We belong to Paradise

This poem is dedicated to several people, to my mother,
to Ángeles, to people who are always near. But I would
also like to remember the painter Juan Antonio Díaz and
an old man in Florence.
I have the good luck to immerse myself in the paintings
with Juan, to go with him to the Museo del Prado or
the Thyssen where we always leave comforted.
And I also remember an old American or Englishman
who we met in Florence some months ago. I spoke to
him on several occasions, we talked about painting, the
light that painting and art radiate was in him.
I was deeply moved as I heard him begin his sentences
on several occasions with the words "To me" and then
he told me what some painting, some sculpture, meant
to him. That mixture of humility and, at the same time,
pride for having felt deeply a work of art and expressed
oneself freely but also humbly about it.
It was as if he reminded me that any spectator, without
anybody´s help, without any intermediary, can establish
an intimate, personal relation with what he is looking at.
His words, his refreshing presence, those two words of
his: "To me", were an invitation to be wide open, with
no fear, to what painting and art can tell us.
When I spoke to him, when we visit the Museums, the
pictures call us, we can establish a real communication
with them, we get into a silent and eloquent conversa-
tion with them. I feel I am in paradise. With their sweet-
ness they tell me that we can overcome adversity. They
tell me with easy and persuasive conviction that we are
indestructible. They speak to me about the gift of our
eternity, so natural, so mysterious, they whisper that we
belong to paradise.

We belong  to paradise,
this is what the faces of Botticelli say
shining their light on us

We belong to paradise,
this is what the faces of Botticelli
and Giovanni Bellini tell us
with an irrefutable confidence in the eternal
that is shed on us like a great gift,
he says so with the silence of his evenings,
and this is what
an afterglow painted by Watteau says

We belong to paradise,
this is what El Greco says:
the Spirit changes the forms of things,
the Spirit expands bodies and the mind
so that they can reach the Light

We belong to paradise,
this is what Michelangelo tells us
with his Christ the Saviour
in the Sistine Chapel:
a revolutionary Christ
who saves everybody:
he saves the condemned
and he saves the saved

We belong to paradise,
Rubens says so with his limitless heart,
so free, like God´s, renouncing nothing,
containing everything, accepting everything.
This is what the intertwined hands
of Judas and Jesus say to us
in the painting by Van Dyck.

We belong to paradise,
this is what the nights of Friedrich tell us,
and his Moon, that irradiates Consciousness
forever, that radiates true Life,
which overcomes death and all his lackeys:
fear, ambiguity, cowardly shyness

We belong to paradise,
this is what the Bacchus of Caravaggio says,
a little sad and infinitely compassionate,
offering us a chalice of life
so that we may leave our sorrows behind,
so that we may let ourselves fall
into this moment,
into each moment,
as we do now,
just so

We belong to paradise
this is what the heart , so bright,
of Mark Rothko says.
We are Paradise,
Ramana Maharshi tells us with a smile.
A glass of Morandi says so
and Jesus among the children
and among the wicked
and also on the Cross

Translated into English by M.A. Bernat
Revision and suggestions by Sarah Walkerdine