Happy new year five, ten, or twenty years early, dear my child that I will not have.
2015 has come to an end and I’ve lived another wonderful year, humming I’ll survive of Gloria Gaynor while musing on the words of Michael Van Peel in his stand-up comedian show.
I’d like to tell you in the future how beautiful the fireworks in Oostende were today. They appeared in the night sky as the stereo installation of the city played Star Wars’ opening theme. They blossomed like thousand flowers in the spring, died away leaving countless sparks behind like scattered paint on a pure black canvas, twirled like flamenco dancers in their red, white, or yellow dresses, flew passionately towards the Earth’s surface while announcing their appearance with the sound as if of million men parading. But I won’t tell you about any of these beautiful moments, because it is often under the impression of the sublime that fear is experienced.
I felt afraid today, dear the child that I will not have, though just for a short moment, while being overwhelmed by the agressive but at the same time pretty character of those numerous fireworks. I couldn’t help but thinking :”Maybe one day, maybe already next year, we wouldn’t have the chance to watch such a beautifyl performance anymore.”
There are children living in Brussels today, who will grow up and will be talking in the future about that historic (and nostalgic) moment of their childhood, when fireworks were canceled out of fear for terroristic attacks, when policemen and soldiers guarding Grand Place and Chirstmas markets, when people were recommended to suspect backpacks and cargo bikes.
There are many forms of terror, child. And in Western Europe where war has not yet reached and people still continue their work-life habits while longing for Christmas everyday, terror doesn’t signify the fear of dying. It is the fear for the aspect of losing what we used to strive for, what we now have, and what we would like to preserve. I saw fireworks tonight and people drinking and people kissing and people smoking and people holding hands; and I realized that it was not death that matters: those who die, die. It’s a matter of losing: losing life, comfort, wealth, achievements, pride, peace,… In short, it’s a matter of losing what we already have, or what we should have.
I’ve grown up blaming adults for the issues they’ve left for us to solve: human and animal rights, polution, reforms,… But now, as we’ve already reached the 16th year of the 21st century, and as young people in my generation have, or are gradually reaching the end of their teenage years, I perceive that we, in our turn, are becoming teachers, politicians, artists, economists, voters, activists, soldiers, intellectuals, terrorists,… It’s us this time, following the generations that came before, who are creating and trying to solve problems while constantly leaving marks behind and unsolved issues for those that follow.
And in this context, dear my child that I will not have, what is awaiting you and the next generation? I fear that I’ve lost the answer that I’d never had.
Reflection of the fireworks on a building