To rescue memory from oblivion

“We don’t write so that they know, but we do so that they don’t forget. When we go out at night we must be cautious because evil hides there. That is why people say they do not know. Evil is not hidden in night’s darkness. It is visible in the middle of the day and it acts with impunity. Evil people have taken power in their thousand ways in these lands that hurt, and the customs that they have imposed prevail,” said Marcos, the leader of the Zapatista movement in Mexico.
That is the reason why we cannot allow anyone to sell and to privatize memory. Not only because we would start getting lost, but also because memory is the only hope left to be able to open up a tomorrow, which is inside of us but is abandoned on the other side of the mirror. We have to save ourselves from forgetfulness so that they don’t privatize us, group us and that we don’t lose the magic of words. We have to make the best possible space for the word that transits and let it be the one that seeks us and find us. We are people because the word travels within ourselves, and it enters a you that welcomes it. The word person is synonymous to mask, which is expressed through gestures. If there is no you, there is no word. Only noise.
“Let all those who are different speak. Let them speak and find memory, and conspire and shape a better future for all with it.”
Sometimes, life seems to be a burden because we take it as a noun when we need to risk it in infinitive. André Malraux responded to General Charles de Gaulle, “Even if life didn’t make sense, it must make sense to live.” We don’t dare to dissent and we hold on to the empty concept of security that the powerful sell us in a thousand ways. As if there was something more secure than uncertainty, which carries challenge and transforms problems. Maybe Quixote’s most revealing phrase is: “I know who I am, Sancho my friend.”
In the face of the malaise of a world in crisis, it’s precise to hold on to memory and to leave space for the word. Inside the mirror labyrinth in which modern history has turned into, it is necessary to carve these mirrors and convert them into crystals in order to see what we can be. “Mirrors are to see this side, crystals are to penetrate them and go to the other side.” And to start being happy by loving what we do to overcome this collective solitude that will create crisis if we set our minds to it. Let’s save the memory of forgetfulness.

José Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez

This article was published in the Center of Collaborations for Solidarity (CCS) on 11/29/2004