After the Celebration
By Luis F. Brizuela Cruz
The festivities will continue past the summer. They will go on at the actual site of the event and also in the home town that we have recreated, in the diaspora, with the constancy of our love and our nostalgic imagination. Nothing can be more fitting. It is not frequently that a town, a city or even a country celebrates five hundred years of its historical founding. It is even less common when that place holds the distinction of being one of the first villas founded after the discovery of what was known back then as the New World.
Overridden with the emotions deriving from that mysterious link which binds us all to the proverbial “point of origin”, we all have managed to find even some affinity in our usual discord. Put aside, at least temporarily, have been the reasons and convictions that bifurcated our world as consequence of the whim and incoherence of a tyrant. Even the animated debates in person or through the social networks have, for the most part, concluded with the finding of some common ground amid the solemn and emotional significance of the event. Even I, the aged child who never returned, was able to liberate my intransigent mind from certain stigmas and postures and succumbed to some inspirational thoughts during the week of commemoration with my humble poem, “Celebration”:
Five centuries of souls,
congregated today at the park of my nostalgic Sancti Spiritus.
My city is all dressed up and pretty for her party.
They are all here, even those I never met.
The ancient mother seems to lean over in appreciation
and emits a proud, yet subtle smile.
It is the first time, perhaps the last time, that the mother
will see all her children together.
For today, at least for an instant,
there are no distances, no exile, no causes nor reasons.
My Sancti Spiritus and the other, the one in my imagination,
are both celebrating.
I take another look around and confirm that we are all here.
I think that only the Homeland is missing.
It is the absence of the Homeland what shall summon again our undeniable reality; that reality which rises above our euphoric joy, punctures our souls and disturbs our sleep. It is difficult to prolong the indulgence of any moment of ecstasy if our Homeland is missing. It is like the inconsolable void of the amputated limb or the loved ones who have parted, as we realize the imminence of their absence. It is the constant reminder of our complicity in certain infamy, for which the penance is perennial. No festivity can last without the presence of the Homeland; not even for the strong or the arrogant, or even for those who claim to be immune to trivial human sensitivities.
After the Party, slowly we shall all return to the individual and collective affliction of our uprooted souls, whether historic or modern –voluntary or accidental. And our Sancti Spiritus and our Cuba shall return also to the prison cell of their disarranged history.
June 11, 2014 All Rights Reserved