IMAGINING ROMERO I Imagine Myself as Another When I Cannot Find the Strength in Myself. I look for inspiration in simple lives for simple truths. Then complexity and conundrum, the doomed boats afloat on the Bay of Confusion, sink. And as the boats sink, I find my arms and legs indeed have strength and I again can swim toward the brighter shore.
God may be the light that brightens some people’s eyes. Why dark forces try to turn and twist that light toward a dark end I will never know, but forever try to fight, at least in some small way. How is it that a god that would unite us is made by men to divide us. This story of tragedy is written in the endless ink of blood. How is it that blood spilled for the Right Reasons always falls in the wrong place, on unholy grounds?
One could consider these things and fall beneath the waves in the Bay of Confusion, in sight of the shore, but drowning. If god exists, I sometimes think laughter must be his echo in this world. Not the cruel laughter of Kundera’s devils. No. A kinder laughter. Beyond cruel reality is a world more kind if we will see it. Imagination is the saving trick, to see what is not there, to see what might have been, and yet still might be.
So I imagine Romero. An archbishop of El Salvador, a knight without a horse or a sword, a knight who wore no armor, who knew his enemies knew where he was, but spoke with lancing words of decency demanded, who loved his people, who gave his all for some. Some say such martyrs are fools. The meaning of life is found in death. Death’s sentence has its punctuation. Period or question mark or exclamation point.
Death dark invades the land of life and light. Death’s forces take many forms. El Salvador in the Eighties knew many a demon. Some came in human form, inhuman in savagery. One man stood up against the darkness, a flicker of a flame in a seeming endless night. Oscar Romero was assassinated twenty five years ago. A single bullet blasted from a cowardly car as Romero said mass in a simple church. Martyrs may be fools. One man’s god may not be another’s. Some will not believe in a god at all when cruelty seems triumphant. If we cannot believe in god, perhaps it is enough to believe in saints. And if that is not what can be done, perhaps we see only darkness. Darkness though has its dawn with lights much like Romero.
I imagine Romero On the altar the sacrificial altar, Standing before the altar, His Abraham and his Isaac All in one, in one day his life.
I imagine Romero, First name of Oscar. Me llamo Oscar, Mi vida es tu vida. I imagine him, imagine me.
Imagine him, calling out In silence, a song of dignity, Wordless on the altar So he stands alone Romero, our Romero.
I imagine Romero So he stands, never fallen Priest and sacrifice both for all To see and touch undoubting In the house of life.
I imagine myself standing in the house of life Romero I call to death. You shall not come No power have you In this house of life.
I imagine myself Romero Mi vida es tu vida A simple man as death and a gun Approach ablaze for but A moment I am Romero
I am now Romero Cold, cool and fallen on The ground, my blood, his Blood, our body on the ground But he lives in his people
Death descends But cannot divide Romero who would die Who laughs at death Who echoes on in his people