The Chronicler

It was already lunch time and he had nothing. 

It dawned on him that if he continued like this he would not be able to pay the rent and would have to hit the streets again. 

Living in the streets was not pleasant, it wasn’t for everyone but he had managed for eight years and, perhaps, he should go back to doing just that. 

Despite the cold moments of winter, despite the starvation he often suffered, for some reason he missed those days. 

He missed being carefree, not having to clock in and out at set times, not having deadlines to meet with his articles. 

He wrote when he felt like it, or when he felt that inescapable urge to say something; to raise his voice and let people know a piece of his mind.

All that behind, now he had a rent to pay and a deadline to meet. 

He had chosen to go back into the the mad world that the majority of people populated. 

Even though he was aware it was not his natural habitat. Even though living in the streets or, better still, somewhere in the countryside like a self-sufficient hermit appealed to him, he had made the decision to enter the arena again and try to claim a place within the ‘mad habitat’.

It was not that he felt the need to be ‘normal’, or ‘grow up’, whatever that meant when his family or his ex-wife said it. It was, as usual, that he just felt he had to be part of the bigger picture. He had to play a part and he decided that his part was changing the world with his gift: words.

It was another selfless act. 

They would look at him with pity and anger again and tell him to ‘get real’. But he would not give up. Not this time. 

He knew he couldn’t change the world by himself, but he was confident that if he gave it all, if he managed to use the right words at the right time, talk to the right people, he could start a wave that together with all the other waves around the world would sweep the evil that was ruling the world.

More than four decades of life and still so naive.

He had lost count of how many times he had started the article this morning only to erase what was written. 

He took a deep breath and promised himself he would not have anything to eat until a first draft was completed. 

It was due tomorrow. They would not accept any delay and, more importantly, he knew today's words, whatever they might be, would be important.

The money he would receive for the column would pay the rent, it would buy some groceries but that wasn’t as important as the words themselves.

All his friends and family had deserted him, there was nothing left in his life but the writing.

He looked at the blank screen again, put his hands over the keyboard and started to type tentatively, not really thinking about what he wrote, just letting his fingers type whatever came to them. 

Words appeared on the screen, one after the other, constructing phrases that this time seemed to make sense. 

He moved his eyes off the screen and he typed faster more vigorously, not thinking, just letting himself go, and aware of that feeling that filled him when he wrote something that was worth it.

Good riddance 2020 and the right to dream in 2021

 Good riddance 2020, go back to the dark shadow.  

I didn’t write much for this blog last year but 2021 is here and I thought I'd share a few scattered thoughts and hopes inspired by Eduardo Galeano’s right to dream that he wrote in the turn of the millennium (see the video below).

Fair warning: The ideas below will be spilling out as they go and are not fully thought through.

The Right to Dream in 2021

In 2021, Covid-19 will evolve into a virus that will heal our battered and exhausted hearts and minds. As a side effect it will wipe out racism, homophobia, transphobia, science and truth denialism among many other ills in our minds

Health workers, educators, supermarket check out workers, cleaners, firefighters... they will be hailed as the essential workers and heroes who kept the world safe and spinning when those elected failed, not just this year but for decades

Those who looked the other way, who chose to do nothing, who put profit, business and economy above humanity, empathy, solidarity and health will see their fortunes reversed setting them on a path of learning and humility

People will no longer believe and spread lies and fake news. This will be followed by the sudden disappearance of trolls who will evolve and turn into creatures of light and wonder: unicorns and winged horses, for instance

Journalists will only be able to write the truth, whether their editors like it or not because ink will choose not to print lies and lies will not be able to be beamed or travel through the net, simply becoming a silence, a blank space

Governments and economists no longer will talk about GDP, growth, dollars and gold. Instead, they will measure people’s well being, happiness, access to homes, availability of affordable public transport and all essential needs

Military budgets will dry up completely and young people will embrace each other across borders and trenches ignoring orders that only inflict pain, suffering and sorrow in a cycle that perpetuates hate and death

Governments and politicians will realise that people can see they’re naked, that people cannot live off promises and that corruption will no longer continue with total impunity

No one will be arrested, condemned and imprisoned for shedding light on crimes against humanity, exposing corruption, lies and deceit, warning and protecting the world, seeking a better life away from conflict and persecution, dreaming of a better world

No one will be spied upon and persecuted, ridiculed and criminalised for loving our earth, protecting the rich diversity of life at risk due to our greed and materialism

No animals will be endangered anymore, with a sudden and unprecedented resurgence of life and trees; flowers and plants long not seen will blossom again

Some gods will vanish never to be seen again: Death, Weapons, Money, Coal, Oil. Instead people will put their faith in solidarity, empathy, love and understanding; everything that gives joy, warms hearts and betters life

Borders will no longer exist, there will be no refugees and flags will be buried with the realisation that our human nature is not one of greed, envy and self interest but as the social animals that we are, one of community as we all hold the same hopes and dreams, desires and needs

The old wars and conflicts will die and new wars will emerge: against climate change, poverty, water and food scarcity; against, hatred, injustice, inequality and racism; to cite a few

Wealthy elites, religious organisations and corporations will all pay their fair share of taxes with the abolition of tax havens, tax rebates and special treatment. From this revenue poverty will be erased, inequality abolished

The church will change the ten commandments, putting Earth and the universe as our prime concerns, from where all life emanates, proclaiming the existence of gods and spirits in all nature, in every tree, plant, rock, ravine, earth, wind and sky, which we must respect, nurture and celebrate; mandating sharing of gifts, food, and wealth, solidarity and free love

Police will lose all power, no one will die in police arrests and police custody, and as they head back to their homes in plain clothes, their weapons will turn to seeds from which olive trees will grow

Education and learning, health and well being, water, food, shelter, electricity, and all our basic needs will finally be free for all and not just for the privileged and those who can pay

A coalition of Indigenous People will take the reins of the nation and leading with example and generosity initiate a treaty process with the white settlers who so cruelly have treated them for so long

All in all, for this is becoming too unwieldy and too long, our laws will not be punitive, will not tell us what not to do, but what we can do and achieve; they won’t say follow this path blindly and within this narrow confines, instead they will encourage us to always aim for multiple horizons, through a myriad of traversing paths

And we will blossom into our positive, nurturing, social, human nature, in peace with our Mother, the giver of life, ceasing to kill and destroy, choosing to clean, reforest and rebuild; blossoming and flourishing as we turn the tide