EBU(Junior Group) Fine Work
Spain Sara Zerrouti Holguín (19, Female)
We have read a book by the historian Plutarch and I cannot help but think that his relationship with mystery cults is very similar to ours.
He was a member of Apollo’s cult within the oracle of Delphi. I am also part of a mystery cult but this one is in your honour. When I placed my hand over that rough paper, as white and clean as ordinary white paper but with the strength of a parchment, I was filled with uncertainty.
I am sure that the same thing happened to Plutarch. He perceived the scents of incense and candles. He found himself surrounded by amphorae filled with oils and potions, and when he saw the enormous statue of his God, he must have felt confused and overwhelmed by the sacred devotion emanating from the temple.
I touched an unmeasurable sea of dots. The priestess promised me that when I started unveiling your secrets, I would learn the symbols of all sciences. I think the fact that you seemed so inaccessible was what made me feel this unescapable fascination for you.
What led Plutarch to be attracted to Apollo’s mysteries is what makes us fall on our knees before any mysterious entity. The enigma remains silent and its truths are hidden behind that silence. I intended to make you speak and remove your veil.
Now I think it was funny I wanted to get to know you so quickly. Did Plutarch have an adventurous spirit like me when he was 4 years old? My urge to decode you made me impatient and my determination increased. When my teacher told me we had to start reading and writing vowels, I was filled with a genuine sense of happiness, as I was going to be initiated in your cult. But you showed me that calmness and patience are the potions that all seekers of knowledge must drink.
That happiness gave way to frustration. I was unable to distinguish any vowels within that tangled combination of dots. Disappointment started to overwhelm me. Would I ever be able to reproduce with my own hands that alphabet which seemed so fascinating earlier on?
Apollo had some future-telling skills, and that is something you both have in common, as you gave me the answer to my question. Yes. I would be able to do it. My classmates were able to fill up their pages with drawings that represented letters for them. Plutarch was able to differentiate some oils from others; he memorised hundreds of prayers, and he was able to meet the most important female future-teller in Delphi.
Once I placed my fingertips on your alphabet, that meant I had already gone through the threshold of your temple, and I could not offend you then by leaving suddenly.
I admit that living without acknowledging your existence was tempting. But you made me drink another potion: the effort potion. You taught me one of those initiating lessons that are useful for everything. You assured me that everything which can be achieved quickly and without effort cannot be either beautiful or long-lasting. Life is more similar to the art of fighting than to the art of dance, and I have learnt that lesson very well.
In order to prove to me the veracity of this tough but necessary theory, you had some help. It is funny but every person who has been important in my life and to whom I profess great appreciation and a huge respect, had also been initiated in your cult. You represented a great link between my mother and me, which unified us much more than we already were. In order to help me in those moments when I felt sinking while learning about you, she made a greater effort than me, as she not only had to decipher you, she also had to help me to decipher you.
Finally, and after drinking a lot of the effort potion, I got to know you, although not completely. Our relationship is based on a reciprocal devotion for each other. You have given me the knowledge and I my effort. However, I will never be able to pay you back for what you have placed in my hands, and I know that my debt with you is ongoing and eternal. Whenever symbols seem to be exhausted, you go and show me more. You have Arabic and Greek letters, and even musical notes.
I am not sure if I am completely aware of how much you are offering to me but when I read a book, I realise it a bit more. Thanks to you, I can read and write and do everything that is implicit in those infinitive verbs. Reading completes us and maybe writing makes us more precise.
Like Apollo, you have an ephemeris that commemorates the day your creator made you. That French man, that architect of dots, who is the supreme pontiff of your temple. Listening to the robotic voice of a computer is very practical and it facilitates reading. However, it is you that has given me the intimacy that the act of reading brings me. Sighted people can appreciate a word with a suggestive meaning but you make it tangible. You allow me to hold a verse in my hands and absorb its immortal words. Every time a poem ends and my fingertips stop and try to impregnate themselves with the wisdom they have just read, I succumb to your beauty. You are made up of six dots and those dots are connected to the Divine. Is it a coincidence?
Even though it may seem rough, your texture is perfect. When boiled, bread starts to crack, which may appear to be a mistake for the baker's art, but it is appetising to us. When a fig is ripe, it opens up and that excites our appetite somehow. The same happens with you. You are neither rough nor soft and for that reason, even the profane feel the need to decipher you. They cannot get their hands away from the relieve you create with your cryptic system.
Today, many speculate about your disappearance. They say you are called to extinction and to be forgotten. That will not happen because it would be blasphemy. You represent the door and the key to knowledge for thousands of people. That is why I know you will not leave us. We will continue to learn about you and you, with the help of your commission of priests, will continue to create all the knowledge we need. The Oracle Plutarch went to is still standing centuries after, imposing and solid like you.
My dear friend Braille, having said all the above, I finish my epistle by showing you my veneration. It is true that I use a computer, but do not take it as treachery, as I do not forget that in order to touch words with wings, as Homer said, I need you because your battery does not run out and because you never fail. Your dots look like constellations, like stars joining each other in the sky and drawing letters. Thanks to those I fly through the sky of knowledge in the company of words, which are arrows that hurt but also balms that cure and teach.