Although I have not written anything for quite a few days, a thousand ideas are turning over in my head that I cannot seem to organize enough to put down in black and white.

As usual, events on my planet are annoying and even painful, and although far from the theatre where they are taking place, they still affect me. Especially troubling is the five-year prison sentence of Angel Santiesteban, whose only crime was civilly and publicly expressing his opinion without defaming or offending anyone.

On a separate note, there is the news that Yoani Sanchez has finally been issued a passport, which will allow her to travel, and that Eliecer Avila has already dons so, and at this moment is in Sweden. The fact that this has not led to a “turbulence in our air space” gives me comfort. However, I have grown used to thinking that these supposed “gifts” are often traps that cause some resentment, which is only overcome when travellers return to “our planet,” myself included. Of course, I am always nervous when I pass through Cuban customs after a trip, although on this occasion, as in all my other previous trips, I do not think I will come back weighed down so as “not to give them the satisfaction.”

For my part, I am still convalescing from the fracture in my right hand, and mentally preparing myself for another surgery to remove the fasteners used to set the bone. As much as I can, I am trying to enjoy the company of my sons and granddaughters since there is no guarantee that I will see them again. Not only is there the distance and expense of a trip, for which they are paying, but because my meager pension and whatever I earn from my work as an artist barely provide me with an adequate diet in my country, I cannot afford to do as I please.

Nevertheless, I am enjoying the experience of new landscapes and cultures, which until now I have only known through books I have read.

Within a few days I will travel to Spain, where years ago I lived for a time and where my younger son currently lives. I then hope to break my days of silence to tell you about my stay in the mother country.

February 5 2013

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