Perhaps, in this agony of introspection, people are born?
“You can’t imagine how much I want to return to normal life”. I read and hear this phrase from time to time, and it gives me two feelings. Of course, I understand that a normal life is, first of all, a safe life. A life without dozens of thousands of detentions. A life when you don’t have to check your wardrobe to make sure you do not appear among the extremists.
And this simple human desire is quite natural when you are tired of looking around, shivering from a knock on the door.
However, “to return” means to come to the place where you were before. And here I ask myself a reasonable question: “Can I, and do I want to return?” Maybe that normal life was not so normal?
And I ask a dozen more questions to myself: what did I dream about a year ago? It is unlikely that, blowing out the candles on the birthday cake, I thought: “Please, I really want justice. I want my people to be happy.” An overall introspection is not the most pleasant thing. If you come across a diamond, please dig deeper - there are many interesting, and not the cleanest things to find out.
And now, digging in my soul for the eighth month, I clearly realize that I do not want to return to the life “before”. And I can’t call myself a bad and stupid person (just like you, my friend, you won’t call yourself that), but this attitude “I don’t decide anything, it doesn’t concern me, nothing will change” is so deeply ingrained in us that not every shovel will get to it.
I seem to have made it. And, throwing away this damn shovel, I can congratulate myself: “My life used to be so superficial.” I am happy to finally have found a person in myself, and it gives me a bitter feeling that this person hadn't come to the surface earlier.
Not that I couldn't find - I wasn't looking.
Perhaps, in this agony of introspection, people are born? When the grief of a stranger becomes your own, not by words - you carry it with you every day.
And here I am again and again scrolling in my head the moment when the awareness of the scale of darkness shocked me so much that I could say, not in a whisper, but at the top of my voice: “Well, no, I've had enough!” - realizing all the consequences of this step. This moment is different for everyone. For someone earlier, for someone later, but the main thing is that it came.
And when one person I know told me: “I just want it to be the same as before - normal” - I realized that this would be our last dialogue. Because the most terrible thing for me now is wanting it to be “as before”. As before? It means to return to your little “hideout”again, close your eyes, cover yourself with a blanket and sleep soundly. To forget the lessons of the 2020, to wave your hand at political prisoners with the words: “See you, guys. You hold on there, but I just want it to be as before. You know, normal.”
Even if you try hard to return to that “normal” life, it is unlikely to return to you. It will not return, definitely. Just because the flag of Canada in the window is equal to 15 days of your “normal” life.
It is important for us not to return, but to start building something new. After all, this time is given to us to think. To consciously read Bahdanovich's poem for the first time (and pay special attention to the words “forgive and accept your son”, think and understand what misdemeanor you need forgiveness for), to see Kurapaty for the first time (we remember that not all those who have eyes really see). To ask questions and find answers. First in yourself. Then in others.
And to finally understand that opening a bottle of champagne is not our main goal. Everything will just start at that point. The main goal is to build a healthy society. And for this, we will need to cut open the festering wounds, and to make every effort, all of us, so that those wounds heal in the right way. Not just sew them up hastily.
No one will do this for us. Therefore, there is no need to return. It will be making the same old mistake again, if we return to the life “beyond politics”. It is important that participation in the life of our country becomes an ordinary thing for each of us. I understand that now it is way too difficult to even think about it (if someone does not see “political” articles, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any). However, in the country of our dreams civil activity must become part of our existence, and then, probably, everything will be really normal.
Yulia Semchanka, tut.by