In a remarkable twist of fate, Cuba’s forbiddenness is unfolding for Americans for the first time in more than fifty years against the backdrop of a penetrating reality that the once innocent juggling of words in our election industry hides a darker reality, an inner poverty conjoined with the Cuban people’s outward scarcity of material possessions.
Seeing yourself without illusions is difficult. Deprived of authenticity, entangled behind double-talk – seek out Cuba’s nearby watery shores. It’s an island for soul seekers with an impulse for relief.
Here’s what you might find:
It has the potential to remind us that we might be alive for reasons other than consumption.
From HumansofHavana.com, this image and the short narrative from the subject capture the simplicity in the lives of many Cubans. Cubans seem to find happiness amid profound scarcity.
“I feel very grateful to this machine. All these years I’ve earned the money I need to live thanks to it. I guess I should also give thanks to my father, who taught me how to work with this.”
For Cubans, music is a form of thinking.
For Cubans, music has a physical dimension as the mastery of a craft and a metaphysical dimension that is a cultural connection to an eclectic blend of histories and influences stretching back hundreds of years. Turn any corner in a Cuban city and you will likely encounter musical Cubans unleashing their gifts, paying no attention to the oily puddles and rusty rebar that surrounds them.
Experience profound questions about the nature of reality.
Cuba will challenge most travelers – visiting from modern cities – who associate newness with relevance and happiness with abundance. Brash immediacy – pedestrians tweeting on the brink of chaos in modern cities – may seem like a dislocation slippery with sycophancy.
Finally see an “oily night” that you’re been reading about for so long.