The letter

My mother sent me a package a few days before the second round of the greek elections and in it there was a note:

We hope that when you receive the package, we’ll have a government that will make sure the children of GREECE come back.

We love you very much.
We miss you very very much.

This song that I really love, popped right into my mind after reading her note. You can listen it here if you want: The Letter – Haris Aleksiou, Thanos Mikroutsikos

“The letter”
I received your letter, I’m sending you a couple of words mother.
If I get the chance, I’ll come to visit you some day.
I got a little homesick, and this town suffocates me,
Humans are alone and me, alone, always alone.

Thousands of people, you don’t have someone to talk to.
My last company, two-three childhood memories.
I stare at my smile in the picture,
This cannot be wiped away by any state.

You’re asking me to write back because I’ve been silent lately.
And I, that still don’t know whether I’m living or dying,
I roam the streets looking for myself.
No one has found me yet, not even in my dream.

Advertisements, marches, traitors, banners, protests,
Dealers sell hopes in installments.
And you’re asking me if I met happiness,
I saw it written on a neighborhood’s wall.

I never made any comment on the note. What was I to say, “It’s ok mum, it’s not like I’m an immigrant in Germany”?
I understand where she comes from and how much she misses me, especially after everything we’ve been through. And we both know that the “new” government will not speed up my return.

At least there was hazelnut filter coffee in the package and I really wanted a cup. The note made me think of my past, my mother, our recent conversations, our society. Scattered thoughts and they needed sorting out.
So many memories of how she sacrificed her personal life so I’ll have a better future and how satisfied she is that she made it. The bitterness and disappointment I see nowadays in her eyes.  “We had so many dreams when we were young, we believed in them and they took advantage of our dreams”. She now realizes all the blatant lies that politicians said, all the mockery and she feels betrayed. “Greece’s situation, it hurts me…”,  “We fucked up!” she said. She blames the politicians, she blames her generation, she blames herself.

I don’t want to apologize to my child, or any child for the world I’ve left them.

I’ll continue talking and struggling for love, solidarity, compassion, understanding, conversation, responsibility, honesty, self-criticism, respect, kindness, justice, courage. Simple words, with tremendous impact if turned into actions, first by us and then by helping those around us to act on these words. Maybe then we can ‘trust’, be ‘all together’ and finally start building a society where one would want to participate and create. A society that makes you happy to be alive, not jump off a balcony. Utopia? Perhaps… If we aim for the stars, we may not reach them, but reaching the moon isn’t too bad either.

So I’ll keep trying for a brighter world, because if my mother ever asks me “If I met happiness” I don’t want to reply “I saw it written on a neighborhood’s wall”.


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