Uncle of the Americas

I never understood the enigma of the meeting. Souls coincide, recognize or repel each other in moments that define the path of existence.

Invoking the absurd, hundreds of dreamy spirits were drawn toward a cause, off the beaten path, away from home and from everyday life. In the distant lands of opportunity, we came across your existence, your lens and your shelter. We went without thinking, a coincidence with a great purpose, we went without granting it, a great family.

“Favored by mystery,” hidden behind a photographic flash, you captured one after another, the experiences of an expectant and candid youth, of a youth that, amidst its genuine agony, embraced you like the Uncle of the Americas.

If each of the members of this American family wrote the memoirs that were inspired by your presence, words, expressions or moments would not be enough to capture the encounters that generated your company.

I never understood the enigma of the unexpected. Souls who treasure, confused and unprepared, lose in a moment the most precious thing in life. And with your departure, we were taken away from the placid and beautiful existence of your being.

The Asuncion of your veins cries, your family keeps you and loves you forever. A community that works and dreams for human rights, will suffer the emptiness of your farewell. Your friends feel the absence of your company, your advice and your beautiful way of facing life.

We only have the satisfaction of the meeting, the joy of the hug, the consolation of sharing. From Santa Cruz, to Maine, from Tenamaxtlán, to Virginia. Uncle of a fractured and wounded America, now united by hundreds of captured moments; today your unexpected departure is suffered, in a sorrow that tortures.

Mario Aníbal, the Paraguayan boy who dreamed of the world, the man who is now remembered by the orb. Adriana’s sun, Dominique’s moon. Eternal companion of Mary… the Uncle of the Americas. The lens was your decision, everything that the captured images tell, part of your legacy. Your friendship, an eternal memory.

Now you are the wind, until we meet again… my dear Uncle Mario.

With all my love for you Aunt Mary, Adri, Domi and all the cousins of the Americas.

Mario Aníbal López Garelli.
Asunción, Paraguay, 1968.

Poem translated by: Michelle Farrell Lewis.

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