Apología del lápiz, apología del recuerdo…

Un grafito, una goma. Un trazo lento pero seguro. Un canto a la vida, al recuerdo. Un tesoro de la vieja guardia. Pronto, un imaginario que recorrerá los museos de colección. Una infancia. Una Apología del lápiz.

Arnoldo Kraus (Ciudad de México, 1951) escribe con el prisma; Vicente Rojo (Barcelona, 1932), con el pincel. El común denominador es uno: defender al lápiz. Kraus lo hace con las palabras; Rojo se encarga de ilustrarlas.

“En el libro, Arnoldo ejemplifica su visión de que el ayer es viejo y el hoy pronto será ayer con las aventuras, la intimidad, el calor y la huella que puede dejarnos un simple lápiz. Sin embargo, el lápiz no es tan simple, más bien es algo complejo y ambiguo. Si bien es cierto que con él se puede escribir, también es cierto que con él se puede borrar”, dice Vicente Rojo, pintor y escultor mexicano.

“Cuando comencé a escribir este pequeño ensayo no supe cómo llamarlo. Encontré que la palabra apología era una buena palabra para defender algo. Defender los lápices en una época en donde todo ahora es desechable y en donde todo lo que aparentemente tiene poco valor se tira, se cambia o se le hace algo nuevo que sustituya a lo viejo es crucial. Con el lápiz el contacto es más profundo y personal, es más parte de la historia de uno. Hacer una apología de lo que en algún momento dejará de tener importancia o, sencillamente, dejará de existir, es el motivo de este texto”, explica Arnoldo Kraus, médico y catedrático de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, al propósito de su texto.

Kraus reconoce sentirse preocupado ante la llegada de las nuevas tecnologías y cómo éstas tienen un impacto en la forma en la que los jóvenes, principalmente, se valen de los celulares, las computadoras y iPads para escribir. “¿Qué pasará cuando domine lo desechable? ¿En 20 o 30 años los jóvenes habrán dejado de utilizar el lápiz por completo?”, se pregunta. “Intentar recobrar algunas cosas de la vieja escuela por medio de la apología del lápiz y, por supuesto, del papel de los libros, sigue siendo muy vigente”, asegura. Ése es el sentido del libro, remembrar a lo viejo.

“Siento que con el lápiz uno se puede instalar en alguna escritura donde se da ese gran gozo. Agarrar un lápiz y una goma para mí es un privilegio mayor que el que puede ofrecer la gran parafernalia de la tecnología. Lo que se construye y se borra son las huellas de los testimonios del tiempo (dermatogrifos). Conforme el lápiz se achica se vuelve más íntimo pues contiene recuerdos y pedazos de vida. Por eso el lápiz es el papel de la escritura; es memoria y es presente”, explica el también autor de Cuando la muerte se aproxima (2011).

En el homenaje que Arnoldo rinde al lápiz cuenta que “los lápices con los que él ha escrito se han empequeñecido y, como es natural, los ha tenido que dejar de usar. Incapaz de desprenderse de ellos los ha ido guardando en cajas a las que les pone nombres: “Nostalgia”, “Melancolía”. A veces las abre con frecuencia, según nos dice, mira los lápices y los acaricia con tristeza. El más chico mide tres centímetros, el mayor alcanza los cuatro”, relata Rojo.

Rojo agradece a Kraus la hechura de Apología del lápiz (Conaculta, 2011), un canto de amor a la vida en donde él ha dedicado su sabiduría médica y su pasión por la escritura al más atesorado de los géneros literarios, el ensayo: “Ahora contemplo el lápiz que sigue en mi mano, la materia de grafito se ha convertido en un objeto con alma y corazón. El lápiz es el instrumento esencial que me ha acompañado tanto en instantes de emoción como en duda o vacilaciones”.

Además, Rojo trae a la memoria a Paul Auster, cuando este, en uno de sus relatos, cuenta cómo se hizo escritor: “Tenía ocho años y era aficionado al beisbol. Un día, al salir de uno de los partidos con su padre, se encontró afuera de los vestuarios de los jugadores con Willie Mays y se atrevió a pedirle un autógrafo. ‘Claro —dijo Mays—, ¿tienes un lápiz?’. Ni él ni su padre ni su madre pudieron conseguirlo. ‘Lo siento —dijo Mays—, si no tienes un lápiz no puedo firmarte mi autógrafo’ y salió del estadio. El pequeño Auster comenzó a llorar y así siguió hasta llegar a la casa. Algunos años más tarde decidió que después de aquella noche comenzaría a llevar un lápiz consigo mismo a donde fuera. ‘Adquirí la costumbre de no salir de casa sin antes cerciorarme de que llevaba un lápiz en algún sitio’. Auster dijo: ‘Si llevas un lápiz en el bolsillo, hay bastantes posibilidades de que un día te sientas tentado a utilizarlo. Así es como me hice escritor’.”

Vicente Rojo utiliza la anécdota como punto de partida para compartir un recuerdo íntimo, que se lee así: “Quizás —imagino— lo primero que hace un niño con la mano es acariciar a su madre. Pero después con esa misma mano lo que hará será tomar un lápiz. Con él, al aprender a escribir sobre su primer libro escolar, traza una calurosa letra, la p y luego una a, sigue con el lápiz y dice papá. Después, en su misma libreta, aprende a dibujar: una casa, un árbol, un gato, un papalote, un cielo estrellado, una montaña, un avión, y —según recuerdo— entonces descubre que los lápices son sortilegios. No lo sabe aún pero lo va a iluminar a lo largo de todo su camino.

”Yo sigo con el lápiz en la mano y, mucho antes de que se transfigure en pincel, abro mi caja de lápices. Son 40. Es otra y es la misma caja de la infancia aunque sólo tenía ocho años. A todos ellos les he rendido respeto, con el mismo cariño que Arnoldo Kraus les tiene a los suyos. Así que cuando me invitó a colaborar con él en la realización de su homenaje al lápiz, supe que yo podía sumarme a ese elogio con mis propias memorias. Con el ayer y el hoy, siempre con un lápiz en la mano, siempre bailando entre los dedos de mi mano izquierda”.

Feria Internacional del Libro del Palacio de Minería / ICN

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