Sunday, December 25, 2011

End-of-Year Musings

« What do you want ? »
« Who are you? »
« Do you have anything worth living for? »

The shadow in the mirror smiles as it asks its ritual questions. I smile also, being its faithful relfection. The order in the questions is wrong. You cannot say what you want unless you know who you are. And you cannot begin to pretend to know who you are if you don't have any idea why the hell you're living this strange life you were born to without asking for it in the first place.

Today is Christmas day for christians. For me, it's a focal point of beliefs and symbols. It's a day when the echoes of our multiple pasts reach out to embrace us, whether we realize it, or not. We have Christmas trees. We have gifts. We have fire in the hearth, we have the traditional « Bûche de Noël » - the Yule log. We celebrate the return of the light, of the sun rising from the heart of winter, the deep of night and darkness, without which it loses all meaning. Like life, which is meaningless without death, no matter how hard grief and loss are to bear for those who remain.

As always, the end of year period belongs to questions. It belongs to doubts and reflections and stubborn hopes, to indignation and the elusive promise of revolutions to come – pehraps even more so this time than ever before. So why not indulge this shadow in the mirror and its relentless questions and challenges ?

Why not, indeed ? But we'll do it my way.

« Do you have anything worth living for ? » the shadow asks from within its mirror. Well, the first answer to that should be obvious : I have this life, you dolt. And it's in me to make the most of it. To kindle it and make it burn high and bright, to fuel its flames with my heart and send it soaring high, until it touches the sky. And then there are all the other answers. All the people I love. All the places that resonate inside my heart. All the lives I touch, all the lives who touch mine. All the world. All the universe, boundless. « Big words, » the shadow snorts in the mirror. « Big, but rather empty. »

Really ?

I think not, dearest reflection. Reach out, touch all that surrounds you, if you dare. Let all that surrounds you touch you, if you dare. Break the shell. Shed the armor. Watch. Listen. Feel. The world, the people, they are so many onions stinging your eyes as you peel off the layers isolating you from it all. They make you cry. They make you angry. They make you smile. They make you proud. They make you sad. They enrage you. They disgust you. They enflame you. So many emotions. So many thoughts. So many things to say and feel and express. Too many to put into words : joy, revolt, grief, hope, despair, anger, fury, contempt, spite, happiness, pride, shame, hatred, love, sparks, fire, cold, ice, determination, stubbornness, fight, refusal, solidarity, indignation, revolution.... So you see, there are too many things, overflowing, spilling from this mind of mine, to put into words. The only way to express it all, is to encompass the whole chaotic mess with big words. Big, but not empty if you know how to read them.

So, next question, please. « Who are you ? »

Again, the answer seems obvious. I am who and what I am. I am a human being, full of flaws, torn between the dark and the light. Standing between dusk and dawn. Flickering gray, I am one funambulist among billions of others. I am a sum of contradictions. I also happen to be a woman, but don't be afraid, women are simple human beings like everyone else, regardless of religions' misogyny and bigotry. « Yeah, right, » the shadow in the mirror smirks. « That says nothing at all about who you are. Big words again, and avoidance of the real answer. » Is that so ? But who could give a definite answer to that question ? We are always building ourselves. We grow and change and become who we are and will be with each moment that passes, with each encounter we make, with each and every event we experience. Any definite answer would become false in the moment I'd write it. The present is a heartbeat, over and done, and then renewed, repeated again and again, different each time, everlasting and inexistent. « Sophistry, » the shadow in the mirror spits. « You gorge yourself with words and sentences that have no meaning. » Do I ? Or are you just miffed and frustrated because those words and sentences are just more questions which ask for answers nobody can give, ô dearest shadow in the mirror ? But then it's true I do love babbling, the more so when I write in English. And, yeah, that's also part of who I am, so there !

All right, last but not least, « What do you want ? »

In Babylon 5, the single best ever aired SF TV series, answering that question is damning yourself. Be careful what you wish for, it may come true, is the lesson B5 teaches in the most cruel and definite fashion...or is that the real message ? Lately I tend to see it as more of a warning : stop depending on others to make your wishes come true. Take your destiny in your own hands. Move your fucking ass, because if you wait for someone else to do it for you, you may not like the result – and then it's usually too late to take it back and do something else. But let's get back to what I want. The answer to that shouldn't be very hard to find. You only need to read the posts I've written on this blog along the years, but if that task sounds too daunting, I can probably summarize it for you here :

I want us to grow up.

I want us to stop bowing our heads before the dictates of the powers-that-be.

I want us to deserve the name of « human beings ».

I want justice to prevail for everyone. Social justice. Economic justice.

I want us to be free of religions, of bigotry and obscurantism, be it Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hinduist, Buddhist, Animist or other.

I want us to think for ourselves, and stop swallowing the garbage flung down our throats by the mass media.

I want people to involve themselves in unions, in politics.

I want people to do more than whine and then slump down in the sofa to watch sports or some other TV junk like reality shows.

I want us to stop allowing ourselves to be blinded, to be driven like plough horses during the course of our lives.

I want us to stop nodding our heads when frauds come on TV, on the radio or in the newspaper to tell us that « There Is No Alternative » or that « we've lived above our means until now, and so it follows that now we must take care of our debt ».

I want us to think outside the box.

I want us to stand up for ourselves and turn the tables on the powers-that-be, on the Ron Pauls and Rick Perrys and Newt Gingrich, on the Koch brothers and the Albert Freres and Vincent Bollorés, on the Etienne Davignons and Jean-Luc Dehaenes, the Goldman Sachs and JP Morgans and UBS. I want us to turn this oligarchy upside down, to depose those ploutocrats and their faithful dogs : Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Lucas Papademos, Mario Monti, Mario Draghi, the IMF, the ECB and all the other zealots in the media everywhere.

I want us to do the revolution.

I want us to be happy, to be balanced and to live in peace.

I want to see, feel, touch and hear the beauty of this world we live in.

I many things I could fill a thousand lifetimes with them, but that's all right. Like the weeds and the moss in my garden, I'll endure. I'll grow even though it rains. I'll keep standing up. I'll keep on fighting, no matter whether I stand a chance to reach the lofty goals I set for myself.

Because that's who I am.

Because that's what I want.

Because that's what makes this life worth living.

And that's it for grand philosophy moments from me...well, that's it for this time, anyway. As to the future, I make no promises ! =)

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