Then how come everyone’s making like everything that isn’t important is very important, all the while they’re so busy pretending what’s really important isn’t important at all?
(NOTHING by Janne Teller, Atheneum Books for young readers)
at christmas 2017 NOTHING. I thought as I read this book, bought last summer in a small bookshop in Mexico. like every year if you think about it. like most of the time. what is meaning? I too wondered, while reading Janne Teller. what’s the meaning. what’s the importance. of all the objects I own? what really matters in my life? well. I am a mother. and I will predictably answer my children. because they really are the only thing that means something to me. but inevitably. especially women. ask me whether I am something else. besides being a mother. whether my job for example. or art may be as meaningful. as motherhood. no. in my opinion.
I don’t believe so. although I get easily carried away as I work hard on things I love. nothing is as meaningful to me as my children. perhaps because I see in them a projection of myself. now I smile thinking of Claudia Donoso’s Insectario Amoroso from which I have taken and freely adapted this sentence. and yet. every day.
I take care of filling them. my everything. with NOTHING. presents. clothes. toys. and until a few years ago also food that was NOTHING. and then. maybe. I thought the other day. we are made of NOTHING. for the umpteenth time as I listened to José Mujica in Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s documentary Human. because we are only our freedom. and our freedom is NOTHING. however we may look at it. even through the harsh reality that every day shows me that I AM NOT FREE. TO DO ANYTHING. digressions aside. I really loved this book. precisely because we can read, interpret and discuss it in a wide variety of ways. because we are all different and therefore we have different opinions. it is inevitable. it should be like that. so why not recommend it. to children as well. to young people above all. as a christmas present. the present of a nice discussion. maybe among family members. or at school. a nice and passionate debate about NOTHING. that will probably lead to NOTHING. but who knows?
me being. and continuing to be a mother until I die. in this very moment. as I am writing these words. I’m thinking I really wish my oldest daughter was here to discuss all this with me. because if there is something that matters to me. it is that invisible force charged with strange and rebellious and clean synergies that she has inside that little head of hers. and that faced with a discussion goes wild and starts flying through the air. filling it with MEANING. that is the appearance. miraculous to me. of a thought. a freedom of expression. and of speech. that for many people. might be NOTHING. and is everything to me. I am repeating myself. I know.
I wish you all a nice reading. and hopefully a nice discussion. for the remaining days of 2017 and for the upcoming year 2018.