Gente que Cuenta

by Leonor Henríquez

Ronald Bolokofsky Atril press
Ronald Bolokofsky
Climbing the stairs to success, s/f

leer en español

     In German it is ausgang.

I learned this word one day when I got lost in a train station in Frankfurt. I only know apfelstrudel in German.

In English it is much easier, exit: salida in Spanish.

Today I want to refer to a strange coincidence between the English word exit (from Latin exitus) and another term that, in Spanish and in every language, hangs over us all our lives as a tacit mandate, self-imposed or not.

It is an elusive word, sometimes overvalued, confusing, like that verse from the Bitter Truths, “what shines has a place, even it is copper that shines for gold…”

A way of living that each one interprets as they feel like it, and which exhibits as many nuances as there are people in the world.

Perhaps you already guessed, I mean the word “SUCCESS” (excuse the capital letters, and the coincidence which only works in Spanish ÉXITO). Exitus: exit, salida; from Latin salire, which curiously means to jump.

Success, that word that can be so complex, is curiously defined by the DRAE (Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy) with astonishing simplicity: “happy result…” it says.

In order not to give more thought to the matter, I will keep the authorized voice of the DRAE and hope everyone gets their own.

Perhaps success is achieved as a bonus by practicing kindness (as a very dear uncle once told me, the greatest of virtues, thank you Roberto) and living with integrity.

I can only say that my exitus, my daily jump, my happy result, my “ausgang”, “exit” or whatever you want to call it, is turning off the light every night, curling up in my bed with a smile on my lips and peace in my heart.

“Peace that rises at dawn
And at night doesn’t die.”
Raphael Alberti
(Spanish poet)

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570

Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Civil Engineer by training (UCAB 1985), writer and apprentice poet by vocation. From her time in engineering emerged her Office Stories (1997), another way of seeing the corporate world. Her latest publications include reflections on grief, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( and “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021) ( an allegory of life inside Mom’s belly.
Today she shares her “impulsive meditations” from Calgary, Canada, where she lives.

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