Gente que Cuenta

Horoscopes and obituaries,
by Leonor Henríquez

Rik Wouters Atril press e1700698439951
Rik Wouters,
Mujer de negro leyendo un periódico, 1912

leer en español

      I read in one of my notebooks that fulfillment consists of the ability to find inspiration every day of life.

Atril is my challenge, but the fascinating thing about inspiration is that it arises from insignificant and even trivial details.

In this case, the idea for this reflection arose from a conversation with some new friends, about the forgotten pleasure of reading a real newspaper.

I confessed to them, almost embarrassed, that the first thing I read in the weekend newspaper, which my neighbor lends me, is the horoscope.

My new friend told me that the first thing he sees in the press are the obituaries, to make sure his name does not appear there.

I loved his sense of humor and I confessed to him that the dead section is the second of my priorities in the newspaper. Then I read the books, art, and opinion section. I completely skip the financial section because I am illiterate on the subject. As my beloved husband said, “if we invest in cemeteries, people stop dying.”

But because people continue to die in the end, newspaper obituaries are a reminder of our own fragility.

I don’t want to sound sad or morbid on this topic, so, for now, I’m going to enjoy my Globe&Mail horoscope with a nice cup of coffee.

Aries: “the only person who can make your dreams come true is the person you see in the mirror.”

I’ll look at myself out of the corner of my eye, to see if I still recognize me.

Afterwards, I will go straight to the end of the second body of the newspaper and offer my respects to those who left us. I will read carefully the words dedicated to them, honest words, written from the soul.

They are not sad stories; they are love stories.

I know it very well. I have mine.

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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