February 17, 2018
Renown artist Leonardo da Vinci is sometimes attributed the phrase: “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been, and there you long to return.” It is widely debated whether he actually said this or not. Regardless of that, it is a phrase that carries a lot of weight with it (just letting you know, this post is not about flying in the literal sense, nor about Mr. da Vinci).
This post is dedicated to everyone and anyone who lives in my beloved country of Mexico, and I suppose, to anyone who’s country is facing a major national crisis. Most importantly, to anyone who can’t leave their home without feeling unprotected and/or exposed.
Most importantly, to anyone who can’t leave their home without feeling unprotected and/or exposed.
I am though, going to credit this, rightly so, to my friend Vanessa Rodriguez. Talking to her about what I miss the most about living in the States made me realized something I kind of knew subconsciously, but was not aware of until last night. My liberties have been taken away, and it is no one’s fault but mine and yours.
What liberties am I referring to you may ask? Yes, our liberties are clear, and I guess you can roam about in every direction without anyone's permission. But if you think about it, you kind of can’t at the same time.
And it hurts me when I think about it, when I think about the freedom we have lost as a country, but I guess what hurts me the most is that we are all compliant.
And it hurts me when I think about it, when I think about the freedom we have lost as a country, but I guess what hurts me the most is that we are all compliant. It is as much our fault as it is anyones. It could be argued that you can do almost anything, and go everywhere in this country if the necessary precautions are in place. If you base your activities in broad day light (and that still doesn’t guarantee anything). If you keep your head down as to not bring attention to you, and if you act small and non threatening.
You may be wondering by now: “Where are you going with all of this? Can you just get over it, live a relatively happy life, and move on like the rest of us? Maybe try not to make a big deal out of it?”
And to that I say no. That’s where the quote at the beginning comes into place. I have tasted what life is like when you can live without worrying about things like this. I have been there, and I cannot pretend like I haven’t and be complaisant, and silent, and conformist about the place where I have landed.
I guess this is reason enough for me to tell a story. So here we go… I hope you find it interesting, or at least not boring. The point here is to reflect a little.
It’s a Friday night. My friends and I have walked out of the movie theater at around 11:30 pm, when one of them suggests: “Are you guys hungry?”
We all say yes, and agree to go to the local diner. The one that is open 24/7 all 365 days of the year.
We get the usual, burgers, fries, and a milkshake each. If you haven’t tried milkshakes and fries, you are seriously missing out.
The clock hits 12:30 am, and you may think it is getting late, but it isn’t.
The clock hits 12:30 am, and you may think it is getting late, but it isn’t. Because the night is young and so are we.
An other friend says: “You guys wanna go to the beach?”
We all nod in agreement.
The next thing you know is we’re driving down the highway. Laughing, talking, thinking, singing.
We have finally arrived, after a 40-minute drive. It’s 1:00 am, and we’re just parking in a public parking lot that is almost empty.
When we get to the beach, it is empty. It’s only for us. We’re the only souls there. The fair at the pier is closing down, and the lights are going dark. You can only hear the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.
The possibilities feel endless.
We let ourselves fall on the sand. Laying down. Taking it all in. It’s been finals week, and it has all been extremely stressful. So this is just what we needed. The possibilities feel endless…
This is the sort of liberty that I feel has been stripped away from me. Without my consent, without anyone asking. And to be honest, I feel violated. I never knew how much this word would give meaning to something in my life, but I do. I feel violated, stripped away from something that was only mine, for me to enjoy, and tossed away, leaving me helpless. I’m also not saying this is as serious as being phisicaly violated, but it is the right use of the word, becuase something has happened to which I did not give concent to.
I feel violated. I never knew how much this word would give meaning to something in my life, but I do.
I can not even feel like I can walk my dog in peace past 10:00 pm. The streets go empty, the city feels lonely, and anxiousness and danger make themselves present in the air.
And I am not going to lie, and say I have a solution to our problem. But it is clear to me that we are the only ones responsible. If we sit down, and let someone else dictate life for us, nothing is going to change.
The only thing left is for us to come together in unison. Reclame what it is rightly ours. Our public places, our streets, our cities, our country. Cause if we don’t, no one is going to do it for us. As long as there’s a book called the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, stored at the General Archive of the Nation in the Lecumberri Palace it is our right to do so. Our sense for being as a nation is written right there, and we can not ignore it anymore.
I guess I just want to claim my dignity back. Stop feeling dirty, and clean myself a little. After all, what has been done to me has been done to me, but no one else should go through this ever.