Choosing One’s Path, Outside Cuba

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

jorgeHAVANA TIMES — “Dear Jorge, I write you from beautiful Mexico, where I am doing my novitiate, a crucial step in my training,” my former workmate and friend Osman Aviles wrote me in an email. Osman is a young Cuban poet who has devoted part of his youth to the study of Cuban poets, particularly Dulce Maria Loynaz and Serafina Nuñez, and to writing many literary essays.

“Everything is very pretty, as you can imagine, where I’m staying in Mexico,” he tells me, surprising me with the information.

I knew my friend was studying at an evangelical school, but I didn’t know he was in Mexico. Before making this decision, he would pay me surprise visits at my office all the time. Now, he was saying hello to me from a different country.

I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Mexico, but I am really very happy about his new life. Sometimes, one has to take a risk and tear down walls, get to know oneself, look for the place where one can realize oneself spiritually, where one feels at peace with oneself (in this case, at peace with God also). There are of course also those who are wicked by nature and find themselves in such places.

“I’m already a friar,” he added, “and I wear a robe almost all the time. A big hug. Friar Osman Aviles.”

He had trained to take this step without saying a word to anyone. I, however, had become aware of his calling some time ago, because of his noble, humble and transparent nature. Perhaps he was ashamed to tell me what his plans were, that he meant to follow the path of God.

Ultimately, he is right where he wants to be. He’s lucky to have discovered what he wanted in life. There are people who don’t know what they want, where they want to be or do in this world. Like my grandmother used to say: “Some people mature, others rot before ripening.”