My eyes are closed and the wind blows, the water is salty and cold, but it’s quiet. I sit. My eyes are still closed while I try to connect with myself or the world, I don’t even recognize what’s outside or what’s inside anymore. I’m lost… and when you’re lost it doesn’t matter if your eyes are closed or opened because regardless of what you see or what you don’t see, you’ll be lost anyways. There’re no paths or crowds to follow, you make your own way, but there’ll not be any path until you feel like making it. So being lost is not to lose your way, but to lose yourself and your will. It’s more or less when things become meaningless, and what you have to find is a new meaning that will give you a reason to walk in whichever direction you feel like walking. Have you seen the video “Just”, from Radiohead? It’s one of my favorite videos, you should watch it. My friend showed it to me around a year ago, and sometimes when I feel lost, I think about it. You watch it and then let me know what you think it means to you.
My eyes are still closed and Radiohead’s video is in my mind, I kind of want to lie down and sleep; or to become a tree, like Daphne (the Greek nymph who, running away from Apollo is transformed into a tree by Zeus). I’m neither happy nor sad, I just exist… and existence can be both so meaningless and overwhelming when you’re standing in front of the sea (like when you’re looking at the sky at night). All my worries vanish; they fly away with the wind… “I miss them; will I ever see her again? Does he think of me? Will I ever come back? Am I making the right choices? Why cannot I stop thinking about the past?”… They all fly away from my mind like ghosts that whisper till I cannot hear them anymore.
I open my eyes and the sunlight makes me blind, but then I see something moving in the horizon and I think that I must be dreaming because I see yellow butterflies flying on the top of the sea. I start walking toward them but the sea gets deeper and deeper. The sea’s calmed but I’m kind of afraid to go further, it’s been so long since I don’t do it.
I close my eyes again and I jump into the water. I swim in that never-ending sea convinced that there’s nothing that can stop me. The only thing that might come in my way is the sun, if I reach it. Logic vanishes and the fear becomes a joke.
I stop. I am tired and far away from the coast. Far away from safe, far away from “home” and somehow it feels great. I almost forgot why I started swimming in the first place… but I open my eyes and yes! I knew it! They were yellow butterflies.
And here I am, talking to you about butterflies and the infinite sea of a Caribbean island… while I could be talking to you about the 70.000 tons of expired food that were found in containers that the government had imported to distribute in its supermarkets (but never did); or about all the private businesses that the government has been expropriating for a long time, and that are getting worse; I could also talk to you about how the airplanes that used to arrived full of tourists to Margarita (the Caribbean island that I am swimming in) have been cancelled to the extent that there’s only one flight that comes directly from Germany to the island (and it will be cancelled soon). Or I could tell you how people in Margarita say that the only tourists that they see now are mainly from Russia and Belarus; or maybe I should start talking about all the concessions that have been given to Russia by our government after buying during the past years more than 3.500.000.000 Euros of Russian weapons. Should I talk about the friendship between Hugo Chávez and Alexandr Lukashenko (who’s been in power since 1994 and is the shame of his country), or about how the enemies of our “enemies” are becoming our friends?
It’s hard to keep track of everything that is going on. It’s hard even for this government that is the master of beginnings, but that always forgets to finish what it starts. I’d rather talk about the magnificence of butterflies flying at the top of the sea. They impress me more than anything else in this country, and the world. A moment like that is more real than everything we read in the newspapers everyday or everything we hear on TV. What do we really know about what’s going on and why, when everyone lies and everything is manipulated? Who’s right and who’s wrong? Sometimes I wonder (and please, don’t judge me too harshly) if Chávez, other than power, is also trying to do something right and regardless of this mess, his intentions were the best. I wonder if he believes his own lies, or if he lies and then at night he sits in front of the TV and laughs at us.
I met a fisherman in Margarita who told me that the government was going to give his family a house if he promised to give them his family’s vote during the next elections in 2012. He said yes. He said he didn’t like the government but “what the hell, I want my house”. What is one supposed to tell him? He doesn’t have a house and he’ll have one. Around 500 people at his place will have a house, and this happens because the elections are getting closer and closer. A few people will get a house, other people will get food and lots of them will sell their votes while many more are going to sell their votes to the hope, because maybe they’ll be the next one. At first it might have been fine, ten years ago a house seemed much more important than who ruled the government (all of them where more or less as bad)… but house by house, hope by hope, here we are. I wonder how many houses it takes to destroy a country.
I told someone about the butterflies and she didn’t believe me. She told me that those might have been birds. “Butterflies don’t go that far into the sea”. I told someone that love might actually be the only thing that will save the world (as some people say), and he told me that love was never enough, he told me that with time I was going to realize it. If I told you to jump into a deep sea during the night and to follow the light of the moon on the water, would you do it? If I told you that nothing will happen, that nothing will harm you there; would you believe me? How many of you will believe and how many of you will not? and still… the ones that don’t believe, those that don’t trust and don’t fly, the ones that think that there’re more serious things to think about than yellow butterflies; how many times are they fooled every day and how many lies lead their lives? Our lives? In the ocean nothing is too big or too small.