Letter #10 from UPIII



Recieved 26th June 2018

JVA Köln, 14th June 2018

Dear comrades,

I’m a little annoyed that it feels like I’m writing into a black hole, an endless void. I mean, do you even get these? I didn’t get some of your letters for three months, so maybe you won’t get this at all.

Still I’m going to write to you anyway because if, by some lucky chance, you do receive a letter from me, I want you to know I’m okay, I’m doing well (as well as I can in the circumstances) and I miss you and I am grateful for your support and that I will stand with you, always, as you have stood by me.

Thank you.

I admire all of you for your courage, tenacity, energy, kindness, generosity and a million other things. The memory of it gives me strength, as do the many letters you have sent. Telling me I am not forgotten (and I do not forget you, either).

I remember your faces, your voices, the way many of you walk, the sound of your footsteps, heavy or light, fast or slow (I like to always be aware of who to expect so this is something I notice quickly).

The little things make you more “real” here, for want of a better phrase. That you still exist beyond these walls. I only got to know you for a short time (an unfairly short amount of time really) but that doesn’t matter, I look forward to picking up where I left off. I wonder how many of you there will be familiar faces? I’ll be here for four months, and I’ve already heard of people coming and going. This doesn’t dull my excitement tough, new friends to make!

How are you? Are you all okay? I’ve been writing individual letters, but should they not reach you (ugh) I want everyone who wrote to me to know I love your letters, more than I can put into words, and I’ve laughed and cried over several of them (happy tears I promise, I (my heart) was very touched by your words of support).

If you receive any of my original letters, the set of seven, you may find some personal things in there. This is given to you, but directed at the humans who have power over me, maybe they will realize, in reading them, that I am human too. That we share many things – experiences, emotions, whatever – and perhaps (hey there post control!) they will see me as more than a number among thousands. I am a friend, a sibling, a child of someone, just as they are, as you are. Just as everyone here is.

My name on this paper, or another, would not change anything. I did not choose my name. It is what is used to reference me, to pull me from a crowd, but I did not choose this assortment of sounds or letters. It was given. My first “gift”. This gift, though I hate it at times, is the only ting I have that is truly “mine”. It is the name given by a parent, to tell me I’m special, I am important, I will never be a number to them. I may not like it, but it is in my heart, my soul, mine. Everything else has been taken from me, over the years, and in here too. I have nothing but my name. Mine. And I will walk out of here, and it will still be mine. My first gift, protected. It is my fire, the last shred of me when nothing else remains. The sound that called me home as a child, a sound safe only on the tongue, on the minds of some.

To have it said by an oppressor, someone who seeks to break me, crush me, bury me, would be an insult to me. Sure, I give a fake name, I reinvent myself everyday, as many before me have, and many after me will. That is the name I chose, for the sound, or the meaning, or whatever. But it is not mine, not truly. I borrow it. Like the cover of a book. I can take it on and off, cover who I am, my past, the things I’ve done, but it is not, to me, truly mine. I did not grow with it, it did not see me through pain, joy, anguish, fear, love, hate, rage, any of it. It appeared. The essence of only the things I want, I allow, to be seen. It does not encompass me in my entirety.

The name I was gifted, however, does. It is all of me, I may not like it, but it is me. It is the sound of me, the first sound, before a nickname, a joke, a reinvention.

This fight is for us, but it is also about me. How far I will go to protect what is mine. What I can call mine. What I believe in, who I believe in. How far my belief, in myself, my heart, my passion, my friends, my dreams, will go. My solidarity with you. My flight for change, for a future worth living in. My belief in us. And how we will change the world, because we have to. We no longer have the option not to, or we will die. All of us. Every person, every animal, every plant, everything, lost to greed and the belief in a system which destroys the planet, a system of repression, violence, censorship, brutal inequality. Only because it is the unknown, we fear what we have not felt, what we have not seen, what we do not recognize, what we do not know, the black void.

Blind faith, as some have said to me, in something that is a dream. The thing is, we have the power. We can make dreams a reality. Maybe that is what is so frightening, that it isn’t a thing we can’t do, it is a thing we are choosing (so far) not to do.

You could get up one day and say “I do not agree with (thing)” and go and change it. Go fight for your dream. Our dream. Possessions, jobs, they hold you to the system. They tell you that you are free, but the truth is you are only free to decorate four walls, the house you can afford, because your job dictates what you can have or not have.

Does that sound like freedom to you? You build the walls of your prison, and you sleep happily in it, while telling yourself you have a choice. Do you feel free? Or do you feel trapped in a job you hate, that you only have to be able to afford things you don’t need to impress people you may or may not like because someone, somewhere, told you a mark of success is a four bedroom, tow bathroom house, decorated in your taste, with no mortgage?

So, really, are you free?

For the forest, for each other, for the future. Stay strong, stay wild, stay brave. Keep fighting. I’ll be home soon.


One thought on “Letter #10 from UPIII”

  1. „I’ll be here for FOUR months“??? Aha??? Hat da ein Gespräch stattgefunden? Was sind das für Neuigkeiten? Gibt es einen Prozesstermin?
    Vier Monate heißt: noch einen schrecklichen und sehr heißen Monat. Aber immerhin ist dann doch überhaupt mal Bewegung in die Sache gekommen.
    Wisst Ihr Genaueres?

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