PLEASURE AND BOOKS
Ten years ago, Andrea Maturana
published “El daño” (“The Damage”), a novel inspired – in part by the story of her friend
Vinka. “Agua fresca en los espejos” is the real story of Vinka Jackson (Santiago, 1968), told by herself: sexually abused when she was a child by her own father, she has lived a hard passage to
become the woman she is today, capable of observing her past and to live her present. “I wish this wave of the horizon
/ as the only laurel for my crown”: this verse of Vicente Huidobro is invocated as a watchword against devastation and
fear, against the dissolution of affection in perversion (in the most atrociously wrong, contradictory and violent fashion).
This is an autobiographical story, touching, admirable. It is the chronic of a brutal incest, of no love and silence, and
of the possibility of healing.
Vinka Jackson works as psychologist, lives in Atlanta (USA), is married and has a daughter. Information which is not trivial since it demonstrates how she has been able to overcome a traumatic and “invisible” past (with many costs), to grow in spite of it, and, in words of her friend Andrea, “to give herself by her own hands all of that was denied to her during childhood, learning now to give it to others she loves”. The book has a subtitle “Sexual Child Abuse and Resilience“. And like in the verse, there was a horizon: her friends, her nanny, her school, spaces of affection where Vinka learned to be by and for herself.
It moves you deeply and it exasperates you, the circumstance of this girl, six
or seven years old, who lives in her own home like a fugitive, unable to feel safe or calm, constantly fearing the closeness
of a father that batters her (with total incomprehension and cynicism) because she wets her bed, molest her under the shower,
and, finally, rapes her. How could a rape be physically measured? Dreadful, this question illustrates the blindness or cowardness
of a third character, the mother. The daughter will answer three decades later: “A third, mother, that is how much.
And she adds to the physical metric, the temporal: “Thirty years, too. Almost my entire life”. That is the time
–so they say- that a person who lived and extreme suffering takes in verbalizing the experience with serenity and meaning.