It is 20 years since 9/11. In a climate of renewed tension with the world’s epicenter in Afghanistan. The clumsy exit of the North American troops arouses fears of revolts of the extreme right that removed the mandate of Donald Trump. We all remember what we were doing that day. It was a key day to originate and spread fear. At 3:00 p.m. Spanish time, 9:00 a.m. in New York, Ana Blanco in the TVE Newscast began to tell with great sobriety how a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. And then another, in the second. And how they both fell, symbol of modern Manhattan, practically disintegrated. Astonished, we already contemplated live the sequence of a day that changed history due to the repercussions it had.
There have been many other 9/11. September 11 has become a date of those to stop and look and not get lost in memory. Each one goes through the years stopping only on the day in which they were born and in which their loved ones were born, or in which those died. Meetings, farewells, designated commitments. When the world sinks and when it is reborn. And the years go by without knowing what date will be that others will remember why you left. You go through the days not knowing that some will be fixed indelibly. And that has happened with 9/11. In the end it seems that there are many of us who have ours, ours.
Spread out in plots, more sour than sweet, with more impact or more intimate, all 9/11 left a mark. The first was that of Chile in 1973. A brand new future was dawning with great flashes of promise. The books had stopped me in the chaos that Latin America suffered. Bolivia, Panama, Uruguay, Argentina in the making, Cuba always, lived in dictatorships, just like Spain. In the rest, democracy was very precarious. Chile was the hope: the socialist Salvador Allende and his reforms that made impossible. Dawn hurts with hope broken by the shots that cut off dreams. A botarate – as all coup leaders tend to be – finished them off. We passionately live the vicissitudes, the end of all confidence in a solution. The dead, the tortured, the dispossessed, the disappeared. The severed hands of the murdered Víctor Jara just because he sang with burning naivety. To the exploited love of Amanda, against the neighboring dictator of Guatemala, Ríos Montt, for the paradox repeated a thousand times: “My father was a farm laborer and I was a revolutionary, my children started a shop, and my grandson is a civil servant.” The mortal pain of Pablo Neruda who had discovered to me that the saddest verses can be written any night. By wanting out of love. The Neruda, man, that also broke over time.
And, yes, September 11, 2001, marked the date forever. The two towers of the world’s leading country collapsed like sand, like a nebula. We had contemplated, in reality and in the cinema, from his restaurant at the top, the Empire State, marveling at the splendid New York that opened at the feet, bold and vibrant line of the sky, urban landscape of the twentieth century. And of the erect sovereign towers there was nothing left. Not the dead we never saw.
Times were already bad and worse were coming. Fanatical blindness to explode lives and to be used as an excuse for social change. Loss of civil rights, militarism, rise and overflow of capitalism, war, torture, invasions that do not find what they say they are looking for because it is not what they tell us what they are looking for, the financial trap that suffocates us. And a marked sign of decline. My father had exactly 5 days to live and he did not even find out about the event that we had talked about so much. His essential presence disappeared, showing that life goes on anyway.
On September 11, 1984, it was my mother who died. As soon. And, one day, much later, I discovered his secret longings, his pain, his hopes and his dreams, only in signs, through some newspaper clippings kept in an exquisite folder, which better linked the memories. Installing the certainty of how much more should have been spoken. The umbilical cord that binds women.
Catalonia has been experiencing a changing September 11. Walking the path from illusion to hopelessness. As soon as democracy was formally recovered in Spain, Catalonia once again celebrated its Diada in an atmosphere of celebration and triumph. Later, with the national policy conditioning, they live their own struggle and that between Catalonia and the State. Diadas exulting with the independence movement by flag and with the Spanish nationalism in front of it. And then the referendum, and the repression, and the jail, and the trials and convictions. Serious crimes not shared by European justice, tension. Hunts for yellow ties that demand the release of the prisoners and become a crusade for the most radical Spanishism. So much opportunism opportunely born for opportunity. Elitist spiritual reserves. And always the same struggle that ravages forces. Now in flight lands. And firmness. And pain.
In this new September 11, the world is even worse. Errors usually pay off sooner or later. The response to 2001 in New York now erupts in disaster in Afghanistan. Involution gallops on all sides. Society does not learn from its mistakes, from its pandemics. You don’t even learn about anniversaries with the lessons they bring, like 9/11. Luckily the calendar is a conventionalism. The future is filled with twelve, thirteen, fourteen and many other days; more eleven, even. They are never all. The lived experience serves to put the foot, if it is in solid, and to use it of impulse. To know how to clear the way of the useful from the futile. Through any day of any month to compose the eternal Ithaca continuously. Sipping happiness from life as it opens up to our steps, over great frustrations and painful tears. There is no more. No less. The melody of life continues.