At some point I stopped looking at the on line voting in the A Virtual Island blog contest because it was making me nervous My winning the popularity prize [from readers’ votes] of the first blog contest held within the island is the king of thing that I plan, without a doubt, to tell my grandchildren.
I am very happy and thank all the readers who voted for Octavo Cerco. If we could turn back the hand of time and I was 8 years old and in the fifth grade, there would be no possible way to convince my classmates that one day I would win something related to popularity; if I had told myself that two years ago, even less.
Soon we will have the jury results, on 09.09.09, from this small space of Internet in an island without Internet: Good luck to all the contestants, congratulations to all the organizers (especially to Yoani Sánchez) and a thousand thanks to the readers, without whom none of this would make sense.
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.