most was Gigi (Luigi) Riva, who was not from Sardinia, but was a tremendous striker for Cagliari and the Azurra [tr. note: Italy's National Team]. Gigi kicked his left-footed shots so hard that they nicknamed him "Rombo di Tuono" [tr. note: The Sound of Thunder]. With his National Team, he won the European Cup in 1968, scoring a goal in the final, but he was unlucky in the World Cup. Just before the one played in England in 1966, he broke his left leg in a match. Just before the 1970 World Cup he broke the right one in another match, and he couldn't go to Mexico with his National Team. Despite not being as lucky internationally as other Italians, he's an undisputed Calcio [tr. note: soccer] idol, one of the best offensive players his country has produced.

Gigi Riva
Gigi Riva
Look at this lovely scissor-kick goal that Gigi scored against Vicenza:

The thrashing with Cauteruccio's "hat-trick" to Arsenal was impressive. To me, Mussis was the one who stood out in the match as well as Caute. He did everything, Mussis did, and he saved the team many times when there was some distraction that was initiating the opponent's counterattack. Besides scoring three huge goals, Cauteruccio also ran and defended well on many occasions. They all worked as a group almost perfectly, on defence (apart from some slip-ups of the kind that scare you at times), on the midfield and up. I also liked Coloccini very much. It seems he has already joined in and feels confident with the group. If Bergessio is once again a lethal weapon on the attack, we are going to have an unstoppable team. The truth is that the team already has many variations, that Aguirre has a wealth of options when it comes to laying out matches and building lineups. Great Ciclón. Let´s go for it all.

The New Beast of Boedo, Franco Mussis
The New Beast of Boedo, Franco Mussis
By the way, did you see the mural they made as a tribute to the artist Antonio Berni? It´s at the corner of Garay and José Mármol, next to Garay's barbeque, two blocks from the new stadium we are going to have, the definite Return one. Martín Cutino, our brother Cuervo, sent me the photo.

© Martín Cutino.
Speaking of Boedo and the returns, I have good news: I'm going to Buenos Aires soon to present Captain Fantastic. I hope to be able to go to the stadium to see the Clásico against our Son. Shall we go together? Will Macri come? And later we can go to see the new mural and maybe have dinner together somewhere.


Hello Cuervo: from Sunday to Tuesday I hardly slept and ended up in psychiatric first-aid. There I told the clinician who attended me, "I'm coming from the pediatric first-aid and they told me that I first had to come here for you to refer me." "Pediatric?" said the guy. "No, psychiatric, of course," I said. "Because I miss my children very much. It was a slip of the tongue." And I started to cry. The guy gave me a prescription for Rivotril and that calmed me down. Today I'm going to see if I can go to karate and go back to my psychologist although my economics don't allow it. It's a bit cold now. Yesterday I saw CASLA and they played like the life I lead: a piece of shit. I'm trying to develop muscles in the gym of impermanence.

Israel Damonte celebrates the victory goal
Israel Damonte celebrates the victory goal

Oh, brother. I'm going to call you now. And, you know what? I´m going to see you soon to give you a very long hug. Again I'm thinking about something that Idea Vilariño wrote: "We strive every night to seek, between heavy and suffocating lands, that weightless bird of light that burns and escapes us in a moan." And I think about the daily nonsense, those of others and our own, the insignificant things that derail us and worry us too much until our everyday life goes into crisis. What can you do to remain looking out the window, towards the treetops and the ground, always in quiet pursuit of those weightless birds of light? Perhaps beginning by accepting that the impermanence you mention is the rule, the continuous nature of our days. Before calling you, I have to thank you for the beautiful text you wrote for Perfil. Full of the pain you are telling me, yes, but also catching sight of that bird of light:


Today, October 19, 2016, I'm making a brief report about Ana. She was born one August morning, which is why she always says: "I'm never cold because I was born in winter." She enjoys very much playing with two friends she's had since the time of her first school experience, which is quite remarkable. One wonders if she'll manage to keep that bond all her life.

For some reason, watching television, she became aware of anacondas, giant snakes that generate admiration and terror in her. When her father travels somewhere, she asks him: "Where are you going? Are there anacondas?" At midday, before leaving for school, she enjoys Zorro, a series more likely to be enjoyed by a male than a little girl. In fact recently, for a costume party at school, she dressed up as Zorro and she even painted the moustache on herself. She looked great.

Ana is very sociable and very sensitive; she can't bear someone suffering in a story, a movie or in real life. That makes her cry. She's a little girl, slightly taller than average - because of her mother - and has a wide nose and large mouth - because of her father.

Now she´s missing her two front teeth. Her scent is special, because it leaves traces in parts of the house and in the nightie her father treasures under the pillow to, like Proust, smell it and remember Ana when he doesn't see her. She has a mineral scent that can only be identified as Ana's scent. Ana is a part of nature, a singularity of being. Something beautiful to touch are her hands, so small and soft like those of the rain.


I left you a voice message. Let's see if we can manage to talk this morning. I love you. What you wrote for the blog is a poem, Fabían, subjective and detailed like all good poems. There is your hope and the hope of anybody, the recipe for the remedy, because, like the great Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says, "Science emerged from poetry... when times change, the two could meet again on a higher plane, like friends."

I recommend an Italian book to you, if you can find it in Buenos Aires - if not, I'll bring it to you next month - Lacrime di sale [Salt Tears] by Pietro Bartolo. He is a doctor from the island of Lampedusa, where so many Africans and Arabs arrive, dead and alive, hungry and desperate, raped and mistreated, with immense sorrow and mind-boggling psychological damage, but, however, with tremendous optimism in many cases. Bartolo mixes details and anecdotes from his upbringing and everyday life on the island with stories told to him by the poor refugees. It's a piercing book, "My daily story as a doctor from Lampedusa between pain and hope" as it says on the cover.

Martín Cutino sent me the following text regarding exiled peoples - including our San Lorenzo - thinking about the game for the second leg of the Quarter Finals of the Copa Sudamericana in Chile this evening:


Boedo Palestinians

I love San Lorenzo. I love our soccer team having great matches, playing well and winning, but there are things that move me more than a goal in a final or an agonizing triumph in a classic, the artistic manifestations of this people, of Boedo.

For years there's been an exceptional emergency in the Barrio, artists committed to the club and to the fight to return to Boedo. I love San Lorenzo. Some days ago, I got a call from a buddy from the stands, Manza. He tells me that on the occasion of matches with Palestino de Chile, they are going to make the battle of the Palestinian people visible. He tells me that we're brothers, that the two of us fight for the same thing and that we suffer the cruellest of punishments, exile. I hear him and I'm moved; it stirs my soul; into my mind come revolutionary ideas that I brought forth in my talks with Cuervo friends - that we had to break away from the AFA, that it wouldn't do for us anymore and that we should go on an itinerant kind of tour around the world to play with the national teams of the dispossessed of the planet. The idea was to put together matches with the national teams of the Basques, Palestine, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Zaire and all of those who would fight for freedom and their rights. Everyone laughed and called me crazy and they were right, but I tell myself, who needs to be right?

I love San Lorenzo. Manza sends me a photo; it's a mural painted in the rain. It fills me with pride. The struggles of Boedo and Palestine are interwoven. I tell myself that as far as I'm concerned, we are already playing in a different league in Boedo. We are breaking away from the culture that governs us and we are breaking new cultural ground. One phrase comes to mind for me: Art is only useful if it generates a transformative effect in society. It will be like that for those who see the mural in Santander and Castañares. They go to the embassy, later they hold a ceremony in the New Gasómetro. Lammens joins in, they talk and the people´s struggle is defended. That´s beautiful. I love San Lorenzo and its people.

Today we're playing the rematch in Chile; I hope we win. "Ojalá" [I hope] is an Arabic word that means "if God wills."
[Tr. note: the Spanish expression for "I hope" is "ojalá" which comes from the Arab phrase "inshallah" meaning "If God wills."] I hope Palestine and Boedo win. The only thing I know is that these two people do not surrender and that is the most glorious victory.

(This is a photograph of the mural and the Facebook page from the authors of Youth for Palestine, the Boedo Palestinians


Thanks for the photo of the mural, Martín! In December, I'm going to walk around Boedo in order to see all the murals. And this report about the issue of the long-awaited returns of San Lorenzo and Palestine is lovely.¡Vamos-a-volver

Well, we advanced. Let's say that it wasn't the most beautiful match in history, but Ciclón dealt with the setbacks and the opponent's aggressiveness to pass on to the semifinal against the Brazilian club of Chapecó. Mussis continues being most reliable, and his teammates locked it down as best they could to protect the result when they threw it to Belluschi. The Uruguayan referee had a horrendous performance but I think he did a bad job all the way around. He didn't favor either of the two teams; he fucked both of them. We were the superior trans-Andean team in this match like we've been at home. We should have scored more goals in the first leg in order not to suffer so much in the second period last night, but whatever - we advanced, deservedly. The Associação Chapecoense de Futebol has a short history - little more than 40 years - but they played well in the Sudamericana and in the Libertadores, and have shown themselves to be one of the best teams in their country. It's not going to be easy to win against them.

With so many matches piled up on three fronts, physical exhaustion is beginning to show in some of our players. The matches against Newell's Sunday in Rosario and the semi-final against Chapeco, the "Hurricane of the East" at home on Wednesday, are approaching. And after CASLA will face a constant load of complicated matches. November is going to be a trial by fire. If we get to the home match against Boca on 27/11 playing well, we're going to continue fighting for all of our objectives. I think that Aguirre has demonstrated that he knows how to rotate the line-ups, to modify the approach according to the situation of his team and the opponent's qualities. And the players have a winning mentality. It's a shame that we couldn't win or tie against Pincha last week in the Independence Tournament, but we are still in the highest level of the ranking. I want the three cups and I think Aguirre does, too. He's not going to be intimidated.

" There are different kinds of applications of force and you should use all of them."
- Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee

Your analysis is exactly right. Yesterday the expulsion of Mago Belluschi left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth, but that's the way soccer is. The linesman and the referee were a disaster. The Brazilians are going to be very tough, but I have a lot of faith in our team. They will be some beautiful games to watch. We're in all those tournaments, we are good, we have to enjoy it.

Big hug.


The Argentine sports media, above all the Clarín group, continue to give more importance in their professional soccer coverage to River and Boca than any other team in the First Division. Their lack of objectivity is pathetic at times. I'm not going to enumerate the recent examples of this prejudice, but I pay special attention to the propaganda that's been going on for a long time about a Final in the Copa Argentina between the Bosteros and the Gallinas. It seems that Gimnasia (LP), Rosario Central, Belgrano and San Lorenzo - the club that's playing the best in Argentina - don't exist. If CASLA manages to win against Gimnasia, I would love to see Toro Bergessio play against River in the semi-final, eight years after his feat in the Gallinero in the 2008 Copa Libertadores. We can also dream about reaching the Final, right?

How long are they going to sell Boca t-shirts in the Olé newspaper?


Cultural monoculture, the soybean-ization of BOVER thought.

Goto page: Previous 1 2

Last edited: 29 March 2017 09:17:04