To write and post this is not easy for me, it takes time, concentration, strength, and other things, and even more if writing is not your line of work. Especially when you want to say something, but there are so many things to do in your daily life, like work, or do the things you need to do to meet your needs and even your wants, things that don’t come with a salary. Because even though there are some who believe that if you openly criticize the government the money “falls from the Empire,” that’s not the case.
However, it’s very flattering to read something you wrote, published on the web, and to see, each time, the increase in the number of comments from those who cheer you on. And the others, well the fact that they took the trouble, that’s good, isn’t it? Many make me laugh. Even when they’re confused and think it’s Claudia and not La Salamandra who wrote, it doesn’t bother me. It’s good that they congratulate her, after all, she’s the owner of the blog, right?
But best of all is to be near to something that makes you feel alive in this half dead space, at times immobile and pulverized, to be able to help or support people full of bravery and courage, to say and do what they think, even when you think you aren’t as bold as they are and are only anonymous and invisible, you feel a little bit further from the stupidity.
There are also moments of thrilling joy to know you’ve advanced another step on the road to pushing back, a little more, the line that censors and segregates those who are tired of shutting up and waiting. After having lived, seen, read or heard something that you know exceeds the limits of the suppression of civil liberties, that they try to crush through threats and intimidation, you can no longer be complacent when people manage to join together, whether close friends or not, to show the injustice. They demonstrate this when someone is indicted, imprisoned, labeled a dissident lackey or simply can’t publish a book, because of the way they dress, sing, write, feel, or think with all their human rights.
I regret that I can’t be closer, physically, to the many people who provide support with their comments, although they are greatly appreciated. You could, from supposed anonymity or not, better feel this vibration, and each time would be stronger, when we must move that boundary, as it becomes more asphyxiating, but also pushed back further.
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.