The past is present. What happened a long time ago resonates into the current times. We are part of a bigger cycle of events and circumstances, which affect us and our environment. Things are never separate from their past history nor will be from their consequences. There are actions and reactions all around us. We are an action and a reaction at the same time. There is an unseen and infinite chain of events that talks about why we are the way we are and where we are. Without a doubt, this chain actually goes beyond our times and insinuates the way things will become later after us. It looks like everything is about triggers, responses, and probability.
The documentary Nostalgia of the light written and directed by Patricio Guzmán thinks over the past of time and its role in human affections. He beautifully meditates about the past, the present and the presumable future of the northern lands of Chile. Nostalgia of the light also brings together the concepts of precariousness and high technology. It reflects the way they are associated with a kind of romanticism for the past, and an overvaluation for the current days’ technology.
Sometimes humanity is so busy looking for the way that technology can be enriched that the conservation of the past is relegated to a second plane. To underestimate and even forget the past is a shame. And it is even worse if we are talking about this specific territory in Chile where fragments of dead bodies were randomly spread out. Some of the more than a thousand of Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship disappeared bodies.
Patricio Guzmán reveals through his documentary how Chilean government and scientists around the world invest on high standard astronomical observatories above the ground that once was the receptor of cruelty and tyranny. Actually, the ground that is still today the receptor of cruelty and tyranny. Unrecognizable pieces of unrecognizable bodies are still spread all around.
The present does not erase the past. The future will not do it either. The time is neither erasing nor leaving behind the past. It is not one or the other. Past, present and future are happening here and now. And as much as some people try really hard to get rid of the consequences of earlier events and actions, they to will not be able to do so History trace is already within us, inside us. The more we try to forget, the more we will remember. Nostalgia lives inside of our bodies; remembrance is what we are made off.
Like gravity teaches us: everything falls of it own weight. If you just want to focus on the stars, you will end up paying attention to where are you standing up. The past will come back to our lives sooner or later. Like Nostalgia of the light teaches us; there is people astonished with the infinity above our heads, and there is people still waiting for the past to rest. Disconcertingly, the stars we ambition are dead as well as the people we are still missing.
Human trace is what builds history. Whatever we do now will certainly stay for future generations. So then is good to ask ourselves how do we want to be remembered. Which trace do we want to leave? How deep and thick will the trace be? Which color will the trace be made of?
All the discussion about if climate change is really happening or not make me angry. We are not reading the signs, and we are not thinking about the future. The way we have behaved the past years is showing its consequences now, and we are not accepting it.
I found the above Sustainable Energy Symbol while working on this post. I wanted to share it here because I though it is a great image to picture this idea of continuous cyclicity and the way it connects all that is in between. The eternity contains the everything.
As we become more aware of our steps, a better route can be made. Even tough there are distorted roads as consequences for previous steps, we can always redirect them to a more respectful path. One where we can coexist in harmony.