“Jotica madura!” are two words commonly heard at my family reunions whenever anyone is conversing with my grandfather. You see Jotica is very much like Don Quixote: he sees life the way no one else sees it. Jotica finds adventures in simple walks to the grocery store; he finds danger in innocent babies; and he has the mastery to make the simple moments in life fascinating and the bumps on the road smooth. Jotica is the reason why I believe in the power of living a quixotic life.
When I was still young, my grandfather, Jotica, taught me everything I needed to know to survive in this wretched world. He taught me how to slay evil monsters- my grandmother’s French Poodle Tota (she had my grandmother’s temperament, may she rest in peace), and how to tame gigantic dragons – his pet canaries Lolita and Jose. Jotica gave me the original Bambi who inspired Disney’s movie, Bambi. I recently found out my Bambi was just a cow. He incited me to start my first collection by helping me fill my pockets with magical frogs. My mom never let me use those pants again! He proved to me that the floor is never a bad place to sleep as long as you have the proper materials to make a “cambuche,” which requires three blankets and two pillows. A properly built “cambuche” is undeniably more intriguing than any bed. Jotica taught me that no matter where you are during an earthquake you always have to keep your head up and your stance firm: a few months ago I saw the rope bridge that he would swing back and forth as I attempted to cross it; it was only three feet high and seven feet long. He led me through expeditions around my muddy backyard and around my mother’s decorative carpets. Once she started yelling about the mud prints on her carpets; Jotica calmly told her to let it dry and brush it off the next day.
Life lessons. They’re never forgotten. Usually life lessons are learned through tough and rugged moments, but Jotica taught me the most valuable one when the storms of life were still calm. You see, life works in a completely random manner; life is unpredictable. Life works just like a dream; it is filled with fantastical occurrences that go far beyond mankind’s reach. There is one problem. I myself have encountered this problem and the seven billion people in this world have all encountered this problem. The problem is an obvious one, but a hard one to correct. I have tried, we have tried, this world has tried to make this life systematical, to make this life make sense, and forgotten about the beauty of life’s nonsensical behavior. Living in a quixotic manner, living my wildest dreams, seeing pass the boring flower and grasping the magnificent texture of its petals, I have noticed that life’s stresses fade away and a new life is born, a new life filled with hope and a sense of comfort that all humanity should experience. Jotica taught me when I was young and now, forget about the war, forget about the economy, look at the sky, and remember to live your life as if it were a dream, remembering that by the time you wake up, it will all be gone.
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