“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
A day of infamy brews in Eastern Europe. The Gaza conflict has launched a ripple effect of anger and violence around the world. The Ku Klux Klan is handing out bags of candy to recruit new members in South Carolina.
For nearly three weeks, it has been the summer of my Salamancan content, a veritable bubble of ignorant bliss. It’s not that I’ve been avoiding the world stage of news, political and pop cultural. It’s more like keeping a lazy eye on most information sites. Then today, the possible shooting of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over the Ukraine.
No matter the context, the scope of lives being lost, whether at our hand or by nature, has to make you take pause. We tend to find that ignorance can indeed be a virtue, protecting ourselves in our tastefully appointed bubbles to avoid the reality we have a world in critical condition.
In reading the quote from Gabriel García Márquez above, I think about what would men be like if they could hold life as women do.That if they understood the power and responsibility that comes with giving birth, perhaps their violent inclinations would be tempered. Perhaps if we all could experience such a gift, we would not be so reckless with the lives we do lead.
I know that reminders of life and death happen on the daily, that the fragility of our existence is always real and present. We will continue to experience loss because that is our lot. We live, we die and we are reborn with every lesson we are given as to our mortality. It must strengthen our resolve to protect and nurture life, not just blindly fight to protect what we think is our birthright. Ideologies are not reasons to live. They are manipulations designed to exploit and promote a culture of fear and hate. The only way to vanquish the unseen forces that threaten us is to live a life worth remembering and celebrating.
We must be lives worth living over and over again.
Thursday, July 17 @ Manoli’s House in Salamanca, Spain.