By Luis F. Brizuela Cruz
“I am that groping intensity that is a soul” –Borges-
Here once again at the threshold of another earthly year, sorting out conjectures and still faithful to some dreams. I am still marveled by the memory and the clumsy tenacity of the human animal. I also never get bored of its persistence and reluctance to accept limits and boundaries. I have seen up close bodies and minds that remind me how to continue and I honestly think that I have not seen much. I admire and even resent the lives and the faith of those who have suffered more than I have, only to see myself always finding refuge in some uncomfortable gratitude, which I have purposely left unnamed after so many years and so many thresholds.
I am a happy man, whom life has rewarded with the companion of a woman who, in matters of rigor, passion and tenderness, understands everything. I have experienced the joy of fatherhood, particularly in retrospect and this sometimes afflicts me and sinks me in a sweet melancholy. Among those dreams that I nurture is to begin again, but this time to really savor every laughter and every cry from our son and daughter, as if I had been really present. What is funny is that I always was and there were some who even praised me for it. But it is only after we mature that we truly enjoy these things and by then the children have gone their respective ways and time seems short, even if we have many years to live. Therein lays perhaps the consolation of grandchildren and all the other theories around our reciprocal love with them. I believe it is the same love that we shared with our children, except that we were young and unaware of so many realities and that protected us and used to make us audaciously distracted. Today we are cautious and know almost everything, even that which may be best unrevealed to us. Life is a paradox and only the soul is capable of feeling sometimes sadly amused.
Our generation utters the same comments that previous ones did about the horror of the current planetary scenario and about the antics and manners, or lack thereof, of our youth. Are things really that much worse today or is it all about the relativity of time, epoch and space? Were we as horrific to our predecessors as the generation of our children seems to us? Is the corruption of our political and religious leaders greater than that of leaders from the past? Is this finally the time when society has completely lost its collective sanity and are those apocalyptic moments, prophesied by so many, really near? How near? Or is it all cyclical, as Borges reiterated, and what we see and suffer today is exactly the same as what took place hundreds and thousands of years ago? Even the religions, which have continued to proliferate through time, repeat tirelessly the same predictions and the corresponding punishment for our misdeeds as did the first sects and faith groups that emerged from man’s curious mind or his opportunism.
In regard to faith and its bifurcations, I remember from time to time the day when I approached my college philosophy professor with the question whether man may have created God, instead of God having created man. The affable octogenarian Dr. Greene caressed me with a smile that appeared to have crossed many thresholds and said: “It is not only possible, but very probable that if there is a God in the world of the lions, it has the face of a lion”.
Perhaps the only thing that is really certain is the uncertainty bestowed upon us by that divinity or providence which may not have anything to do with our institutionalized religions after all. Another thing that comes to mind once in a while is written in the lyrics of a song: “Heaven is not made only for those who congregate”. Gibran, on the other hand, simplified the premise that our daily life is our temple and our religion and that we should enter it invisibly, bringing along all what we have fashioned out of necessity or pleasure. He also pointed out that all our journeys are comparable in riches and modesty to those of God, from whom we cannot ask anything for us or for others, since our Winged Father knows all our needs even before they are born in us.
Could it be too presumptuous to suggest that someone –who may already exist- would formulate some of these same conjectures and others, similar to my humble inquiries, at the threshold of another earthly year, a century or a millennium from now?
Have you all a Happy Year 2015 of our Common Era.
December 30, 2014