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The Many Faces of Mauricio Saravia | Bruce Hall Coaching
October 5th, 2010

The Many Faces of Mauricio Saravia

“I live for today, not for yesterday.
The theology of time has long ago disappeared, today.
For the past and the future would always meet,
and existence will walk by your side.”
―Mauricio Saravia

At the end of the day, there is no choice. The truth cannot be ignored. Life is not like a play. We do not get to rehearse. No amount of practice will bring to light a more distinguishing role. That is why at all times we must absolutely, positively be ourselves.

I know my eyes are dark like the color of deep lake water on quiet moonless nights. Their guarded unrevealing nature, however, has tangible advantages. They are instruments of protection from the capricious nature of fate and the unswerving gaze of others. You may ask questions, draw conclusions, stare rudely, or turn away, but you will never be able to penetrate the miserable circumstances of my chronic pain and disfigurement. Only I must reconcile the concrete with the abstract, and find courage to awake each morning in a misshapen prison of hard-hearted facts, crushed together in a small space.

At least I am not boring. You cannot describe my features at the risk of simplifying them. Where else can you dispense with illusions, so quickly?

I admit my eyes also appear frail on occasion, worn out from life, disenchanted with a body ordained by fate. Some days their inexhaustible disappointment influences my walks along the beach. Under a jeweled sunset with water lapping at my feet, I glance out to sea and solemnly challenge the ocean for a wave to sweep me away.

On the other hand, during gifted moments of illumination, my eyes display a certain dream-state delicacy, which is gentle, round and well focused. With elegance and certain pride, I allow them to take in the world and organize it like a camera’s lens. They absorb shape, embrace color and scan for activity even in hard to reach places. They scrutinize people, investigate things, and examine ideas down to the smallest detail. Hidden among dark shadows where the great unknown is said to exist, they explore for answers. As they search, organize, test, observe, and draw conclusions, I am the director of my own secret destiny. This is the one place where no one else’s attempt to judge or define me even vaguely by my appearance is of any great consequence.

I acknowledge my dark hair has a will of its own. A few loose strands in the front trickle down my wide expansive forehead like rivulets of water. Though dense and shoulder length this black cape draped around the back of my neck has no mission or sense of place. Thus with insufficient coverage my McCune-Albright’s syndrome is pushed out into the world, fully exposed and deeply vulnerable.

I know my face is the shape of destiny, seen from a distance with imaginative ease, viewed close at hand in a mythological sense. Its reflection in others grows in proportion to the view they have of themselves. Look at my expression, how muscles move, and lips form a smile, just like you. See how capable I am of sadness, humor, and joy in harmony with all of life. Yes, it’s true, we are more alike than you think. So, imagine my surprise to discover, on occasion, how flat and shallow some people cut and paste their first impressions. It’s disturbing enough to sit alone and contemplate why the universe forms as it usually does in celestial experimentation without being reminded that the luckless star in one prophetic moment had to be me.

I know the appearance of my body resembles large stones in a rapid river, stripped and polished to the flow of the current. I understand the elemental reason of nature: that nothing is certain, everything is elusive, and time eventually wears away the thin veneer of flesh and bone from each of us. Physical limitations I must endure with fateful reluctance. However, what matters most is what I aspire to, even if only to combat the inevitable force of life.

I refuse to accept physicality as my only defining element. I will not half-sleep through life, regardless of a body reformed in it’s own limitations. Quite the contrary, for I have discovered true liberation on the days I awake astonishingly free from the flow of restriction.

Despite poor health, I am a poet. I write to justify life and make it appear logical. I compose for pleasure. I produce words not as fabrication, but as proof of a destiny, no one can ignore. At times, I fail. The struggle is long and arduous. However, sadder, much sadder to contemplate is the thought of no fruit on the ground, whatsoever.

My longing for expression is pervasive. This tremendous passion for language has rescued me from the oblivion of that other life, where only appearances garner respect. I unite with all poets who seek to fine their way through the labyrinths of wording, structure, and emotional complexity. Silence is our common enemy. Phrasing poses an intractable problem. Once you go so far, you risk falling off the edge. Redemption is a completed poem. The rest is insignificant. The eyes, a mouth, lost among thousands of others slip away in anonymity. Have you forgotten that memories fade, but poetry lives forever?

I write to understand the ephemeral nature of creativity. Yet, other more concrete possibilities pass through my life, so I also take the initiative to paint, for is not the soul of love manifested in physical things, as well? In either event, both give rise, full and complete, to a state of happiness as rich as I can imagine.

It has been suggested some of my images are dark and melancholic, while others reverberate with illumination. This is right on both counts. More importantly, each at one time was like a child yet born, eventually brought into the world through my own singular vision.

I paint to show human imagination can take many forms. I am not restricted by the dark, heavy, elemental nature of fate, which some see in my work, nor the translucent state of positive energy, converted into physical presence, which others observe. Rather, what is happening to me, what I choose to focus upon, is the development of my own creative process. I know my heart demands expression to reduce the shame and despair. I paint to feel the heat from each canvas. I produce to scorch away youthful dreams and disappointment. Imagination is the driving force.

I must see things differently. Understanding is my goal. Knowledge is my key. My resourcefulness is an outlet given hope. Any reasonable explanation will suffice that explains away the distressing reflection seen from a mirror. Anyway, after the fact, let each work speak for itself. Of greater importance to me is that I dearly love them all.

Finally, there is another face I must reveal for it is covered in moments of loneliness. It is the face of isolation, rejection, and fear. It’s wearisome enough to occasionally lay head down in hand and be quiet. Perhaps at this time, my soul fills with pity. The world is heavy. The lights are dim. The pain from my rare, medical condition is fully formed and constant. I brood for a while.

I also know on these days that eventually my supreme faith will assert itself. Storms do subside, winds inevitably cease, and the sun will emerge bright and glorious.

There are many projects I have accomplished, many more still on my mind and not enough time to sufficiently address them all. This frustrates me. Still, I am grateful the gift of life includes many generous, loving souls who continue to play a significant role during crucial times in my struggle to survive.

As you might imagine, it’s not easy to live on the edge of this perplexing contradiction. Nothing will change for appearance sake. I cannot shut the blinds. There is no place to hide. So, I work on becoming exceptionally optimistic. I adjust and hypothesize. I set goals. I remain a man of substance. In other words, I alone decide the narrative of my compound being. I am unique. I am capable of any undertaking. I am Mauricio Saravia and I will create my own mythology.

I have faced constant pain, sorrowful looks, and financial insecurity. I have faced creative challenges, extended love, and many a feeling of joyful experience. I have endured uneasy awareness, strangeness in my own body, and the unknowable future. However, I am thankful for the melody of my mother’s supportive voice, the ability to write, create music, plow the narrow fields of a landscape in painting, and feel the triumphant rush of a life well lived.


Sadly, Mauricio passed away in 2008 at the age of thirty-eight. Therefore, his thoughts and ideas as expressed in this narrative are mine alone and I accept full responsibility for the content.

My inspiration was a reflection of many hours spent in conversation with his mother, Maria (Marisa) Eloisa Damele, who introduced me to Mauricio’s poetry, paintings, music, and family photographs of him growing up. Her unconditional support throughout the entire writing process is deeply appreciated.

Marisa also provided me with important videos. I watched her son’s gentle mannerisms while he walked along the beach. I heard his patient, soothing voice in response to questions about his artwork. This knowledge base provided a standard of measurement without which I could not have created a word. Finally, special thanks to photographer Faye Sadou for contributing her beautiful portraits of Mauricio, and photographer Maria Ventura of Ventura Imagery for her stunning photographs of his paintings.

Saravia…The Official Site

Saravia – One Man. A Dream. His Journey.

Mauricio Saravia – Painter – Musician – Poet

Faye Sadou

Ventura Imagery

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20 comments to The Many Faces of Mauricio Saravia

  • Like all, I’m glad we have his memory and inspiration to revisit.

    “I refuse to accept physicality as my only defining element. ” If only everyone could do just this I think we’d all love instead of judge each other more often.

    Be BOLD,

  • Bryan Cullison

    You did a really good job of capturing what I feel were Mau’s essential values and drives. Having known him well for the last 3 years of his life on this earth, I am in a pretty good position to be able to say that. It wasn’t until I got to the end that I even realized that this was not his writing that was just posthumously published Thanks for your hard work on this.

  • I agree with Bryan: it feels very much like Mauricio would have put it in words. He was a gentle man, kind, intelligent, a philospopher and an artist. I am happy to have known him and even to have worked with him. Jorrit.

  • 1 minute ago
    My name is Les Brandt. I’m writing this from Los Angeles, CA. One of my lifes most cherieshed memories or should I say “gift” was the relationship I had with Mauricio Saravia. Though short in measurement by revolutions of the Moon around the Earth. Watching this video reminded me of the times I’ve held his soft, gentle and kind giving hands, my ears hearing his melodic laugh, my eyes seeing the rare beauty of a soul tangibly manifested, my lips kissing his warm cheek in goodbyes…my friend.

  • Watch a great short with Mauricio narrating here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnloMSe4R30

    What an AMAZING person, life and soul.

    Love ALL Ways,


  • dawid szmyd

    ” if i was to die today i would miss alot tomorrow” d.s

    “does a blind, deaf JUDGE, judge?”

    till the next journey brother
    Te amo, mi gran hermano !!!!!
    Viva Mau!!!!!!!!!

  • Hans Hinnen

    This brought many memories of Mauricio and his mother Marisa back to me. I knew a few more faces of Mau. To me he was a friend, a human soul, a brother. His persistance in the face of adversity was and still is an example to all who knew him. And so, he lives on in our memories, his work and in our hearts.

  • I will never forget the interview I did to Mauricio. I remembered I had tears in my eyes at the end of it. I couldn’t help it.
    In those five minutes he taught me a lot about life!
    He was a real gift to the World.
    It is never too late. We still can learn from his legacy.

  • Marly Ashtin

    Mauricio….*sigh*..Was a true inspiration. One of the most appreciative memories that I was able to experience was the honor of shaking his hand, hugging him, kissing him and listening to him and being able to call him my friend. As an artist myself, I looked up to him a great deal and I will never forget nor erase a single part in my memory of him and our time together. Hes my brother, my friend, my co-worker…he has more life in his eyes than a single person can point out. I still am in disbeliefe, however, I am confidant that he still lives on through his work and in all of our hearts… I love you Mauricio!….and as u always said…”I am here now”…and indeed you are my friend…indeed you are!

    Marly Ashtin
    Spokes Model

  • What an inspiration Mauricio was to me and to many others! The words he spoke, the art he created and the pure love of life that he had was out of this World and despite all the difficult moments he may have had, he made it seem not so difficult.
    I loved watching him out dance everyone on the floor while I was DJing at the local club in Denver as well as in LA, his energy was like no other! I was very fortunate to spend many moments with Mauricio and his Mother Marisa. I can picture all the good times we had I will never forget them. When ever I feel down, Mauricio brings me right up. I love you Mauricio.
    Love Always,

  • Such an inspiration to any free-thinker and creative writer. He is missed.

  • Daniel Mitchell

    Mauricio Saravia, what a sweet soul! Of all the inspiring people I’ve ever known, Mauricio was the most positive, humble, grateful, and artistically talented. It was truly an honor to know Mauricio and to draw from his strength of character. It is also an honor to keep his memory alive. The alluring strength of Mauricio without a doubt came from the strength of his mother, Marisa, who embodied the truest form of motherly love and devotion to her child. Mauricio will never be forgotten since he has etched such a deep brotherly impression within my being.

    Daniel Mitchell

  • Hello! I am Mauricio’s mother. I want to express here, how moved and thankful I am for your comments on this blog. You are sensitive and loving people who met Mauricio at a certain moment in your lives and some stayed connected close, some others not so much, but I see that none of you forgot him. I encourage you to find your passion in life and focus on what is inside you. We all have beautiful things in ourselves that we should be sharing with others. And for those who visit this site and never met Mauricio, please, comment, you can also use a nickname. You can also leave questions. I gave enough topics for discussion. God bless you all!!!

  • Jay

    Mauricio was the person many should have met. They would have seen his willingness to hear your story and encourage you to follow that dream, and not waste your time. He was truly s person who lived a lot of life in his short time, ans ceased every moment. I hope more will be able to glimpse into his life through his creative endeavors that he has left us with.

  • Anna Andrianakos

    Amazing it was good to see aspects of my friend again. You did an amazing job portraying what he was about. Best of luck to you.
    Anna G. Andrianakos

  • I love Mauricio and know I will see him again. He’s not gone because we hold him dearly in our hearts. Marisa, thank you for being whom you are. I love you too!

    I want to read Mauricio’s biography. Can’t wait. Now please!

  • Tanya Masloff

    I hope that his story can be written in a book so his legacy, passion and dreams can be heard by the greater masses and continued.

  • Astonishingly beautiful art. Truly, we lost a visionary with Mauricio’s passing.

  • Mauricio is missed dearly everyday- Melinda

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