I´d like to share this article published in El Pais on past December 31 -see link to original Spanish version above- plus my best intended translation into English, which I hope will not ruin the good style of this great writter.
De Almudena Grandes, “Les voy a pedir que sean felices”
I shall ask you to be happy.
We have started badly, I know. The detestable inheritance of 2012 casts a dark stormy cloud over our heads. We have given blood, sweat and tears, in exchange for more blood, more sweat and more tears, but still want more, still say it’s not enough. That -for the moment- they will not raise VAT again, so it will certainly rise. That -maybe- the day has come to review the right to strike, so it will be limited, certainly. Demonstrations -they say- gives so very bad image of our country, so they shall seek a formula for further stripping us of our heritage, selling public enterprises, dismantling services, democracy and hardening deteriorating living conditions of the most vulnerable, and without people going to the streets to protest. Now stupidity follows crime. Nothing so timely as this old verse of Luis Cernuda to greet the new year.
And yet, I’m going to ask you to be happy. Look inside yourselves for the tiny but tenacious flame of a small hope and illusion, and lovingly feed it all 365 days ahead.
Take care of yourself, and take care of those around. Smiling for the elderly, tickling children… Singing old songs, happy or nostalgic, and dancing well caught and close, kiss much, as much as you are capable of, and put all care and love cooking tasty dishes, either barroque or simple, enjoying together at tables dressed with white tablecloths. Seize the sunny mornings and rainy afternoons. Show yourselves proud of your love. Squander it.
Bitterness will make us weak. The indifference, despair or disunity of the victims, always strengthens the perpetrators. Do not consent. Do not let them into your home, you shall otherwise find them scribbling on your walls, making your flowerpots get to dry, or stalking the dream of your children. Be strong -please- and be happy. Because happiness is the best way to resist.