Letter to a friend
Alberto Avendaño-oped | 4/3/2015, 9:51 p.m.
An answer to my friend Ricardo.
A Facebook post and an irreverent twitt.
My great poet and friend: I do have answers to your questions and uncertainties.
You know that I am an optimist and a sufferer —an anguished optimist. Indeed, there are lights in this land of shadows. But it is in our hands to come out of the shadows —those imposed by others and those self-imposed. I do have examples —some built with my own hands— to offer you in the form of an answer, but at the end of the day all starts with you... Never wait for the gift from the Great White Father nor expect a solution coming from the yelling posture of any messiah.
Let us learn to build together. Let us learn to enjoy the success of others, to help avoid the failure of others, to help others. The others are us... Being Latino or Hispanic —I do not fear the word— is a tool, not a destiny. If the United States of America is the end of the journey, so be it. But never forget the root that sustains you, the essence that feeds you, the language that gives meaning and emotion to motionless matter.
This will allow you to embrace your surroundings, to accept yourself and the others.
For me success is helping others to succeed. Indeed for some of us success is also to feel fully satisfied in our everyday struggles. It is success —and a real triumph for me— to enjoy the opportunity of carrying on the Hispanic agenda in this everchanging land.
I can only tell you: Choose between moving forward and moving on, but —hell— just move!
And as my beloved poet, Octavio Paz, would say: Deserve your dreams.
In his The Labyrinth of Solitude, Paz says that “It is always difficult to give oneself up; few persons anywhere ever succeed in doing so, and even fewer transcend the possessive stage to know love for what it actually is: a perpetual discovery, and immersion in the waters of reality, an unending re-creation.”
And it is the ‘unending re-creation’ where I want you to focus. The new land is life —and there is nothing new about life. Remember that here, there, and everywhere you are the center who needs to reconnect, re-create.
Move happily, aware that there is a legacy if you are present. Yes, America is a propitious territory to find yourself and beyond yourself, somewhere, I wait for your arrival.
We need you in this Hispanusa as you, meaning: as a neverending promise, as an exciting possibility.
And what about me? You asked.Well, now I see —meaning I feel— there is a new journey ahead of me.
And I still feel an enormous solitude, a clamorous silence, a touchless negligence at the hands of many in the Hispanic community, in the Latino intelligentsia.
But the agenda continues. The dream never ceases. The path is wide open. And Don Quijote is alive because the motherland is not a geopolitical concept but a spiritual feeling. .
Avendaño is Executive Editor of El Tiempo Latino