Essay

Where Fire Was, Ashes Remain. Where Ashes Remain, Fire Might Born-again

The times of the universe are gradual. The Earth is more than 4.5 billion years old. The mountains and oceans took eons for us to see as we know them today. Nature is wise because it remained almost immovable but slowly advancing for millennia. The mystery of the cosmos is hidden in its apparent indifference, its graying gait, the serene brooding that longevity entails. Silent, slow, imperceptible, evolution travels. And the human being, in contrast to that eternal movable patience, wants everything now, immediately, here. We coexist on this planet in two ways of existing and we, the lowest mortals, want to prevail, impose and subdue the murmur of the wind, turning it into a typhoon. How much naivety bottled up in our tiny bodies! So many delusions of grandeur encased in our small minds! We do not even learn the clear and we pretend to notice the shaded!

Such habitual misunderstanding leads us to hide from that beastly reality that is the evident, undeniable and absolute pre-existence. We do not know where it came from, when it arrived, where the galaxies and constellations are going, and less do we intuit which ancient hand pulls the strings of destiny. Sands, animals, winds, seas and mounts. Injustices, calamities, torments and violence. Flowers, softness, praise and silences. Everything is beyond the reach of the very limited mortal reason! We see shadows in the cave that we assume to be real, and we live content with the spectacle of the senses. How veiled the secrets of the perpetual from our eyes! How much calamitous ignorance hidden behind our false and ephemeral assurances!

Our terrestrial biographies go on pilgrimage searching for something, a sign or symbol, meaning or direction. The veil in our eyes prevents us from seeing the effulgent and imperishable light of the answer to our questions, although we do perceive the lamps, spotlights, and artificial bulbs that some lit to illuminate the walk, as discreet indications of the Eternal. In these artificialities we find shelter, a safe space, the plaza of our defense against the onslaught of life. We set up the tent of the answer on uncertainties. None of this is true refuge, they are not eternal rocks or cornerstones. They are limited speculations of the mind and body of other countrymen. However, we feel restricted in understanding. Because we are.

Then there comes an ordinary day when we come across, on the ground on which we walk with our heads down, a narrow, steep, ancient staircase that descends into an unknown darkness. It looks like a bunker, as if it were the womb of Mother Earth inviting us to return to it. Can you be born again? Yes. Through there you reach the center of the world, of the cosmos, of the universe, of the galaxies. What site is that? Who inhabits that cave among the stone rocks? What is that pigsty doing in the middle of that definitive nothingness? What can come good from the telluric entrails? We don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know, and we don’t know.

Maybe in that place a heart beats, maybe salvation can be inside us, maybe we will find our belonging by giving ourselves completely. Maybe it is a sacred place. Only one thing is certain, to get to the answers we must march through those underground catacombs, we have to live their darkness and glare away from the lamps, spotlights and artificial bulbs that illuminate the human world on the surface.

In the distance a dawn, a tiny living flame that dances with the humming of the zephyr. It is not the same color as human lights, it is orange, yellowish, reddish and wild, scarlet and purple, russet and copper, blonde and burnished. Careful and serene dance, seducing sailors like a nymph, like a flower to the bee. It is not unpleasant or repellent or earthy. It is celestial. It attracts the visitor, dazzles him and possesses him. Where does that glow come from? Who lit that fire and for whom and for what? Or does it shine with its own light? Too many mysteries. So many that make you dizzy. There is chirping, voices singing a dreamy, peaceful chant. A few repeated words like praise, worship, and prayer. What alchemy is it that traps and holds the heart?

Suddenly a chorale voice “From here we will win. There is only one beat. There is only one heart. Immaculate heart”. Suddenly a war breaks out. Immeasurable forces battle. The descendants of the ladder take up the fight.

There is a storm that is not noticeable from the outside. I know that inside you are at war, even if you can’t see it in the photographs. I want to be like you who make the stars shine. With that laugh that you feel sorry for, but it is so perfect that I want to stay with it and be like you who make the planet go round when you kiss me with that innocence and you don’t realize it, you fill my world with light.+

Against whom do we dispute? What is the reason for the conflagration? What is the reward of victory? Men die at the hands of man, spilled blood cries out to heaven. There is crying and gnashing of teeth. The same previous voice solfy: “Those who have that same heart will triumph.” Of whom he speaks? Who is at war? What are the wages of evil? Death, desolation, hopelessness. Everything collapses.

Silent. Freedom. Easter. Pentecost. A shower of love drips down on descendants. Their resplendent souls are unanimous, they perceive them as God sees them. They receive a spirit, a gift, and a grace. They are undivided with the divinity, whole, transparent, simple. Soul at war. Soul in grace. Soul in peace.

Ruins, rubble and remains endure. When the fire of the battle is extinguished, only ashes remain. Nothing more. The utter despair completely covers the place. Despotic, tyrannical and arbitrary blackness. The descendants lose faith in leaving that cave. Some take a puff to fan the flame. The mission begins to be renewed, faithful, common effort with religious insistence. The snorts multiply, one by one, in a calm, slow, progressive and almost invisible way an extraordinary event similar to the discretion of the universe begins. The greatest revolution ever heard, full of joy and confidence, has begun.

+En Guerra, Sebastián Yatra&Camilo

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