Reflections from Quarantine in Cuba

Have you considered what your last thought before bed and your first thought when you awake is these days?  The imperious sensation of needing more time has disappeared. Our days revolve around merely existing, thinking, feeling, and a bit of doing, in a space reduced to what we call home.  Priorities have changed for all of us.

A normal day for me used to be an exuberant, disheveled battle, but I was used to it.  Now, I’m inclined to think that all those daily feats (often troubling ones) full of self-justifications were only the result of a terrible anxiety to vanquish time, conquer opportunity and acceptance, plan the future, triumph, accomplish….

These days, perhaps for the first time, I realized that in April you breathe in spring, that the pink moon arrives with the season, that despite everything, the earth still blooms and each morning is a new beginning.  Nothing is more important than being alive.

The fragility of life and what we perceive of death validates the feeling that our only conquest is in the present.  Each of us has the ability to choose our path, not our destiny.  Time is a rival that only exists in our mind and which absorbs our existence.

Anxious to go out and “live,” in these isolating days we realize what is really important.  That which appeared to be urgent was detained or dissolved without major consequence.  Everything fades to second place in the face of the unexpected urgency to save our species, our love, our hope, our lives.

Noelia García Olivera
Noelia García Olivera
Noelia Garcia Olivera, 27, was born in Holguin, Cuba. She studied violin in the Alejandro Garcia Caturla music conservatory and the Escuela Nacional de Musica (ENA). She graduated with honors from the University of the Arts in 2016. As a violinist, she has performed with various orchestras and has taught violin at the elementary level in conservatories. She is currently a member of two nationally and internationally renowned orchestras: the Camerata Romeu chamber orchestra under the direction of maestra Zenaida Romeu, and the Liceum orchestra in Havana under maestro Jose Antonio Mendez. With these orchestras she has toured internationally, recorded albums, and collaborated with great musicians, teachers and interpreters in Cuba and throughout the world.