Prison Diary V: March Cold / Angel Santiesteban

The Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl, in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, which featured his experience as a Jew as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps, says: “I consider it a dangerous misconception of mental hygiene to assume that what man needs in the first place is equilibrium or, as it is called in biology, “homeostasis,” i.e., a tensionless state. What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

His words definitely define, underpin and summarize my current existence. I live my days answering the call to my conscience, responding to my need to work to achieve a political change in my country that returns hope to Cubans and ends the sacrifice of families seeing their children leave for other lands to look for better conditions.

Later Viktor E. Frankl says: “(…) what matters is not the meaning of life in general terms but rather the specific meaning of every individual’s life at a given moment. To put the question in general terms would be comparable to the question posed to a chess champion: ’Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?’ What happens is, simply, that there is no such thing as the best move, or a good move, apart from a particular situation in a game and the particular personality of one’s opponent. We should not search for the abstract meaning of life, because everyone has within him his own specific or mission to carry out; everyone has a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Thus he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated; everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”

Through reading, my creative writing and my devotion to expressing myself in my blog, my strengths are multiplied.

I am determined to continue, whatever the sacrifice, to achieve our dreams and that they may complete the liberation struggles of the nineteenth century, with  Marti’s ideal as a banner. We can’t forget forget that God keeps all our tears.

We are not far, my nose tells me events predict the change that will finally return to us the meaning of life, with democracy as the only door to a better Cuba.

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

La Lima Prison. March 2013

25 March 2013