Effort and Triumph

La Voz de Galicia – November 15, 2019 →

Cristina Pato«Per aspera ad astra» is one of those Latin phrases I cling to when things are not going altogether well. The idea that after a difficult road one can arrive at something positive is as utopic as it is moralizing, and this is why, when I see no way out, I cry a little, grit my teeth, and go on. Sometimes, “going on” simply means continuing on without looking back, trusting that, with time, things will find their rightful place. Other times, “going on” means turning to face the same problem, but looking at it from a different perspective. As T.S. Eliot wrote in Little Gidding: «We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.»

But continuing on is not always easy, either at a personal or at a collective level, and it is enough to take a look at this week’s news. It seems that neither them nor us were capable of seeing who we are, nor were we capable to return to where we started to «know the place for the first time» and question all the truths that represent us. In the world of true and false, of the good and the bad, of fullness and emptiness, it is difficult to pick up on nuances. Hundreds of grays disappear to make room for the strongest voices; and the extremes, always coming together, will end up cornering us in a historical moment without the possibility of turning back. This week, we opened the door to something no one wanted to recognize, and now, upon seeing it, we will have to return to the beginning to, at least, accept that we have a problem. I simply wish that in this new stage, we will be capable of not losing the rights obtained to achieve an inclusive, diverse society, that we will be capable of checking the intolerance approaching.

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