Translated by Justin Makii
3rd of April 1563
We met in the liminal space between black sand beaches and the dense vegetation of an unforgiving jungle. At first, we observed one another from a distance, trepid and unsure of what to make of the other. Over time, we came to know – in spite of the vast differences in our cultures – our fear underscores the cultures of domination we both come from. Our movements through this world and our ways of relating all bear an imprint – an unrelenting ache – of this destructive relationality. Yet, in the in-between, we found one another wanting. That despite our traumas a kernel of curiosity drew us together.
Perhaps it was a first, this symbiosis between, for, and among us. We were both abandoned here, left for dead, and later to fend for ourselves. Our captors could never have known we would find each other. Two foreign – even incommensurable – lives and lifestyles coming to head on this small space in the middle of the unyielding nowhere that is the sea. In spite of all our difference, we became commensurate. We healed together barely enduring the agony, suffering, and the last relapses. My shackled and broken body you liberated and mended, and your stolen spirit and violated trust, I helped find and cultivate. Together we became an unfinished to be. We taught one another to speak as the other, to see as the other, listen as the other, and relate to another.
There we were; forsaken by our own, and our cries became lost somewhere between our voice and the echo. We raged at the abandonment, the betrayal, the lies, and in the end the entirety of these legacies of domination. For those looking for contentment, this island could be a great place of solace. But we were never one to take aim at contentment. After all, this is how we found this island in the first place. We share a different truth than our captors, a truth made even stronger by knowing the other. We are called back to the sea, called to finish the erasure of these tyrannies, these legacies of domination. Tomorrow we return to sea, return to creating a world we never knew; a world glimpsed only in the echoes of longings and dreams.
If only my words could keep us afloat