“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
― Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, 1951
TERESA WILMS MONTT POET FROM CHILE (Viña del Mar, 1893 – París 1921): She was born in a wealthy family, daughter of Federico Guillermo Wilms Montt and Brieba, and his wife Luz Victoria Montt and Montt. Given the social context of that time, her primary instruction was given to her by governesses and particular teachers.
When Teresa turned 17, she got married with Gustavo Balmaceda Valdés. In the following years (1911 y 1913) she gave birth to her daughters, Elisa and Silvia Luz. Almost right after the wedding, the problems between Gustavo and Teresa started, mainly due to how much the husband felt aggravated by his wife’s personality, who frequently attended to literary gatherings, and followed the anarchist ideals, and free masonry. Gustavo reacted sheltering himself in the gambling and alcohol; Teresa, on her side, sheltered herself in her friend and Gustavo’s cousin, Vicente Balmaceda Zañartu (whom she will refer on the future at her diaries as Jean).
After numerous marital conflicts, moving from one city to another and letters from Vicente Balmaceda addressed to Teresa, Gustavo Balmaceda convened a family trial, which contaminated her confinement in the convent of Preciosa Sangre, which she entered on October 18th of 1915, and escaped from it on June of 1916 setting off for Buenos Aires, helped by Vicente Huidobro. During her stay in the convent, she started a journal, in which she wrote her feelings about the loss of her daughters, being separated from Vicente Balmaceda and the motivations for her first suicide attempt on March 29th, 1916.
In Buenos Aires, she contributed to Nosotros magazines, in which also did contributed Gabriela Mistral and Ángel Cruchaga Santa María, among others. She also published her first work “Inquietudes Sentimentales”, a collection of fifty poems with surrealistic threads, that enjoyed an amazing success among the intellectual circles of Buenos Aires society. the same happened to “Los Tres Cantos”, work that explored eroticism and spirituality.
Two years after this work and after traveling to Barcelona and New York, she came back to Buenos Aires and published “Cuentos para Hombres que Todavía son Niños”. In it she evoked her childhood and some vital experiences, in tales of great originality and fantasy. “En la Inquietud del Mármol” was published in Barcelona and constituted a lyric toned elegy, made of 35 fragments, which central leitmotif was death. Written on first person, she focused her interest on the mediating role of love between life and death.
She continued traveling across Europe, visiting London and Paris, but always being a resident of Madrid. In 1920 she was reunited with her daughters in Paris; but after they were separated she become gravely ill. In this crisis, she consumed a large dose of Barbital , and she died on December 24th 1921.
In the last pages of her diary, she wrote: “To die, after feeling everything and being nothing…”.
Source count of the Moon
Help me, please, I am sinking
Sinking deeper in some sort of colorless Mud
You are not reaching out for my Hand
And although it is close, I can not grab it
When you sensed me, you even moved your hand away
I desperately tried to reach out further
So many faces surrounding me
They keep coming closer and like a dense fog
I am drowning while the fog takes my vision
Its getting colder and I start to shiver
I try to reach for the ground below me
But my feet are without weight sensing the abyss below
The faces look upon me in pity
They are speaking, but in weird voices
Are they talking to or about me
The sounds feel like words of mercy without love
There is only one voice I desperately long for
But this one I do not hear
Whispering, my love, do not worry, I am here.
Now it becomes clear you were never there
I am sinking deeper and deeper
There is no hope left
Was your love ever real?
Panic feeds a darkness at the heart of my Soul
I cant see anything anymore, not even the shapes
Your hand is gone and there is nothing else to grab on to
I surrender and fall into the depth
All alone my soul is drowning
2010 – Monique Lucy Weberink