As Fish in the Water: Orfilia Salazar Gutierrez "In Memoriam" (1933-2023)

Dear Mom:

You left us as you always lived. Calm, serene, confident. You were, in this way, very different from Rodrigo, your husband, my father. He was by nature visionary and enterprising, to the point of becoming impetuous, impatient, and even testy when things and events did not go as he had planned. Father represented the "prescriptive" element in the family, the forward thrust, the aspiration to the ideals and models that change and improve us. But, in the negative, Rodrigo was the anxio-genic element in the family. Even as adults—with him and his gaze—we did not feel relaxed. You, on the other hand, embodied the "descriptive" dimension of the family, summed up in the idea that "we are beautiful as we are today." You surely were the anxio-lytic component in the family, the relaxing element. So in you we immediately found peace, acceptance, inclusion, and sweetness. Two archetypes, two contrasting poles, which are difficult to put together. The German philosopher Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno, applying this dichotomy to music, connected the forward thrust to Schönberg, visible for example in his opera "Moses and Aaron."[1] Then the second—stability—he connected to Stravinsky’s idea of music, like his ballet "The Firebird."[2]

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May God’s amazing grace comfort you. Beautiful tribute. Thank you.


Remarkable, sensitive reflection on a unique family. Lovely writing.

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