Raquel's Room

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

My Persepolis



I was born in Spain.

In 1979 my country pledged for a change which would put behid a turbulent past that everyone seemed ready and willing to overcome.

In 1979, 4 years after the dictator's death, Democracy was more than a promise. Freedom, a dream cherised by the witnesses of a bloody civil war and the sons of a 40 years long dictatoriship, had become a reality.

I was born into "Occident". I guess that what my parents have dreamt of a that Occident was something different. I guess they were naive; or fed up with all the shortages they had lived with...

I only knew of the scarcity by my grandmother stories of her youth. I was lucky enough to have grown listening to those stories that gave blood, names and a place to the map of my existence.

With them, I made sense of the meaning of my being. They were the glue that put together the pieces of the jigsaw that conected me to the defeat, the mistakes, the fight and the hopes of what I now proudly call my people.

"Forbidden" was for my previous generation a provocation that they torn to pieces at any single attempt to be imposed uppon them.

I was born in a thirsty country that had thrown itself into the search of modernity.

In the 80's, Spaniards were in a rush to catch up, to open our senses to the world that, for so long, had been denied to us.

We were the exotic country of Hemingway's "Fiesta", of bullfighters that made Greta (the most beautifull animal alive) to fall in love from head to toes with them. We were still that and, willing to keep it, we wanted more.

We were the Picaso's characters rising from the ashes of darkness and Dali's dreams waking up in a sunny bed where eveyone was invited...

Pedro came and ended up with the black and white. He filled everything with colour and rescued our alter egos from the peril of becoming grey europeans. He made it clear even to us: We were different!!!

I was born 30 years ago, when the lines were still not so clearly shaped and the brave ones like my mother and my father, started to welcome the changes not knowing where they would lead, but determined to don't go back, to give me and my generation a better tomorrow.

DID I FORGET THAT?

I still have the letter my father gave me in the airport when I freely decided to leave the nest.

Maybe he knew his job was done and that mine had already started and I was too young to understand.

He knew that the ups and downs would come and he was aware of the impossibility to protect me against them. And I know (and it burns) he hoped thatI could fulfill some of his dreams.

He put on me that load and some days it doesn't let me breath...

I don't know if I am a dissapointment for him, for my people or only for myself.

Because some times I feel so tired... And I loose perspective, and...

This not forced emigration it's harder because at times I forget what I want and that makes me feel so bad, so shallow, so petit burgois, so....Grey european. And fuck that!!! Though...which are the alternatives??

I don't forget who I am and I'm not planning to do that.

Knowing the past makes it complicated; Like if everyone, included myself, iwas expecting something soooo damn good from me... Not knowing the future adds excitement to the present, but this blur...it's too blur.

Scapism it's just boring. Nevermind where you want to run. They always find you.

Besides, scapism makes me feel guilty. Everything I do or say makes me feel guilty because who the fuck am I to change anything? I am the fucker who won't give you the pleasure of watching me surrender...

I know who I am... Or at least, I'm trying to find out.

In this Occident, we are the privilege poor people who still have the time to do that.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Draft of manifesto

I don't believe in the hidden truths that float in the universe and can be found everywhere.
I don't think there are patterns that, if followed, would help us to understand and unveil the secrets of nature.
There are not similitudes in the performance of an action, but infinite ways and possibilities of carrying on with it; and every time we do it, we build a microcosmos of movements in which our own our cells respond differently to the same stimulus. Results, depsite appearence, are not always the same.
I believe in human mistakes. Anomalies are the product of them. Chaos reings above the persecution of order.
Order is an utopia, a goal that turns our souls into prisions, our ideologies in absurd creeds, our freedom in tyranny and our daughters and sons into soldiers without a cause.
And if there is no cause, there is no reason why.
With no reason there is no purpose and not right or wrong.
Our human nature is made of too many contradictory ingredients.
I doesn't matter for how long we have been mixing them in the quest of finding the perfect combination that can give us the confidence to call ourselves superior creatures.
It's not a problem of definition but a conflict in establishing the questions, of a wrong starting point.
Like with everything else in life.
Maybe today is the perfect day, and I am missing the point because I'm focusing too hard in tomorrow, trying to picture it, to follow the simple set of rules that could lead me to it.
Those rules make sense for all of you but not for me.
Resistance.
But, still, not a clear definition of my wrongs. Or my rights.
Post modernism is hanging in all the walls of my world and clearly has swept away all the convictions. It has left me motherless, womanless, humanless.
I am living in a theoretical world without paradigmas that help me to analyze it.
This chaos suits me by now because i don't want to understand your reasons. I don't have time for them.
Darkness is safer; not so cold. A shelter from the purchase of standarization that you force us to fit in.

Personal manifesto:
1. Independence with no revenge and no regrets.
2. No universal definitions. Democracy is not despotism of the ones who dictate the rules.
3. No rules, but no destructive anarchy either.
4. Construction of meaning from a new perspective where is room for every point of view.

(personal note: ....Fuck...I am falling into relativism. Manifestos should give some space to solve this problem...the problem that every human mind has different definitions of what is good and what is not and the imposibility of pleasing every single will)

5. Creation of spaces, of platforms of discussion and change. Don't fear the reaper.

Too liberal... I don't want to chop any heads or spoil precious blood. hmmmm....
Let's start again

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

the Heart of Darkness (part 2)

London expands and contracts itslef pushed by the incesant movement of people living inside this huge scenario where life passes by with no contempt for those who can't manage to keep up with its speed.
There are plenty of londons existing simultaniously in a space where different realities share the same name that brings them together.
And all of them collapse in a colective imagination that should know better by now than things are not always what they seem to be.
Neighbourhoods are built in here according to welath, colour or even nationality, creating a complex babel similar to the one depicted by Alejandor Ganzalez Inarritu in his latest film.
London is a tower of humanity where everyone of us live together without knowing or listening to the person that is next to us. No matter how needed this person could be or how lost.
We judge by the appearence, we decide and conclude without hesitation, no matter how wrong we could be. Civilization has tought us that is always better to keep it safe.
Prevenion taken to its foremost limits develops into an almost inhuman independence, into a coldness towards the possibility to reach empathy.
In comparison with the South, the center of London is almost artificial; it's a tourist resource where even the air feels fake.
Its beauty doesn't allow us to penetrate into it. It's jut there, for us to walk by, only in the surface, warning us that to go further could break the spell... A beautifull apple with a worm inside.
And so the frontiers are not jus phisical, but also psycologycal. We fear to cross them and loose our uniqueness.
It's funny how the memory of a city tells us about the places that used to witness "better" times: an endless forest became squares and traffic-packed roads, whilst buzzing streets where left to the oblivion by citizens eager to move on just to end up buried in a better soil.
The darkenss comes from within; it is a human desease, not a place's handicap.
The external appearence will eventually dissapear, but our fears will be stronger than our human shells or than the walls of a city; they will challange our faith in progress and they will stop us from let it happen.
We are so far away... We keep it safe, divided by the unnatural limits that we imposed on ourselves...We keep distance and create spaces where things are good, not so good and bad.
We label them with a power that is far away from be supernatural.
Who gave this power to us? Who has taken it from us? That's a very easy question. But it takes some courage to accept the answer, to digest it, assimilate it and do something about it.
Aren't we all Dorian Grays keeping the ugliness out of sight?
We must be aware of how pathtetic we are pretending to be inmortal, pretending not to know and giving credit to our forced ignorance.
But, oh... we know it's there.... Just one stop away.
And the worst about this incapacity to comunicate and comprhend, it's that we know we can do something about it.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Heart of Darkness (part 1)

Bus trip towards the heart of dakness...
It's just another boring Saturday morning, and with my camara that eventually wont leave its case, I head South.
Once more I queue oppossite Russel Sq tube Station and I find all these tourists, doznes of impersonal faces that look all the same, taking their wallets out to start another tyring day walking the streets of central London, looking for another cool picture to hung up on fucking facebook, so all their friends (and people they have there and don't even know) will go green with envy when they see the Big Ban in the background...Wowow....Big deal.
I pull out my Oyster Card from the pockt and I top it up with 5 pounds. My Oyster is always short of money, which is kind of funny, because I barely travel around by tube. I love walking.
So I start the journey.
I wonder where all these people that are in the train that is heading towards me are going at 9 'clock in the morning?!
I have to push my way in, saying a couple of menaingless "sorry" and another couple of "excuse me" (can you move ur fkng ass?? Obviously I omit that part...Freudian repression they call it. Well it's necessary to live in society. I will go back to that one)
I take my mp3, start it up and let The Killers ride with me towards Victoria.
Once in Green Park someone says in megaphony that Victria Line and Jubilee line are closed today, so I call Sandra and she manages to give me another route...
I swear a couple of times to let my frustation out, I look at the Ritz and I think of all the fuckers who are having a suite that would cost me 6 months salaray...But the sun is shinning. The summer is almost over, and it's good to enjoy a perfect blue sky before the winter ruins it all.
So I try to calm down despite I am now 20 minutes late. But Sandra says she will wait for me; she makes me feel guilty for my irritation and anger agains the transport system in this urbe.
I tranquilize myself and I go back towards the noisy and polluted city that inhabits under London.
Now, I have to concentrate in reaching the Northern Line and, after more people slowing my pace, one more station closed, one raplacement bus, 1h20m later... I make it to Brixton.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Just a Wishful Thinking

The first time I leaft it was a very strange sensation.
I wasn't quite sure if a good bye was an appropiate farewell, because a part of me wanted to hold to the belief that nothing would change whilst I was away. That was an irrational wishful thinking, of course.
When the day of leaving behind everything known to me came, I felt for the first time the inevitable weight of time on my shoulders, and I knew its touch would never abandon me; I knew that it will hound my soul and body till the end.
I looked at the tree in the backyard. It was a melancolic view of all the years I haven't noticed how important it was for me. It was a review of myself growing up unconsciously, happily ever after, so unaware of this feeling that it was tearing me appart.
Not asking for any acquiescence, things that had always been so familiar, began to become a threat to the stability that had reigned my world.
None had tought me how to face a reality that before had seemed so untouched, so fixed.
I'd wish to whisk this girl off to Neverland. Instead, my cases waited in the car that soon would drive me away from the house that was my entire world. Every room a country, a memory, a scent of unforgettable and priceless moments.

And now, after all these years, after all my thousands of lives getting mired into the search of a better "this", I realised that "this" is still shapeless.
I've been tugging it along all this time amongst my trousers and skirts, my lipsticks and expensive perfumes. Amongst all my books that encoded several ways of describing it, but gave me no answers.
So I guess this is not it.
Between loops and dashes, I've sewed a quilt full of the names that made me change route when at some point I thought the time had come to settle down.
For some reason, this city does not want to fall at my feet. She laughs at my pretention to purport to be a conqueror who subyugates her to my will. But she resists proudly and defiant. She only makes my desire grows stronger. And I like her because of that.
I think I still want to understand the limits (if they exist) and all the mistery of my darkest Miss Hyde.
So I tilt my chair backwards whilst writing these words, I look up trying to draw with my imagination the stars that are outside there tonight and I aknowledge the ups and downs, the controversial acceptance of a defeat and the confussion that that defeat has drove me in, because I know I've said and done many wrongs.
But, I am just a human.
That does not justify my slackness, but it moves me, because my imperfection it's reluctantly willing to become something else.