This “vision” is one of the 30+ that we’ll publish here in the next months. Most of them will go into Life Plus 2 Meters, Volume 2 (expected publication: Dec 2017). We hope that you will comment on the message, suggest ways to sharpen the narrative, and tell us how the story affects your understanding of adapting to climate change.
Most importantly, we hope that you enjoy reading these stories and share them with your friends and family. —David Zetland (editor) and the authors
Last known recording of Argi Mikolas Munoz (and unknown male); Beit Jamal Salesian Monastery; Beit Shemesh, Israel. Translated from the Basque(Upper Navarrese) By Fr. Ibon Garcia.
UM: What have you done with the life I have given you?
AMM: I have served.
UM: No, you are serving now – and it is too late.
AMM: I have always kept the faith; I have fought and bled for my country.
UM: Stone and earth are ambivalent my son – what faith?
AMM: That the Lord is my saviour and that…
UM: Come now Argi. Even now you would try to lie – and I am here watching you. Can you see the softening of the walls and the opening of the ceiling?
AMM: God help me, I am afraid.
UM: That’s what Maria Dolores would have said – had she had time. You knew her too didn’t you Argi?
AMM: I knew her.
UM: Did you know her little child?
AMM: I never met the child, I am sorry, I never wanted any of it to happen, I…
UM: But you didn’t do anything to stop it, did you?
AMM: It was not my decision, I could do nothing.
UM: And if I was to say the same to you now my son; how would that be?
AMM: I will do anything, anything!
UM: Oh! They say I will, I would, I wish, I pray. They never say I have, I made, I tried, I hoped. They seek benevolence when all they have offered is ruthlessness; they plead for mercy though they have never bestowed it.
AMM: Surely it is never too late?
UM: Ah, surely it is never too early? You know that place your wife came from? Did you know that they’ve twinned it with Kfar Vradim? I had a chuckle at that one. It’s yet another example of irony. You were supposed to learn from irony Argi. All of you are supposed to learn from it. Still, it doesn’t matter much now.
AMM: Is there anything I can do?
UM: Once – there was a lot you could have done, but you played with fire didn’t you? You knew that you shouldn’t have – but you still did. What can I do when I’m faced with that?
AMM: I thought that if I did certain…things.. then my people would gain their freedom and…
UM: Those are the thought processes of a child; besides they are not your people – they are mine. Freedom does not exist. There is only responsibility: to yourself; to others; to me. Those duties are the essence of self-emancipation. Have you ever seen those dogs in the country? You know – the ones that chase your motor vehicles. They wait, and wait, in anticipation – and then they charge out like lions protecting the pride – for naught. It always amuses me, and it always makes me a little sad; but bravery and intelligence have seldom been bedfellows.
AMM: So it is over then?
UM: Well, it is – and it isn’t. Answers are never neat. Answers only beget further questions. So I ask you again – what have you done with the life I have given you?
AMM: I do not know what you want me to say.
UM: That is correct; but also incorrect. Do you know what these men do?
AMM: What men?
UM: These men here. The men who took you in, who fed you, gave you a bed, treated you with kindness through the worst of your illness. These men.
AMM: They are monks.
UM: They try to take care of children. They try to help the homeless ones – the little unfortunates.
AMM: And I have heard the horror stories.
UM: I’ll just bet you have. I’ll say this for you Argi – you’ve got balls. My point is that you are a little child, even though you must be seventy now. Your mind is infantile. These men looked after you like a child. And yet here you are Argi: an old man in the dark eh?
AMM: Why have you come?
UM: I have come to show compassion; to practice what I have preached. I have come before Fr. Kendrick returns. What do you see now?
AMM: The dawn, I think.
UM: Yes, well – that will suffice. I want you to walk out over this meadow. I want you to move towards the rising sun. But you must not falter, this light is not as forgiving as I. You must adapt to it.
AMM: But it is so very far – so very far. I see Castrillo on the plain and Miriam’s house. I loved her you know. We got wed in, oh – I can’t remember it now. They had that old dog, the one with the torn ear…
AMM: Yes – that was him, Zirta. So long ago. So long. Wait, oh Lord – I can smell the what do you call ’ems…?
UM: The red carnations?
AMM: Yes, yes, oh yes….
UM: Do not weep. Keep walking. Nice and steady; that’s it.
AMM: I am so very sorry for all of it. I am so sorry. I put a frog in the milk pail and made Ines cry.
UM: Take my hand now Argi. Do not be afraid.
AMM: What is it all? What is it?
UM: Adaptation Argi; little more than that.
Nb. As per instructions, translation of final tape recording. Cassette withheld from authorities and in my possession. Pick-up at your convenience.
Regards, I. Garcia.
Peter Lynch (in his words): “I’m from Co.Derry, but I’ve lived in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for over twenty years. My trade is demolition. I’m 46 , married with four children. I enjoy the outdoors, natural history, swimming and boxing. I read anything and everything, and have done for as long as I can remember. Music, writing, and drawing have always been my favourite ways to express myself.”