— “I cannot rely on the future because no future is planned for me. I cannot have a past because this one is to be forgotten.” I live in a blurred present that is difficult to deal with and in which I do not have the least decision-making power, because the space of time in which I live is also defined as “an invisible tone of nothingness” and this is definitely not a euphemism.¶
Ciao dear Laurence,
I received your kind letter recently while bedridden with a high fever. It was not a disease related to any illness; I believe rather that it was a case of “prison fever”. They say that sorrow makes you sick. No, I am not kidding and it was not a matter of over-reflection. Other brains show that a long prison sentence can be looked at as a sanction, a “medicinal response” to the butchery of torment, like a “surgical sentence”. Amputation. Amputation of parts of life. Amputation of health, personality and physiological functions essential to one’s development. People who are forced to undergo the suffering of a long sentence always find their quality of life reduced.
Now, back to your letter… Yes, your lovely, kind letter.
It is not important that you become accustomed to writing letters, considering the current frenzy in time where everything is said and done quickly through WhatsApp, email, Facebook and Twitter. For me, what is essential and important is that you can write to me, in a telegraphic way if you like. What matters is not the way but the substance. It is not the number of words but the quality, because sometimes one word has the power to move mountains.
Each one of us – you, me, the people around us – need words that make us feel good inside; that reduce fatigue and discomfort; that whisper fragments of life to the soul.
In the cement of immobility, you have stretched out your hand, shooting life-saving arrows, words that dissolve doubts and sadness, and decorate colourless walls with small rainbows from one riverbank to another, connecting two worlds: you in the free world, and me in the world of a recluse behind bars.
Sometimes life dissolves us in the meanderings of nothingness. But the soul’s strength must always remain the same. I know, it can be difficult to turn our desires and intentions into reality. I am the first to foresee the conflicts that can exist between thinking and doing… Spaces that are difficult to seal.
Know that the reality of each one of our days takes the form and meaning that we want to attribute to it. Only the power of the mind can turn iron into gold.
I realise that we are just fragile humans, and that life often follows non-desired paths, as if someone drew the strings for us. We become puppets with hands and feet tied to a show against our will.
Consequently, the other option is to wither away and become some kind of shapeless entanglement of wire and wood, or to adapt to the puppeteer’s movement and make each tear a dance step forward.
As you can see, I alone give myself courage, like a conscious yet stupid man who sees nothing rise towards the sky; so much effort without tangible results. Perhaps, as I mentioned previously, it is up to us to give meaning to our everyday lives.
Finally, writing a daily journal and knowing that you must record your experiences on a daily basis could sometimes push the author to sugar-coat and manipulate reality. Thus, I imagine that our letter exchange is much more than just a journal because the content comes straight from the heart. It has the power to take readers right into my cell. Simply put, our letters are a journal of life where the brightest souls always meet.
Well, I must end my morning reflections; otherwise, I will never stop. So I conclude, awaiting your letter.
— Published on 10 January 2018.¶