25/11/2012

Why do we keep going in the age of austerity?

Why do I fight in the face of certain defeat?

This is the question that thunders at night, during those long dark hours when all the time in the world flows through bedsheets and my body wanders in search of another body long gone. Because I kept fighting. Because we suffer together and we keep looking. We keep looking at the stars in search of different stories, different stars.

Why do I fight if I am certain we will end up shedding tears, perhaps blood? Why do I struggle if it is all meaningless? Why do we keep marching with no end in sight? Why are we chanting if perfectly bound to oblivion?

If we are to face defeat, wouldn't it be more rational, more reasonable even, to give up and embrace the spoils of war that we become by shedding our illusions? By signing statements saying "I, citizen X, hereby declare my utopian dreams dead and buried. I recognize my vision of human brotherhood to be wrong and allow my dreams to be burned at a stake specifically designed for dreams", and thereby recognizing our helplessness and realistic assessment of reality (even though reality is no longer realistic), wouldn't we be happier? Wouldn't our lives be wholesome then? Wouldn't our fears wither away? Wouldn't our frustrated desires, our ideas, our gestures and grandeurs, also wither away to the burial grounds of great ideas, sand-like statues, leave us lighter and freer, free to pursue ventures within correct and normal boundaries?

Why then do I fight? Why do I keep going? Why have these last four years turned me into ashes and from the ashes I have been reborn, not as phoenix but as an ever more resilient man? Why do we keep going in the age of austerity?

I keep going because I cannot stop believing. There must be something else out there. There must be a future where we do not exploit each other for kicks and we make mistakes but apologize and go on. There must be a future where we're able to speak without feeling constrained or being constantly afraid. There must be a future without fear of fellow beings. There must. Even if it were simply a matter of possibility, I would keep going. Because we build our paths along the way. Because we keep going in search of something else and we might end up building our destination simply by looking for it.

I keep going because I cannot bear the thought of leaving an ashen world to my kindred spirits.

I keep going because I believe in love and utopias and dreams and goodness and did I mention love?, and all those unspeakable moments when we raise our fists and sing, then we stand together against the brunt, the worst of them, and we resist, and we march, bloodletting be damned, they can't defeat us as long as all of us see that our collective soul glimmers in our eyes.

I keep going because tears let us know we're still alive. I keep going because I have the right to madness and sadness and irrational belief in the flourishing of the children I see growing by my side. We have the right to madness and laughter. We have the right to beautiful, radiant things. Nobody has the right to take those things, those things our grandparents built with their bloody hand, their bloodstricken eyes, their warmest hearts. I have no right to let those things disappear.

The age of austerity keeps us going. We will never know if we march because we want victory. Victory is a much too simple word to convey our beliefs. To encompass every thing we feel when nights are loss in thought, when nights are spent alone because love was not enough.

I might end up lonely in a desert island, a single raspy voice in an old theater where an old movie plays endlessly. A single raspy voice who bore the brunt of cruel beings and refused to break apart, refused to forget warm embraces and kisses and acts of kindness. A single raspy voice, white hair and coarse skin, skin soaked in tears, but a solid heart, a good heart, a pulsating heart of heaven and glory and memories of chants and dignity. I keep going because I want to remember these years as those years where we never forgot we were human beings, human beings with souls. I keep going because I want to be that raspy voice lonely in a theater who still remembers what it was to love and be the guardian of a small piece of a huge, incomprehensible soul which resisted the night. I keep walking because that raspy voice wants to look to the sky and remember those days when we fought and maybe we were defeated but we never forgot laughter. And at the end we still knew home, we still were able to forgive and build. We fed our hungry hearts. I want to be a raspy voice who knows he fought valiantly because he believed and he cared and he tried. Even if he didn't reach utopia; even if he didn't land there. The raspy voice, the soft white hair, just wants to remember having tried. And that will be enough to make memories sweeter. To make it worthwhile. My raspy voice does not care whether we won, although it would like not to be lonely. But even if it is lonely, it will remember.

This is why I keep going.