The British writer Doris Lessing, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007, and who always lived against the tide, wrote about this personal commitment to never allow herself to be dominated by imposed norms and execrable fashions. And he said: “Being a rebel takes your whole life, / erasing the privileges from your skin, / inscribing yourself in the loneliness of disagreement, / leaving behind the usurpers … / There is no reward for a rebel / beyond being able to water their flowers in the appropriate time, / go out to feed the birds one morning where capital devours, / smile with battered teeth at the misfortune of breakfast, / be destitute in the house that nobody dreams of. ”
Christmas is always a propitious resource to make the demands of a rebel our own, like chrysalis that wait immobile and expectantly locked in the cocoon for the festivities to fade away. It is impossible to escape from the universal bustle that these days put us in, absent from our demands and perhaps from our deepest and most protected identity. Between the rebellion of running towards ourselves or submitting to the rhythm of the tambourine and the bottle of brandy, there is always the possibility of submitting to a third degree and purging the sins we never committed. Guilt, you know, is the axiom of a culture that was imposed on us and that was ours.
These dates, there is no doubt, can be used to do what we long to do every day: close the door, turn off the mobile, open a reserve bottle, better reserve, look out the window, absent, to hear the frenzy imposter of the others, and then open a book -before turning on the television- and look for our soul among those words that others who wrote for us without knowing us, but who hit the correct accents -which is not little-, the commas intertwined, polished metaphors and naked truths.
Being a rebel these days could only be a foretaste of another time to come when bipolarity, imposed proposals, late appointments uncomfortable, the evil eye of hope will no longer fit. The end of the year will only announce the beginning of another new one and the streets will once again be traveled by absent citizens fleeing from the covid, from taxes, from bosses pissed off by the norm and from burned marriages. Sometimes, in a corner, each of them stops, enters a bar with the doors closed and inside the noise of other satanic music makes them forget the lullabies of the Christmas carols imposed by so many days of forced joy.
On Christmas Eve, now that we are many years old and our parents left us alone in the world, it seems to us a disproportionate nonsense, when without them there is no family, no gargantuan dinner, or that air of a finished time that is not there. It is difficult to join in the solidarity of those who still live the rise of protected children beyond assuming it as a broken dream, lost in the shared memories of other such benign days when we were still so young. Young people, we were so young, the lyrics of the song read back then, when we were just emerging teenagers looking for a place in that world of enigmas that still fuel our subdued rebellion.
But it is enough to look back a bit, not too much, to understand the fleetingness of life, the impetus of youth, the volcanic feeling of love, the oppression of a hug when it seeks and catches us, the subtle kiss that marks a before and after, which bids us farewell to a stage of life that is gone forever, and a rebellion that, from then on, we seek as a battered identity mark undermined by misfortune. However, to our regret, a residue remains in any pore of our skin through which new winds of change seep, that impossibility of having to submit to other oppressive laws. Always, who would have thought, when we wake up, even though we have betrayed all our fondest hopes, we manage to glimpse a slot through which to escape from ourselves and from ourselves.
Lessing, who was always a rebel, wrote in the same poem: “The rebels know what the prizes are made of, / they reject the crusts thrown by the hand of the oppressor. / A rebel has life as the only prize, because no one seizes from it. it appropriates, in it / no one usurps it, / because it is the only land of each corner where it sleeps./ Its rebellion always manages to shelter the discouragement of progress / and if by the way a rebel has joy in solitude, she has conquered the world . ”
Tonight, or these nights, if we are alone, and we do not feel alone, perhaps we walk closer to ourselves, delving into a wound that no longer bleeds and that we love, that comforts us, that helps to smooth the daily roughness of a life that is not as beautiful as we would like, but that does not hinder our spirits when it intends to build or has built a parallel universe where the Christmas carols nest frozen in the sound libraries, the stars only shine in the sky, the dried anise is also drunk in August –with a lot of ice, yes–, where a woman looks at you and changes your life, and the new dawn is appreciated as the best gift that the Magi left you on the balcony the night before, and, between doubts and others, rebellion grows and grows never to be defeated, to feed the starvation of the contempt of others and the forceful will to learn, and to know that each day can be new and different, blinding, glaring, overwhelming, the first page of a book yet to live and to write.
There we go.
ANTONIO LÓPEZ HIDALGO
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Antonio López Hidalgo | Rebels