Prison Diary XXXI: My World on a Little Piece of Paper

Every morning, on waking up, surrounded by inmates surprised by my “good mornings” to which they respond with commitment, and then I entrust myself to God, I immerse myself in a blank piece of paper, because I feel I am just an instrutment, someone who takes dictation, His creation. I comes so naturally that I underestimate the physical exercise I do.

From that moment, my country is the white space where I scribble in a supreme intent to transmit my feelings. Then, the universe is reduced to these centimeters of possible writing. It is the space which is my duty and governs me.

And I immerse myself in my work, in this obligation to my thinking, my feelings and my ideals. Like a hermit, I abandon the hostile environment that surrounds me, I work tirelessly for human betterment, for the freedom of Cubans facing a harsh dictatorship, and if possible, to add some literature valid for my generation and my time.

And I laugh at the constant surveillance, their informers, their unscrupulous persecution, their blackmail, their pressures and their punishments, because I’m not on their level of reality, across time, and by then, bareback in the redemptive Cuban jungle, feeling the sweat on the back of my horse, the weight of the machete I hold and squeeze, while the trumpet sounds the Call to Slaughter.

Ángel Santiesteban Prats
Prison 1580

24 June 2013

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