Living and dying

PHOTO/AFP/FADEL SENNA - Una mujer reacciona frente a su casa dañada por el terremoto en el casco antiguo de Marrakech el 9 de septiembre de 2023
photo_camera PHOTO/AFP/FADEL SENNA - A woman reacts in front of her earthquake-damaged house in the old town of Marrakech on 9 September 2023

Cyclone Daniel kills more than 7,000 in Libya. In Morocco, an earthquake leaves 3,000 dead. Latest misfortunes, latest headlines. War conflicts and natural disasters continue. The wounded, the missing, the refugees, the abandoned, the orphans, the orphans... 

To think of death. To think of life. On the insignificant path that sometimes exists between living and dying. Two shores with an unknown distance. Two magnets that merge in an embrace. To be and not to be.  To weave, slowly, with the meticulousness of a spider, to trap dreams. To dream, even knowing how difficult reality is. You try, you struggle, you fall, you get up and you can even achieve it. To reach the longed for and fly like a kite, with the illusion with which the barefoot child sees it fly away, far away or near. Far away or near, from what, from whom? Not all realities are the same. To each his own. Many variants, many circumstances, many stories. Some better, some worse. It depends on so many things... But death doesn't know about them. It comes. Just like that. It warns when it wants to. It rarely does... 

Every day, in every corner, in luxurious houses or under thatched roofs, in big cities or in insignificant villages, beside mountains or seas, between laughter or in sad sheets, among those who have already accumulated great experiences or those who are beginning to add them up... death walks around oblivious to the pain it is going to cause. And it acts. It does not always do so in the same way. Like a huge catalogue of pantones, of colours, it chooses. The decision can offer the truce for a goodbye. It settles down next to the chosen person and relaxes while making room for the tenderness of a farewell. There is also room for destruction. Hundreds and hundreds at a time. There are no glances, no pauses, no chances. It sweeps mercilessly like a heavy hailstorm over a harvest. Thousands and more thousands, to the disbelief of those who had better luck. Luck. What does this word mean?  

Death has allies like countries. Locked up hatreds and programmed revenge. Or simply fellow travellers. When nature suffocates it tries to survive, when it feels cornered, it fights back. And we don't know or don't want to know. Maybe everything is simpler. And it happens. There are superstitions, philosophies, theories, ways of being or fashions. The positive attracts. The negative, too. And between one and the other, destiny walks victoriously, putting expiry dates on the sea-wet backs of two lovers, on those of babies yet to be born, on those of teenagers who draw in the darkness a wonderful future, on those of old people who no longer fear it. And without awareness of that date, they live and enjoy themselves wrapped in that marvellous ignorance that protects.

Libya, Morocco, Ukraine, Greece, India, Syria, Turkey, Haiti... There are too many of us crying. 

Death unscrupulously snatches from life its train ticket. And the sad journey begins for those who contemplate with impotence the insignificant path that exists between living and dying.