The traces of time

Pedro Corzo

By: Pedro Corzo - 09/04/2024

Guest columnist.
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Death is an experience close to every human being, aging, a privilege that not everyone enjoys and that has much less impact than the definitive fall of a contemporary, although it is an everyday reality that some of us forget to enjoy, because we do not want to admit that the game is in its final stages.

I remember with strong nostalgia when the writer and novelist Jose Antonio Albertini brought to the group a novel titled “Youth Doesn't Return,” by Manuel Pombo de Angulo. It was for those teenagers of the '60s generation, a kind of call, a window to the future, a vision of how cruel life could be. A reality that is not contemplated in adolescence.

The book describes students at a cosmopolitan European university involved in World War II. The work is full of heroism and sacrifices. We all immediately identified with those who fulfilled their commitment to their land and their time.

We were far from thinking, including Albertini, the most sagacious and talented of our group, almost all of them have left us, that in a dangerous scenario and without the enchantment of literature, we would get involved, voluntarily or not, in a process that substantially affected our lives. .

Politics absorbed the spirit of Cubans. Sectarianism, inquisition. We were launching a theocracy that began the sowing of a new order that would only produce a harvest of horrors and terrors.

We all get involved. The political colors merged into black or white. Repression and violence were the preferred tools of the monks of the new religion. The individual became widespread.

Individual choice was inevitable. Impossible not to assume responsibilities. We packed our fears into our backpacks and headed towards the goal we all longed for. Tyrians and Trojans took on what they considered his duty, aware that the route to him is always the most difficult.

Society splintered more than ever before and youth left, slowly and inexorably. Some lost their dreams with age, and cynicism and complacency took their place. Heroism consumed some and vileness consumed others. They were hard times.

But between both sides, ready for fratricidal confrontation, the parasites grew. Perhaps in some there was conviction, but power corrupted them. The majority savored the lentils, pretending to believe, pretending to surrender. Fear, accommodation or ambitions, but whatever it was, opportunism mutated them into vampires. The “Generals and Doctors” were privileged over the material misery or political misfortune of others, particularly the people.

The power won. In the confrontation, death came to many of our generation, in particular, to those who challenged totalitarianism. Prison was a harsh destiny, exile, internal and external, another, those who remained on the island were marginalized by the complicity of many. The scars have left us shadows.

However, regardless of dreams or party, the day came when youth left, although on the side of power it occurred in the golden years of success.

Serving Pharaoh made them people. Satisfaction drowned the conscience of those who once had it. They had a great time. A horn of plenty nourished them. The merciless condemnation of everything that did not conform to the imposed standards was the daily work. In short, all the evils, all the crimes were justified by the realization of a chimera in which few of its many actors sincerely believed.

Time continued to add more gray hair, wrinkles and less energy, regardless of ideologies. Many of those who left with the siren have run out of sleep and have sought refuge where their challengers were forced to leave.

In short, the youth left regardless of actions or consciences. But the experiences remain. It would be false to say that past anguish has been erased, as well as to deny the horrors and satisfactions experienced. For some, for others and third parties, there were wounds and smiles, but for everyone alike, youth was gone.

However, the nation, although in danger, remains for both those who honored it and those who harmed it. It exists for the just and the vile, because over guilt, complicity, heroism, successes, innocence or omissions, the nation transcends, not only in sorrows and joys, but also the departure of youth that no longer returns.

«The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author».