Friday, June 29, 2007

Of Diamonds and Carbon

I'm sure you already know, but the last signer of the 1940's constitution of Cuba Emilio Ochoa died this week.

I always take life's unfairness as a constant reminder about what we can do to help bring about justice in the world. It's a philosophy that has taken me to many places and adventures in life, but even then in moments of unfairness like Millo's death –like Celia's death– I find myself in a moment of sadness because no matter what can be done it never seems like it is enough.

"Todo es hermoso y constante
todo es musica y razon
y todo como el diamante
antes que luz es carbon."

I often repeat this to myself and now wonder if the great meaning behind this metaphor of Marti is that in order for carbon to become a diamond it must undergo extreme amounts of pressure. Perhaps the unfairness of life is this pressure. And so long as we learn from our past, so long as we allow ourselves to be transformed for the better by the hellish forge of life, we will avoid the moribund present of a failing hope, and give birth to a bright and flourishing future. Perhaps Cuba may still be a diamond someday –if not a pearl- and all this carbon and all this painful pressure is merely the last painful and difficult step to a great future.

Time will tell.

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