We Read OUR DAILY DAINA

15 04 2010

of “ENCLOSED CAT”
Daina Chaviano

63
I do not know who I am or where I live.
I’m not even sure of my name.
Have I seen the future from some past?
Or do I remember the past from my future?
I live on an island on the edge of the ice or in a country seething with the steam of the tropics?
Islands, islands, islands …
As if it were my fate to live always in seclusion.
In Poseidonia I lived isolated by those circles of land and water that the men had built to spin off its spiritual center from the most populated regions, as if it were possible to separate the body from head without both suffering from the mutilation …
My hermit luck haunts me.
There is always something that ends up confining me in a cloister, without letting me show what is in my Heart.
Must be this fear that sticks to the skin like leprosy, this perpetual witches’ sabbath of disguise, of meaning, not daring, of claiming to be without success.
And this humiliation divides and alienates us, tearing our existence.
It is a vivisection performed in the most cruel way.
Bringing us to hate what we love, and that fills us with guilt, we are crazy.
How I can love and hate with such fury the air around me, the sun that warms me, the earth that holds the bones of my grandparents and someday will cover mine?
It’s a fury that extend to ourselves – our friends, our families, those who were here – for letting this happen.
Sometimes I feel that hatred is transformed into an infinite pity, in a tremor of pity for my country and its inhabitants.
Then I realize that although I regret it, this moist earth as dark as the skin of its people has gotten me to the core: it is part of me.
I love its beaches and the sound of palms in the silence of the woods and the smell of rain in the country and the burning eyes of its women and men, and the sleepy faces of babies, and the pulp of its fruit in extinction.
I love this country, and my senses are imbued with its old houses and its streets full of cracks, colonial churches and in that glorious breeze smelling of salt that crosses from one extreme to another: it is the unique smell of my island, the unique flavor that is mixed with the herb offerings to the saints.
It is something I want to forget.
Because everything is a mirage that will fade away out into the street, hardly feeling the impotence gnawing at my soul, barely picking up the phone to communicate with the world, it hardly occurs to me to think that something unnamable I  said was wrong .. .
I have to forget this island, delete it from my memory, go back to my inner realm, indulge in those regions where there is no time, where every landscape is a border to escape to another world.
I just want that someday this obsession with my land will become a pleasant dream, seem like a manage of another distant saga where I wander through a country chillingly green.

58
My country is the most beautiful in the world.
There is no other place where the men look with greater mystery and promise, or where women move with the lust of the wind-swept palm trees.
It is a country I love, despite the fear that overwhelms it.
Every morning I wake up with the anguish of not knowing whether the laws were changed while I slept, and what was legal yesterday is now punishable.
My refuge is to write.
I return to my journal with the same obsession with which Anaïs returned to hers: to exorcise ghosts and order the wrongs of this life.
And I must, because the bond that binds me to it is getting weaker.
My visions are occurring with greater frequency and less control.
I do not need the talisman to escape from prison; a sunset or a candle flame is enough
But that too has isolated me from those I love.
When one has seen her own death, the meaning of life changes.
I do not care what others think of my dreams.
They are real because they are mine and I submerge myself into them to live.
I prefer those regions where archaic dangers reign, because at least I can identify them and immerse myself in a wild beauty.
Outside is different.
Outside everything is gray.
The people and events corrode, and that cancer is contagious.
Invade the souls of children throwing proclamations against an enemy they do not know.
Irreversible change occurs in the home.
It destroys the nobility of people and turns them into a blind mass manipulated by subtle threads that arise from the hunger for control, controlled aspirations, controlled desires.
We no longer know who we are, where we are going or why we are here.
Each seeks his own escape, his own salvation.
It is not possible to conspire,whisper, show anger; not even indifference is allowed.
It is too painful and we they don’t leave us much strength.
We are shipwrecked clinging to the last floating wreckage.
We only have the illusion of that promised land, splendid far beyond the shark-infested ocean.
Some will want to take risks, but most prefer to wait here end.
That is my only consolation I am not alone.
My strength is giving out, but a portion of my spirit continues to explore illicit regions.
Perhaps this quest is the last vestige of happiness that I have left.
And if it were not real the possibility of finding it, this does not make it less appealing.
Quite the contrary.
It would be proof that my soul, in spite of living with the it never surrendered to darkness.

17
I’m sick of the world, and especially him.
For some reason he hates us.
Maybe he hates all humanity.
The worst thing is that must I pretend an obedience which is farther from me every day.
For now I try to hide it, but I do not know how long I can continue playing this role.
From my room I hear his voice that surges from some loudspeaker.
I go out and see his picture, which appears frozen in that Mussoliniesque gesture: the defiant chin up and his finger that threatens us with hell.
His Majesty is as despotic God is everywhere, but even more pervasive.
At least, God does not get to listen to conversations about whether one agrees with him.
But I feel free.
I will not prostrate at the feet of any feudal lord.
I will not accept any system that does not recognize the existence of my soul.
I am not submissive, but a great liar.
I can trick him and his cohort of censors.
I can laugh at his mental defects and make fun of my assigned role: that of a sheep grateful to have been brought under the protective shadow.
If he thinks I will accept this story it is because he suffers from rampant sclerosis.
In my heart I know that he despises us all …
Especially, all of them.
So I have searched for a weapon, the most dangerous and feared: the insurrection.
But I don’t open it; it would be very easy to detect.
I am a subversive.
I adore the clandestine.
I like to move at night, like a cat casts a shadow against the wall of a deserted city.
I am happy to leave my footprints and then disappear into the darkness.
And I know other modes of survival.
I do not know where I learned them nor who taught me.
Perhaps I was born with them.
Perhaps there is a female gene that is passed in secret, a natural mutation that evolution created to provide a defense.
And that gene beats in me.
It is alive, guiding my instincts.
I can be as false as a demon, elusive as a snake, dangerous as a witch.
It’s easy to sow sedition.
It is easy to endanger the peace of His Grace Dictatorship.
To begin, I have my body.
No one, not even he, can rule my desires.
I masturbate or make love as often as I please, without asking permission.
My sex is mine and I make with it my own government.
Then I have my mind, my mental orgies, my secret worlds; and my own religion which is magic: that scarecrow of materialism, that spectrum violator of the rules they wanted to impose.
If the Unmentionable knew all this be would have been terrified of letting me loose among his flock.
It would have sounded the alarm to his agents, he crowds paid their secret police.
He would have issued the order to capture me … preferably dead.
But this strategy was not created for him to conceive.
He doesn’t suspect that someone can act otherwise than with aggression or violence.
Of course he can not imagine it.
For him, I’m just a woman.

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