Let the sadness flow, for if you hold it back, it will block your pleasure. Breathe.
Expiring money: The more they got, the more they needed to spend them before they expired, which they did after a year. You don’t need to save them. All the things that Maya’s generation has saved for – a home of one’s own, retirement, the kids’ college education, medical emergencies – all those were not each person’s birthright. When the surplus was totaled each year – for the City inevitably ended up with a net surplus – it was simply a ear that they had produced more than they consumed, given more than they took back. Yet everybody had enough. More than enough – an abundance of good food and bright clothing and small luxuries. The result was a city hopping with nightlife and replete with delectable cuisine, just a few short weeks since the invaders had been repelled.
You don’t need to save for much, because we took Franklin Delano Roosevelt seriously when he talked about ‘freedom from want, freedom from fear.’
Everyone deserves one day of grace in a lifetime. One day of golden light, one crazy pirate in a purloined rowboat, one mad kiss in the locker room, one soft, surprising breast under your hand that opens the gates of heaven, one strawberry placed between your lips with a brush of a fingertip and a secret smile. One day when you step beyond fear, and commit one act of courage that can change the world. “Widen the cracks,” I say. “Just widen the cracks.”
Revolution, you must understand, is a form of magic. A slight-of-hand trick, an illusion we make real.
There was one set of conditions under which everyone agreed that they would come out to the streets: When everybody else came out. The task of the revolutionary, Ahmed realized, was to be the stage magician, the illusionist, the Wizard of Oz: To make people believe that now was the moment.
All I can tell you is this: for people to believe an illusion, someone must spin it. To make a vision real, someone must create it. For the story to unfold, someone must tell the tale.
Fingers of light stroked the pavement, and where they touched, as if by magic, words appeared. A blue shadow, at first, faint as a whisper, then depending with the growing light to an outline of a rising sun that enclosed a message of hope and insurrection: Arise and Unite! Cancel the Debts! We Relinquish No One!
He’d found himself asking disturbing questions. Like, would he need to strive for a big estate with five gardeners, if the whole world were a garden? What would he by with gold when water flowed free and fruit hung down for the picking alongside every path? And would he be endlessly stuck under the command of assholes in a world where everyone was free to rise?