WORDS AND THINGS / Lilianne Ruíz

When I was 17, in the midst of blackouts of the “special period”, I found a happiness in my heart. (I know what I’ve said but with a little patience you who read me will see where I’m going with this.)

It is only possible to speak of this in a language that resists time. Inherited. For a long time I tried to name my experience and lost, so I thought to share it with Rimbaud: “One evening I sat Beauty on my knees, and I found her bitter, and I reviled her,” from his second poem in “A Season in Hell,” a different reading, quieter and less iconoclastic. I think we both regretted not having known Beauty’s name. Temptations of language that kill us or give us life. It established a perfect parallel between “The Drunken Boat” and “The Dark Night,” and in this foolishness I passed many years.

To me the experience of the resurrection happened in front of a book that I think I have said before was the fourth Gospel, and through these words the locks were opened on my heart or my mind or my soul, and I only knew that I was saved from a very sad adolescence marked by family separations.

Then life was a feast overflowing with wine. Not even communism could take my freedom. In this moment I recovered my joy, my sense, I felt changed, loved and capable of love, from then I saw a life ahead of me.
What I cannot understand is why I wasn’t capable of recognizing what was happening in my country, perhaps I was very young, but meanwhile the world was like an open book and love was a fact — like a Let There Be Light. On the Malecon, in the year 1994, people were attacked by the Castro hordes. And I wondered what kind of thing was Nirvana. Smells like teen spirit.

That has been the most important experience of my life, and being a mother, the two have rescued me. So I do not see myself as a brace person in and of myself, I think I am only to the extent that I believe in God. But I believe in God not because a priest told me to, nor a preacher. I liked reading the Spanish mystics, because I believe in God in a vital way, and also for the poetry that unwittingly I can write.

I do not believe that Saint John of the Cross in writing the Dark Night of the Soul has done anything more than a navigation log, a Baroque blog. I wanted to talk about all this to explain why fearing the violence of the totalitarian Cuban State, I have no fear.

February 28 2012