On the night of May 31, 2011, while I was writing in the silence of the night, I felt a strong presence in my bedroom. I got up and walked around my spacious apartment.
I opened the door.
Just silence and darkness.
I thought of the rat that visited me in early February.
One night I woke up to see the shadow of a tail rising about fifty centimeters from the wall.
Turning on the light, I surprised a gray rodent about a foot, thin and elongated, which slipped under the front door; since my apartment was actually a converted office, the space between the door and the threshold was about two inches, which was enough space for the little animal to squeeze out.
I placed some cardboard and went back to sleep. But, upon waking, the cellulose had been torn apart by my visitor's hooves.
It was obvious that I had shared my dream with her.
The next day, at my college, I reported the incident to my superiors, asking them where I could buy poison.
"You will not intend to kill Lord Ganesha's pet!" they told me in horror. "A rat does no harm if you leave food on a plate for it. It indicates that there is a god visiting it."
Now I wonder if they expected that, as a Westerner, I would leave my room in terror; I had heard of Westerners leaving India overnight, unable to bear their customs.
I reasoned that if they had lived with all the animals for centuries, so could I.
But after two nights in in company of rats, I decided that while I could respect its life, I could also ask it not to invade my home.
So I bought a sheet of cardboard and pressed it with the leg of my bed until it became a solid mass; I then fitted it to both ends of the door jambs, over the threshold.
The door opened and closed on a solid surface. Waking up the next day and opening the door, I discovered deep scratches on its pressed sheet. Lord Ganesha's pet, unable to cut compressed cardboard, had given up visiting me, but not before leaving his mark.
But let's go back to the night of May 31, 2022.
Despite my search through the corridors of that building, I found no signs of Lord Ganesha’s envoys.
In those days, only the restaurant’s carrier entered the campus, then guarded by guards.
He used to arrive at the main gate at noon, and then, after my prior authorization, to get in and out of the compound.
I lamented the absence of Lord Ganesha's pet.
"With nothing to eat, it left the building," I concluded before returning to my bedroom.
I went back to writing and an immense sense of fulfillment invaded me.
The happiness that she had already experienced since the beginning of April had increased as the days passed.
Before my seclusion I had bought yellow, red and green dhotis on the street, seized by a sudden urge to wear the age-old dyed cotton garments that Tamil farmers wore in the fields.
In them I felt, after my mystical experiences, that I lived in paradise in a remote time, in the constant company of my Lord Jesus Christ, and that I could wait until August, even until eternity, in my solitude in Him.
I wrote tirelessly, and not only pages of my Kirghiz novel, but also my cinema manual, based on my studies and the notes and research of my classes over twenty years: Aesthetics and Ethics of Cinema.
Just five days ago, in the grip of my enthusiasm, I had taken some selfies (at that time the selfie was not so popular) and some photos in front of my mirror.
They are not the best in terms of aesthetics, but my face preserves the joy that exalted me during those days.
I walked around my room and clearly perceived the presence of the writers who had taught me so much throughout my life: Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett.
I smiled with pleasure at what I considered a flight of imagination, and greeted them one by one with a handshake; behind appeared Socrates and beyond Plato.
I greeted Dante and Virgil, Racine and Edward Gibbon, Wilde, Joyce and Foucault.
Everyone congratulated me for reaching my goal.
It was actually a celebration. Why? I asked myself, and I immediately knew that they applauded the conception of my work.
At last I felt exhausted and went to bed.
In my dream someone said that difficult times would come, but that when the sea is shaken by a tidal wave, my voice will act as a tsunami that destroys men’s bad consciousness.
Next morning I woke up very calm and continued writing.
It was a hot Wednesday that first of June of 2011.
I was listening to music, as was my custom, and suddenly, around eleven in the morning, I felt the urgent need to listen to the Requiem by Tomás Luis de Victoria.
That music transported me to 1996, when as a film student from Philadelphia I had embarked on the tour de force of writing a 190-page script, in English, about the life of an honest prophetess under the reign of Felipe II in Spain.
In one of his scenes I had included the singing of the Eternal Peace Mass of Victoria, one of the summits of universal a cappella music, still, I think, very little known.
I was writing when, suddenly, I felt a flutter outside my window.
The sky was exceptionally blue and clear.
I got up and saw seven white doves, flapping their beautiful wings, hovering in the air.
I thought they were looking at me with their little eyes fixed, but no, they were looking at something or someone behind my back.
I looked up and noticed a cloud that started from the lintel of my window to infinity, a white carpet that extended from my ceiling to the highest point of the sky.
"A stairway to heaven," I thought, and returned to my meditative room, unable to grasp such beauty.
I walked a few steps to reach my camera, in order to photograph the exceptional images that surrounded me, but the sudden thought that they may disappear made me turn around to contemplate them again.
"They are for my eyes only," I thought, "I must see them through to their end."
And then I heard in my mind a clear voice that immobilized me:
"For your love of my precepts for forty years," it said, "I anoint you as my prophet."
The deepest part of my Being, that region to which reason does not have access but love, recognized with immense joy the presence of my Lord Jesus Christ and, kneeling, I fell on my knees to the ground, from where I raised my hands towards the doves and the cloud ascending or descending from the sky.
"I grant you all my blessings, with power to judge quick and dead," he continued, "and you'll melt our life in the forges of Toledo so that they know that we exist."
The fear of every writer is, from adolescence, to judge his characters, which are necessarily based on the relatives, friends or enemies that he or she knows throughout his life.
Already then I had had problems with some relatives as a result of the publication of Nuevas Tardes en Manhattan, because, they argued, he portrayed them as cruel individuals.
Now I remember Borges's essay on Dante, who gave himself the task of judging all the living and dead, from the ancient Greeks and Hebrews to his contemporaries. Borges postulates that this mission carried a possible eternal damnation.
I am now convinced that Dante also had an experience with his divinity to judge in his writings whom he had met, either in person or through conversations and readings of him.
-Why me, Lord? I asked shocked. I am a sinner!
"I don't judge you by your actions," he told me, applying the wisdom that had moved me three weeks ago, "I judge you by the intentions of your heart."
I didn't see anyone, but I felt his presence before me, like that of a friend who sees everyone and understands everything.
I felt he offered me his hand so I could get up and sit on my bed.
So I did, and I understood that he would talk to me.
I knew at the same time that it would be for half an hour.
My joy was indescribable. Big tears rolled down my cheeks. The Lord reassured me then flooding me with joy.
-What do you want to ask me? -He told me.
-Why I? I repeated excited.
He told me that he knew all the tribulations that I had suffered throughout my life for my fidelity to his precepts of honesty, transparency and love towards the underdog.
And I remembered that I always sought to help the loneliest and most underappreciated in my classes.
"I was with you when you suffered as a child," he told me, referring to my childhood, before and after the death of my little sister.
And he showed me that he had spared me from death on several occasions: when he brought me back to life after I died after falling from a moving van at the age of 8; when he held me in his hands so as not to fall from a wall of the Socorro Church at 12; when he healed me from a blow to the skull that prostrated me for two months at 15; when he disappeared individuals who wanted to stab me in the middle of the night on a deserted Porto street at 31; when my enemies conspired to get me into a car accident at 41.
And he saw me with pride, he continued, at the age of 18 leaving a meeting of conspirators who intended to destroy the life of a young man who, they said, had betrayed them.
He saw me paying my actors what was agreed, after a badly negotiated theater season, sacrificing my own benefit; he saw me forgiving in Paris those who had hurt me in Bucaramanga, helping them when no one else could help them.
Jesus saw me marrying a woman who did not love me and who only wanted to escape to Portugal from her mother's home; he also saw me suffering her abandonment, in silence, without grudge, in Bucaramanga; he saw me humiliated by perfidious bureaucrats in india and he saw me avoiding hurting a friend by taking him to Pondicherry.
“And sex?” I asked, referring to the temporary relationships I had had since my divorce.
I felt that I had crossed the limits of the trust that the Lord gave me.
"You don't have to look for it," he told me. "You haven't hurt anyone; in your relationships you have been sincere. When it happens without malice it is by consent. Kindness and cruelty coexist in all circles of life."
I thought his wisdom was divine, because all wisdom is, as Homer and Plato prescribed, divine.
We spoke about ontology and ethics.
“Take me with you! I begged him. I don't want to live in this world anymore! There is too much cheating, greed, envy and selfishness. I'm not happy here!”
"You don't know how much it hurts me that you're not with me," he told me with a sadness that shook me. “But you must write down all the battles you fought and are going to fight, for the knowledge of the world, and as a testimony of the happiness that I secretly grant to those who fulfill my precepts.”
“Do not write for your contemporaries, but for later generations, as a testimony of the power that well-intentioned hearts exercise over evil on this earth.”
His reference to the forges of Toledo indicated that I should burnish it first in my mother tongue, Spanish.
Thus, I renounced the tour de force of writing a book in English, because of the economy of French in Samuel Beckett's En Attendant Godot.
I wanted to ask another question, but his loving presence inhibited me from coordinating further thoughts.
"There's something I want to ask you," he told me.
"Anything, Lord," I said without hesitation, "and I'll do it immediately."
"It's the scene at the end of your movie script," he told me, "the one that takes place in Spain at the beginning of the 17th century.
“Tell me, sir.”
"I don't want it to be a play," he told me, "but a mass in the Escorial Basilica."
The Lord was asking me to destroy one of the most well-researched and elaborate scenes of my college years.
He had transcribed the plans of an Italian theater of that time, perfecting my Latin to directly translate the text of Seneca's tragedy Octavia.
"So it will be, Lord," I said humbly.
I felt that he would leave me.
“Do not leave me alone!” I exclaimed throwing myself to the ground.
"You never have been," he told me sweetly. Remember; In all the tribulations that you are going to have, and there will be many, I will always be by your side; the Holy Spirit would assist you in your words.”
And I returned to the silence of my bedroom.
Today I have transcribed what I heard and said that day after long intervals of sadness. How not to cry for that unique experience that I did not live again? The Lord's communication was not through words but through thoughts. And yet, what clarity! They were more concise than words can express.
I meditated for several minutes, with mixed feelings of joy and sorrow. At last I got up and went to the window, where the cloud that ascended to the sky was still intact. The white doves had already left. Then, as I gazed up at the sky, I felt a surge of sublime love.
“God!” I shouted feeling the presence of the Creator.
The palm trees swayed gently in the wind, but I realized that this movement was not casual, but worshipful. I opened my arms before the firmament and thanked God for that beautiful life he gave me. I felt that I could ask him for a favor.
“I want to see!” I exclaimed.
And I received the gift of knowing not only the feelings, but the minds and intentions of others; and by others I mean not only men, but also animals, plants, and objects.
Sensibility at the fingertips.
From that day my respect for everything created by God and by man became sacred, adopting, without realizing it then, Tibetan and Sioux beliefs.
The leaves shaken by the wind proudly called me to admire their efforts, and the cranes of the city under construction waved happy to serve man and, through him, the Creator. And I knew that from now on, and until the day of my death, it would be enough for me to remember that sublime afternoon of June 1, 2011 to be happy.
After a long meditation I contemplated the twilight of the best day of my life, and I corrected during the night, and until dawn, the film script The Prophetess, which has been available on the Internet since then.
The gifts that the Lord had given me would change my life and the lives of those around me, arousing love and animosity at the same time. The blessings received throughout these nine years, however, have far exceeded the disappointments that, like any visionary, I have endured.
I have already published, in the book of poems HYMNS TO LOVE (HIMNOS AL AMOR, 2021), a testimony of what happened that afternoon.
The Lord is witness to my fidelity of this story, which, after long delays, I let my brothers and sisters read and judge, as an offering, in gratitude to Jesus, God the father and the Holy Ghost.
I have already written that I prayed to Him in Cartagena, in the midst of the pandemic, on March 13, before a crowd of frightened workers, to keep the plague away from the heroic city, from my homeland, from my country.
The reasons why the Creator warned me on April 13, 2012 that the diseases would come to the world, I had already warned my relatives and close friends, as I will write in incoming chapters.
Little did I know, in the midst of my calm, that throughout the year and the next, I would wage spiritual battles in Thailand, India, Germany, Canada, the USA and Colombia, confronting earthquakes and cyclones, arousing the wrath of Hindu priests.
Gurus whose ancestors assassinated Saint Thomas the Apostle twenty centuries ago.
For since Abel any divine blessing arises envy and wickedness in the ignorant.