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Balder y el anhelo de todo padre

Pablo Rodas-Martini

Mi hija parte este lunes hacia Turín por tres o cuatro años, a vivir con su hermano y a estudiar la universidad. El cariño entrañable que ambos se tienen es imposible de explicar, impenetrable para ningún otro, incluso para sus padres. Una relación fraternal, hasta de cómplices, que me asombra y me fascina.

Pensar en los hijos me trae a la mente la mitología nórdica y en particular la historia de Balder, cuya muerte dio lugar al Ragnarok, la lucha apocalíptica entre los dioses y los gigantes, batalla final que llegó a cubrir a los nueve mundos, y en la que hasta mueren Odín, el Allfather, y el más famoso de los dioses nórdicos, Thor, hijo de Odín, y segundo en la jerarquía de los dioses, y quien con su Mjollnir (su poderoso martillo) también era conocido como el dios del trueno o el auriga. Por cierto, el apocalipsis es similar al de otras religiones, incluido el apocalipsis cristiano (casi todas las religiones son un tanto aburridas con la creación, pero en particular con el apocalipsis): después del caos y la destrucción, se da el renacimiento del mundo. Como bien se concluye en uno de los libros nórdicos: “ese fue el final y este es el comienzo”.

Una de las leyenda que más me encanta de los nórdicos –no por el final, por supuesto, sino por todo lo que se trató de hacer para protegerle su vida- es la de Balder, también hijo de Odín… y de Frigg (Thor era hijo de Odín y Tierra, pero los dioses, fueran griegos o nórdicos, siempre andaban de amoríos), conocido como dios muy sabio y gentil, y por eso era muy querido por todos los demás dioses.

Balder comenzó a tener pesadillas. Su agonía fue conocida por todos los demás dioses que habitaban en el Valhalla, residencia también de los Einherjar (guerreros que morían en batallas) y de las famosas Valquirias (hermosas mujeres que recogían a esos guerreros de los campos de batalla). Los dioses temen que Balder pueda morir. Su madre, Frigg, muy preocupada, logra que todas las substancias de la tierra le juren que no dañarán a su hijo: las piedras, el fuego, el hierro, la tierra, los árboles, todas las enfermedades, todos los animales, y hasta los granos de sal.

Pero Loki, el maléfico dios, hijo de dos gigantes y que después lideraría a los gigantes en el Ragnarok contra los dioses, se convierte en una anciana (Loki tenía esa cualidad, y por eso también era conocido como el cambiador de forma, entre otros nombres), y logra que Frigg le cuente que logró el juramento de todos, excepto de un pequeño arbusto que crecía en Valhalla: “tan pequeño, que ni me molesté en hacerlo”, le dice ella.

Mientras los dioses se divierten con Balder tirándole espadas, dardos, piedras, solo para comprobar la resistencia del áurea que lo protege, Loki ubica el pequeño arbusto. Corta una rama. La afila y la convierte en un filudo dardo . Va hacia donde están los dioses divirtiéndose con el poder asombroso de Balder. Le dice a Hod, hermano de Balder, que pruebe con ese dardo. Este se burla de que algo tan pequeño pueda dañar al hermano. Loki le coloca el dardo en su mano, y le dice que la guiará para que logre acertar. Hod lo lanza, y lo mata.

Terrible, no. El final era previsible desde el momento en que la leyenda dice que todas las substancias juraron no matarlo… uno ya podía sospechar que el hechizo iba a dejar algo sin cubrir. Lo asombroso no es eso sino el gran cariño que todos los demás dioses le tenían a Balder, y sobre todo la desmesurada protección que Frigg, su madre, se afana por darle, para que nadie ni nada le dañe.

Todos los padres quisiéramos proteger a nuestros hijos hasta las antípodas. Ella parte con 17 años recién cumplidos, mientras él lo hizo a los 18 años. Cuánto quisiera poderlos proteger de todo, como hizo Frigg, pero así es la vida: extiendan sus alas y transiten los cielos por su cuenta. Ustedes son muy maduros y sé que sabrán cuidarse y, por supuesto… disfruten la vida.

*Pablo Rodas-Martini tiene un Ph.D. y un M.Sc. en Economía por el Queen Mary and Westifeld College de la Universidad de Londres.

 

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