Lost Days

The thunder and clouds brought a herald of paradise. They penetrated the veil of night and arrived playing with the dawn. Behind stayed the oppressive heat of the last days. They stay almost in the oblivion while the sky plays with lights and stentor, teases with rain, and caresses my body with fresh breezes of lost days.

Could these be the lost days, the ones I didn’t live, the days of exile? Could this be why these lightnings smell like remembered oblivion? Could this be why this rain comes without being here, and wets the earth without falling? Could it be why this day I live without being here, remembering what I never lived, and I hug you welcomed in the absence that never was and in the void that fills me in plenitude?

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Dias Perdidos

El trueno y las nubes trajeron un aviso de paraíso. Atravesaron el velo de la noche y llegaron jugando con el alba. Atrás quedó el calor opresivo de los últimos días. Se quedan casi en el olvido mientras el cielo juega con luces y estruendos, coquetea con llover, y acaricia mi cuerpo con brisas frescas de días perdidos.

¿Acaso serán estos los días perdidos, los que no viví, los del exilio? ¿Será por por esto que estos relámpagos huelen a olvido recordado? ¿Será por esto que esta lluvia viene sin estar, y humedece la tierra sin caer? ¿Será por eso que en este día vivo sin estar aquí, recuerdo lo que no viví, y te abrazo bienvenido en la ausencia que nunca fue y en el vacío que me llena a plenitud?

The Rage of Fascism is the Whisper of a Dying World.

Don’t be afraid of the rise of fascism. Bring stability into your heart. Know the truth for yourself. Look around and see how many people actually are moving away from bigotry and racism. See how many or us are really, really thirsty for justice and equality. 

How many of us truly can see in each others eyes and see something divine? If you are one of us, know we are going to be okay. The way we conceive the world is how we are shaping it. We are dreaming the new world together. 

They have loud voices, and they want you to panic. They are giving a message of fear, so they make it seem like a loud roar, but that’s all there is. Here, in your heart, know that death is all around us and that that is no reason to panic. We still have this life, and in this life we get to create, write, speak, etch, mold and share a moment with one another, and we get to practice the truth that is in the heart, no matter what the patriots and the fanatics and the fearful say. They will not win. 

So, welcome the foreigner into your home. Welcome your brother and sister. Open your heart to all manners of religious expressions, to all manner of sexual identity. Open your heart to humanity. The hatred is waning. 

There is still work to do, but we have to go through this moment. It’s not that the world is getting worse. We are simply getting to the limits of what we can tolerate. We are seeing the forces we won’t tolerate trying to go back to the “glories” of racist policies, to the “great times” of segregation and the Middle Ages. understand that they are freaking out. The world as they thought it was is shaking. Their world feels unstable and they are panicking. This is why they are acting the way they are acting. Their world is dying. 

After all the wars and all the oppression and all the racism, we who have been alive in this continent for the past 500 years, know that we are awakening and we see the new world. We have seen it. Now remain calm––steady. Let them scream and rage. Their rage is the dying whisper of the old world. We are bringing the new. Keep your heart steady and loving. When you see the door, it is with that calm efficiency that we will walk through it.

This Refugee’s Heart Forever Longs

I was a refugee once. I knew nothing of an “American dream,” nor did I seek economic prosperity or opportunities. Nothing about your dollar called me. I came here because the army in my country was getting paid one million dollars by your government to kill people like me.

There are so many of us who came here, not to find a better life, but simply to survive. A better life? For life, period.

The road is dangerous for most. We know it well. You risk aggressions, robbery, rape, and death. You give yourself to the fates, the blessing of the elements, and the hope for the kindness of the brotherhood of humans.

You are grateful when you arrive, but you know the ordeal has just begun.

I was lucky to have been able to prove I was persecuted back home, for being a student of Philosophy, for working for war refugees, for speaking up for justice and a better world. Those were my crimes. That made me dangerous. I considered myself fortunate. I arrived to the US unscathed, and I stayed without once being detained. I went to court, and I was able to prove my case. I was one of less than 2% of Salvadorans granted political asylum. The Reagan administration was adamant to not grant any more than that, lest the public knew what he was really doing to my people. I was lucky. There were so many more more deserving, more in need, and more invisible.

The love for your family forces you to suffer all indignities in a place where you don’t feel alive. Between a cold hell and the fear of death, you take one more step each day towards a future where perhaps your children will feel like they have a place to call home. 

For the love of them you leave the people you love and the land where your spirit thrives. For them you accept as normal a life of racism, police harassment, and the indignities of always being the lesser, the other, the silent forgotten. For the sake of your children you give up even the hope of truly belonging to the society you give your life and work to.

Your mind is forever now on the day to day issues of survival, raising children who forget your language and adopt the manners of the people who won’t ever see you as one of them. Your aspiration is to one day see your children happy. Your mind settles for the hope of one day being normal, but the heart forever longs for that place where you once felt a human being.

What Is a Toltec Survivor

The word Survivor in The Teachings of a Toltec Survivor is not just about me. Yes, I have survived war, exile, two massacres, death squads, shots, magical attacks, tuberculosis, and the bubonic plague. But that’s not really why the term appears in the title. It is not because I am still alive; because, while my beloved death can be evaded today, she will one day succeed. Death is the most relentless of hunters.

These teachings are of a Toltec survivor because the Tolteca in me has survived, though the world has tried to bury him with lies and cover him in the illusion of self-involved problems. The Teachings have also survived. They have survived genocide and the night of forgetfulness.

It has been five hundred years since the light of this continent, this American continent, was covered by the European invasion. The conquest and colonization tried to eliminate the cultures, the language, the religions, the way of life; and more than anything, the identity of the inhabitants of this American continent.

For over five hundred years, what we were has been obscured, covered and forgot. And yet, through this long night of five hundred years, I’ve survived. If you are reading this, that same ineffable and unexplainable something may also survive in you.

Check out my book here: The Teachings of a Toltec Survivor

For those afraid of immigrants and refugees: embrace your laws and your highest cultural light.

Someone asked me if I thought we should bend over and forget our laws and our culture and just allow the people marching from Central America to come in, and if I thought they came to assimilate and work, or to be supported by us. This person also said that we should not feel responsible for the mistakes they have made and they should leave us alone and fix things in their own land.

Here is my response:

In the first place, they would not need help if we left them alone to begin with. It is our intervention in their affairs that have created this situation. Historical ignorance is bliss to nationalists, they do not have to see what they do to other nations in the name of economic privilege.

Second, they are not breaking the law. They are following it. These people are marching to seek asylum, as our laws allow. They are not breaking the law, but following it. When they are here, they ask for asylum and we should, under our own laws, process them and reject those who are deemed dangerous or undeserving.

Third, yes, they will come here and assimilate into our laws. They will contribute and add the richness of their culture just like every other wave of immigrants have done since the beginning of this nation.

Lastly, I don’t know any Central American who wants to be supported. And I know thousands of them. It is part of their culture to be hard workers.

So, I suggest you follow your own laws, pay attention to your own cultural roots, and welcome those who seek a chance to contribute in this vast land of their ancestors (they are, for the most part, natives after all). Do not bend your laws or culture. Embrace and be true to them.

The online boldness of a drowning man

Ever since that #shitholetrump was given the White House, some of his followers believe their fascist and racist ideals now have a hero. I’m not talking about all conservatives. True conservatives have valuable ideas and contributions to the ongoing dialogue of humanity, and its search for destiny. No. I’m talking about those true fascist that dream with their past glories of white supremacy, segregation, and slavery.

These people have been silent until now. They can feel their resurgence. They see every step toward xenophobia, suppression, oppression, and cruelty their leader takes as the pavement of a road to their paradise. Emboldened, they are more vocal on social media, in government, on television, and the pulpits.

Because of my opposition to their mouthpiece, and my immigrant status, I get attacked a lot online. So far, they have threatened me with violence and deportation; called me animal, criminal, liar, terrorist, and subhuman (for being Salvadorian); and on, and on. This happens almost on a daily basis now.

Not one of them have said anything in person, but always hiding behind their screen names. Fascist cowards. They are showing themselves, in their impotent pseudo-bravado. They are the last kick of a drowning man.

Untamed

Nothing has been tamed in the continent of my heart.

My blood floods rebellious through rivers of memory, under the empty expanse of the Heart of the Sky.

Celebrate the genocide you benefit from, #shitholetrump.

Celebrate with unfettered greed, even, for the night of five hundred years evaporates as I wake.

I crossed the border, because I am free.

Many people in this country tell me I do not belong here. I do.

They tell me to go back outside the imaginary border they set over my people, and they tell me that I should not come over here. They say they will build a wall, and that they will criminalize my existence if I live here as a free human.

I say they are wrong about this. They say that their fear of terrorism and crime justifies their wall, a wall that will keep me and other worthy humans out. I say their fear is not reason enough. Why? First, because their wall, as their border, is already a way to divide my people, to keep the poor poor, and to justify violence over the people. It has been the case ever since the conquerors divided the land by violence, rape, and enforced poverty. The borders currently existing did not evolve from the natural growth of communities. They were imposed through inhumane violence, and maintained by institutional violence.

The reason I had to come to the United States was directly because of the violence of the Reagan administration against me and my people. This is no political discourse, I demonstrated this in a US court, and it was determined that it would be a violation of human rights to expel me. I came here illegally, when all I wanted was to live in my land. But I had the right to live, so I came, I crossed the border illegally, because my right to exist and live free takes precedence over the right of the United States to draw a border.

Living here, does not make me a criminal, as many are wont to say. Living here without permission is only a misdemeanor, not even a crime according to the laws here. But the wall is designed to keep many worthy people out, like me and most people I know. It is designed, moreover, to cast a shadow over my people, to stigmatize me as illegal, as dangerous, as criminal.

Looking at today’s messages on Facebook, in just one day I have personally been called criminal, brown, ignorant, dangerous, illegal, and terrorist in the walls of at least 5 friends. All because these people commenting want to find a reason to build a wall. The wall won’t protect them against crime. Crime has always been part of the human condition. It won’t protect people from terror, for terror is executed first by those who build walls and define borders. It is meant to protect people’s prejudices and inhumane acts against the marginalized, the free, and the outsider.

I say, that all people are free to live on this earth, as it was for all our ancestors, as long as they do not thwart the rights of others.

I am a free born human being. My freedom and humanity takes precedence over any immigration law, any racist ideology, all artificial borders, and the economic interests of any nation, class, corporation, or crime syndicate.

I am a human being.

I am here.

Freedom is my home.

Stop the madness inside

Shame on those of us who perpetrate lies and misinformation against those who are already marginalized, oppressed, different, and feared.

It is disgustingly easy to propagate rumor and innuendo, dismissing the sad actuality of the lives of those who are persecuted.

When you contribute to the hate, by repeating thoughts and reasons to attack them, you are not really looking at them, but to your ego image, and what you think you are protecting is nothing but the false image of reality your thoughts are creating.

Stop the madness inside, and seek to the highest and truest values your silent self adheres to; and before you spread any sentiment against the poor, the immigrant, the minority, the oppressed, and the bereaved, search in silence those values that best reflect the nobility and sensitive intelligence in you.