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The Value of Our Innocence

by

“The moon ain’t romantic/It’s intimidating as Hell”

-Tom Waits

“It’s a lousy rainbow anyway…”

–Aztec Camera

It does nothing to alleviate the pain to say, “stay strong”. Nor is any loved one, brutally murdered, returned when we ask the survivors – or ourselves – to not lose hope. Humanity has never suffered from a surfeit of violence. At the rate we are going, there will always be more.

I can glibly say “I told you so” about conclusions I have reached in my own studies of current affairs or history about the background of the events we see these days and it may satisfy my own deep-seated inclinations for self-praise, but that hardly matters in the face of ongoing brutality as we have seen in France and elsewhere: the predictable responses from dangerous Right-wingers and neo-liberal demagogues stressing racist nationalism, border walls, mass expulsions or advocating more violence.

Staying strong or remaining hopeful will not, by themselves, survive the rush of madness we seem to be falling into, exemplified by the enthusiastic insanity of longing for the excitement of an Apocalypse in order to feel more alive.

It may all be for naught but at some level we must keep on our horizon the better world we long for, and the innocent hope for Heaven on Earth. No capitalist system will take us there, and that particular conversation is long overdue. Nor can we expect goodness to follow hollowed out economies worldwide, rising poverty and shocking levels of debt bondage scattered throughout the First, Second and Third Worlds; as if we lived in separate planets.

I am not at peace today, but I hold on to my innocence which still believes a better world is possible and that when we work together, it can be created. In these dark times, a little light goes a long way. I pray others find such illumination and face the days ahead with renewed fervor to recreate our world in a better image than the one we share now. If not, ostensibly romantic moons and delicate rainbows will be cynically regarded and the emptiness of our human vision will be revealed in continuing savagery and death.

We must find a better way.

 

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José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet, Buddhist priest and political writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, La Respuesta, Op-Ed News, among others. He can be reached at tirado.jm@gmail.com.    

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