(Confessions of a voyeuse)

I bike away from cars, buildings, cement

Into nature

I crave the connection, the experience of the spiritual

I sit, camouflaged, surrounded only by trees, birds and minuscule species

Ready to tune in to the energetic, the primal current, the breathing earth

No human voice, just the distant sound of water, the touch of the wind, the smell of soil

And then I spot them

A man and a woman lying naked under the sun

Intertwined in a sensual dance behind the bushes across the river

They caress, safe from the gaze of others, or so…

Elles ne se connaissent pas. Elles sont assises autour d’une grande table garnie de fromage, de pain, d’olives et de thon à tartiner. Au début, personne ne touche à la nourriture. La lumière est chaude, il n’y a pas de musique ; ce serait une distraction. Onze femmes d’âges, de couleurs, de tailles, de milieux, de professions, de caractères différents sont présentes. Elles ont une chose en commun. Elles ont toutes été victimes de harcèlement sexuel de la part de professionnels de la santé. Pour certaines, l’incident s’est produit il y a des années, voire des décennies, pour d’autres très…

They don’t know each other. They sit around a table set with cheese, bread, olives, and tuna spread. Nobody touches the food. The light is warm, there is no music; it would be a distraction. Eleven women of different ages, colours, sizes, backgrounds, occupations, characters. They have one thing in common. They have all been a victim of sexual harassment by healthcare practitioners. For some, the incident happened years, even decades ago, for others very recently. The host sits at the table and wonders: Do we have a collective purpose? Is this a movement? Will this lead us somewhere?


u r 10, (with inventory) KAFFEEZIMMER. „Wir sitzen, trinken Kaffee und schauen einfach aus dem Fenster“, Rheydt 1993

George de La Tour (1645)

Georgetown, Washington DC, 1988

Along with “pass me the salt”

And “we have to take the car to the garage”

Let me just say,

You’ve made me happy all these years

Before lightning ends your life or mine

Let me whisper in your ear

That I crave your embrace

That you’re the mast I gladly cling to

I, an untameable animal, lover of my freedom and the confinement of your arms

Let me tell you, lest the moment slip away,

Between “we haven’t finished the tax return” and “the printer’s run out of ink”

That I love you beyond all limits

With the certainty…

Georgetown, Washington, 1988

A côté d’un “passe-moi le sel”

Et un “on doit emmener la voiture au garage”

Laisse-moi te dire

Que tu m’as rendu heureuse toutes ces années.

Avant qu’un éclair ne mette fin à nos vies

Laisse-moi te dire à l’oreille que j’aime tes bras.

Que tu es un mât auquel je m’accroche.

Moi, oiseux libre, aimant de ma liberté autant que du confinement de ton étreinte

Laisse-moi te dire, oui, ne laisse pas ce moment m’échapper,

Entre “nous n’avons pas fini la déclaration d’impôts” et “l’imprimante n’a plus d’encre”

Que je t’aime sans mesure

Avec la certitude que tu es…

Stauffacher bookshop, Bern, April 2021

The shelf labelled “Libros Españoles” holding books in Spanish irritates me.

I now challenge the salesperson every time I see it.

“Excuse me, would you place Friederich Dürrenmatt, Max Frisch, and other Swiss authors under “German Books”? I asked the salesman at Stauffacher in Bern yesterday.

He looked puzzled, so I tried to explain,

“You see, many of the books you have on this shelf are not “Spanish books”. Take Isabel Allende, she’s Chilean, Borges, Argentinian, García Márquez, Colombian, Vargas Llosa, Neruda…oh, you even have Joël Dicker here in Spanish, he’s Swiss. There is a difference between Books in Spanish

Yesterday, while browsing in a bookstore in Bern, I stumbled upon the letter you wrote to your psychiatrist on February 4, 1963. I heard the voice of a clinically depressed, sensitive artist, and mother, making a colossal effort to keep her head above water.

“I write from London where I have found a flat & an au pair and can see ahead financially for about a year…What appals me is the return of my madness, my paralysis, my fear & vision of the worst…” [1]

Exactly one week later, at the age of thirty, you took your own life.


Ya nadie mas se sentará en el Eames lounge chair

A todos les quedará grande

Solo ella, con su mirada ancestral, presidía desde allí, observando impávida el ir y venir de vidas agitadas

Podría uno confundir su actitud con soberbia

Pero no, era la sabiduría de quien está de vuelta de todo y calla

Majestuosa en su sillón, buscaba enseñarnos lo inmaterial, lo absoluto, lo bueno, lo imperecedero

Polo a tierra, fuerza centrípeta, punto de encuentro, Violeta

Era una perra citadina, no le gustaba la casa de campo que debía compartir con perros igualados

Sabía siempre quién en casa la…

Ximena Escobar de Nogales

Colombian, Swiss, and Spanish, mother of three, volunteer tutor in prison. Impact advisor, co-founder El Boga Foundation, apprentice storyteller, dog walker.

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