Wednesday, January 04, 2006

come with me

if you enjoy these posts, and care to read some more, you can find me at www.hugodossantos.com/blog

thank you for reading.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

All the reasons

Random late-summer morning, there was a breeze in the air and the sky was clear. Just before nine in the morning, the world stopped as time ticked on. We froze, glued to television sets, wondering what happened, and why. And why.

They flew planes into buildings, or attempted to, but the true wings of their ideology was their opinion of American involvement in international affairs. They thought us nosy. They called us murderers. They felt they were merely vindicating scores of their own dead, made so by our hands and policy.

After 9/11, enlistments into our armed forces sky-rocketed. We felt violated, helpless, with no recourse other than a gun. I mean, how do you reply to acts of that nature, of that magnitude? How can 20 men bring about so much destruction? And yes, in their minds, they had their reasons, tragically forgetting that no reason is reason enough to condone such acts.

At the core of our call to action was the fact that we were attacked on our home soil, not at international bases or buildings like we witnessed in Africa. This wasn’t like the bombing of the USS Cole, this was an act that made victims out of everyday civilians. We were shocked, appalled, and the fire of vengeance burned within us as a nation.

So we joined up. In record numbers, young men and women throughout this country walked to their local office and signed up to serve in our armed forces. It was our duty as Americans to protect our country.

So how can we not understand the plight of our Iraqi brethren? Isn’t their home soil being attacked? Aren’t their civilians dying in record numbers? And perhaps all the more shockingly parallel to what we endured, don’t we, in our own minds, think that we have all the reasons in the world? And aren’t we, by that token, perhaps, if only just a little, tragically forgetting that no reason is reason enough to condone our acts?

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Cloudless but gloomy

I miscarried you. I brought you along until I could do so no longer. Despite all my good intentions I lost you by the wayside and it tore me up. It broke me down. I felt the pieces tear away from me.

And last night I had a dream that the rain poured down so fast the ground disappeared beneath my feet and suddenly I had to swim everywhere because I just couldn't get there any other way. And while the sun shone hard on my back as I made my way through the water, I knew everything covered by this new sea. I knew what streets lay hidden beneath me and I made my way through them just the same; turning right and left and stopping as I would now for a cup of coffee at Modelo.

But then the sun evaporated the sea and everything went back to normal. I was standing outside my house, returned from a crazy ride and dropped again. Left alone. Because in leaving you you left me, too.

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Friday, November 12, 2004

Some call it evolution

We go from friends to lovers and hate each other in between. And now I can't stand the sound of your voice, or the echo of your laugh. I hate your bright teeth shining through a fake smile you carelessly throw people's way. You don't understand what you do, and as such no one can ever understand you either.

There's enough rain outside to make a new lake. And there are enough lakes out there that we're running out of names. But that doesn't matter because the point is that all the water comes from somewhere. There has to be a source, maybe more than one. And the weatherman says it'll turn to snow by nightfall. And you know how I love fresh white snow under the shadow of the moon. I get lost in it like a child. It never took much anyway.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we never really outgrow the people we once were. And so when you look at me I might grow weak for half a breath, because I can't really forget who I was. And as such, I can never truly forget who you were. No matter who you've become. Regardless of anything that's happened since. All those negative thoughts last but half a breath.

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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Just like every (and any) other morning

Just like the previous day, just like every (and any) other morning, the sun rises at dawn following the evening of complete darkness. And some wonder where the street lights have gone, and some know but won't divulge, and others are content to go along following from the ground as the lights fly like birds in search of warmer air. But the night is brutal. The chill unforgiving. The darkness a cold sheet. There is no light on my street. Not once the sun goes down.

One dark-colored afternoon I met a man who carried a bag of verse. There were loose sheets, leafs of notebook paper bound together, and even the occasional napkin, scribbled upon, whose once discarded existence was now reborn, reformed, unburied and unmarried to form. And I think of him now because he was something of a seer and in his prophet ways he told me that it'd come to this. His sentences bled into each other and his eyes had the very tint of the night before last; the final seconds of light at night when, like perched birds, the lights hung seemingly in the air. And I saw this in his eyes. I saw it before he uttered a word. He foretold it with his eyes. You just had to know where to look.

The obvious isn't always in what's said. You can know the universe without understanding how you know it.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Is it OK to love someone or something that is evil?

No one, and nothing, is evil all the time. Evil is a relative term. What's evil for me isn't evil for another person. Someone loved the men who flew a plane into the Twin Towers. Someone loves the murderers and killers behind bars. Not all murderers, but if just one is loved than loving evil is, in fact, possible. Or rather, loving despite the evil is possible.

Even those who are completely evil and solely consumed with killing and destroying can be fortunate enough to find love. First-hand, I don't know anyone who fits this description but the occurrence of this phenomenon is possible as seen through the characters in the stories we tell our children. In the Batman comics, Mr. Freeze had a loving bride. Octavius from the Spider-Man comics also had a loving wife, and while that was before he became Dr. Octopus do we really doubt that despite his rampages and actions she would have continued to see the same man behind those now-evil eyes? I don't mean to trivialize this argument, but characters are figments of humanity's imagination and the curious thing about our imagination is that it is limited by our environments; i.e. we are incapable of creating anything that doesn't already exist before us. Our brain utilizes bridges to get from thought to thought, image to image, creation to creation. The sheer fact that these loves develop and intensify on the page is interesting because if this type of love were not possible then it would seem ridiculous to the readers. The entire thing would seem like too much of a stretch.

The most beautiful characteristic of love, and that which enables it to flourish despite of evil, is that it is not dependant on the object of the emotion but rather on the eyes that look upon it. Despite all the reasons not to exist, love finds a way.

So I began to wonder about love and to doubt whether it was so special after all. I mean, if anyone can be loved, anyone at all, even the crudest of souls, what's so good about it? If anyone can find it, what's so grand about love?

But then I realized that it is for that exact reason that love is as majestic as it is. We can all find it if only someone can find some spark in us. We too can love. And be loved. We just can't control when or how.

Still, before we learn to love, or to accept love, we need to learn compassion. You have to crawl before you can walk.

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Monday, October 25, 2004

Because of the promise of the morning

“My advice to you is run. Run. Do you want to wake up every morning, with all the promise that morning conveys, and come here?”

I’m very self-conscious. It’s not that I think I’m less than others; I’m just very aware of my own imperfections. That’s why when I read particular writers I analyze my words versus theirs. My storytelling next to theirs. I think of how I constructed a work and of how another might have done it, or I look at the other work and think of how I would have done it.

My doubts humble me. Every time my pen kisses the page and the product isn’t the very best poem ever written by a man, I feel doubt. I feel doubt that I will write a line that will change someone’s life. I doubt that someone will fall in love with my poetry. I doubt my books, my verse, my tongue and my pen. I doubt everything except the beauty of the poem, because there is always truth in my verse, and the truth, if nothing else, is beautiful.

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