They can burn books, destroy libraries, forbid languages, ban beliefs, delete past times,
draw new present times, order future actions, torture and execute people...
But they still don´t know how to kill the intangible and bright
bodies of ideas, dreams and hopes.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Aspiration and inspiration

Aspiration and inspiration

By Sara Plaza

I don't suppose that everybody have asked themselves what we intend to reach, professionally speaking. So, on the one side, it may be useful to check what those that have thought about it believe. The Spanish writer Juan Gil–Albert wrote: "I aspire to be as much subjective as possible. Only by talking in his name, a man achieves to agree, if not with the truth that might be a goal too abstract, at least with authenticity. To be authentic is worth as much as be true and is within our good–will reach". However, Graham Green was of the opinion that you have to write with a piece of ice in the heart, and the British author Ian McEwan agrees with this proposal for he believes that it is of vital importance to distance him from the characters of his novels...

On the other side, I consider the line between literature and life to be so fine that it would be possible to listen to both beatings as one. In my opinion, that piece of ice would end up melting as a result of beating, for I believe that you have to be able to recognize the world and yourself before trying to reinvent any of them. It seems to me that what we do is related to whom and how we are, and taking those authors' opinion as a starting I am going to reflect on human beings' aspirations in general.

If the poet was right and the path is done by walking on it, blow after blow, verse after verse, what we are and what we aspire to become should have something in common with our choices and the decisions we make. For that reason I believe that it is important certain fidelity to yourself. This quality of being loyal to you should be dotted with curiosity. Curiosity that has to do with our desire to learn a bit more in order to be unaware of a bit less.

Professionals, artists, apprentices, artisans, we all have something of warlocks/witches and wizards: we all transform into someone else by changing day after day. It does not matter whether we get transformed by an enchantment, a spell or a liquid with magic powers... but it is necessary to pursuit any sort of logic or coherence through the change and also to renew our efforts and illusions with a good deal of optimism. Manu Dibango, a famous musician from Cameroon, explained it a recent interview: "I consider myself as an old man with ability ... I am a grandfather perfectly capable of many things. In Africa the elders are respected. Not in vain they are the guardians of something. You have no option: despite yourself you must have stored experiences. Every day something happens and, in addition, there is your own transformation".

For we are getting older, instead of aspiring to be subjective, to cool down our heart or to get our production away from us when we write, but also when we compose, make music, lay bricks, work the land, manage information or have access to it... it would be better to turn back our faces from time to time while we keep on moving forward: imagining what might be possible by remembering what was impossible.

To make things
We don't stop being human beings,
To create
We don't stop living,
We don't stop breathing.

For we are both: Aspiration and inspiration. [1]

[1] In Spanish, both words "aspiración" and "inspiration" can mean inhalation. But, at the same time, "aspiración" also means "aspiration", while "inspiración" means inspiration.