Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Elizabeth & Antonio

My landscape is changing again. 

I feel a tug towards my culture. Then when I get there, I remember why I turned away from it. 

What a strange feeling to experience over and over again. I sense the open air of the old world, the sacrifice and yet, profound joy to be able to put one foot in front of the other, despite the poverty. Even that couldn't quell the spirit of joy in the darkness.

I hear the women their malingering voices. They sound like screams in the night. And then I listen more's really a mish mash of all life's offerings and takings with a touch of thanks, nonetheless.

I'm the one who feels and understands. Yet, I am not one of them. 

When I hear the history, my heart wells up. It's a sorrowful kind of beauty and happiness that a part of me never ever allows to be more or less than that. I ask myself how sorrow can be happiness. I can't escape the feeling of loneliness in my mind's eye. I can't see beyond this sensation. It's only ever sadness...deep in the bones, sadness. Is this my sadness or is it theirs? Passed on from one generation to the next?

They looked happy, though. Maybe, it's the wrong word to be using here. They didn't have time to ask whether they were content. Today, we call it a luxury to be able to ask the question. I don't think that's true. They had a strength we haven't cultivated. Our luxury is a curse now. We don't allow ourselves to feel anything less than joy. We medicate and drown our sorrows. What a disservice we do to ourselves. The profound joy we get to feel is only ever equal to the profound sorrow we get to experience, too.

I miss a man I've never met. I miss a woman I've never met. There's no point crying over a past that never was. But, they were here. They lived and breathed. They did the best they could. I mean, if I could 'remember' them without having known them, imagine what honour it is to be remembered by those who participated in our lives?

I don't want them to be forgotten. In two hundred years, who will remember me? Recall me? The thought kills me. The finiteness of it all...on this plane, which has been reduced to things and more things. 

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