The Outsider Within/ El Extraño Desde Dentro-1

Sometimes, the one who has the clearest view of what is happening inside a place is the outsider living within.
The outsider is not quite sure of what they’re seeing through that invisible, intangible glass sphere that surrounds them. It is a membrane that allows them to see, hear, taste and otherwise experience everything that other people experience but still keeps them at a distance. It is invisible but powerful enough to prevent the outsider from becoming an insider.
What is that invisible force? What is it made of? I’ll get to that, but first I’ll give some examples of how it works.
You spend years, even decades, in a certain place, abiding by its unspoken, unwritten laws and thinking you are a part of that place. You have earned the right to be FROM that place thanks to your support, attention and observance of The Rules.
You speak like they do, taking note of expressions, typical quotes, tone, speed and mannerisms.
You comply with most of the customs, traditions and mores on a daily basis. You are active in the defence of the place, its history, its inhabitants (present and past) and you take personal pride in saying you are FROM that place whenever it is required.
After a while, it seems that the thin membrane gets thinner. It almost disappears. In fact, at certain times it is imperceptible.
At a neighbourhood gathering where you make an effort to forget your weird ideas and preferences and ‘enjoy’ in their style.
At an unfortunate fire where all the help everyone can offer is welcome, strangers and friends alike.
Then you take up the task of rescuing a failing/ ailing part of the communal everyday life that others just let slip because, oh, well, nothing can be done. At first you receive smiles and a couple- don’t wanna overdo it, you see…- of pats on the back. When they see that you intend to follow through, however, you get some well meaning advice to stop and reconsider the consequences of what you’ve got yourself into. You feel surprised and cannot fathom why someone would indirectly ask you to give up your beneficial actions in favour of the community. They don’t express it like that, actually.
It goes like this:
‘It’s too difficult. /No one will benefit. /No one will thank you for it. /It takes up too much time/. There’s no point in trying! /What’s meant to end should end’
The once virtually inexistent membrane just bounced back into full force and snapped your bewildered face.
~/~

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A veces el que tiene la visión más clara de lo que ocurre en un sitio es el extraño que vive dentro.
El extraño no está seguro de lo que ve a través de esa esfera invisible e intangible que lo rodea. Es una membrana que les permite ver, oír, saborear y experimentar todo lo que experimentan los demás, pero aún así los mantiene a distancia. Es invisible pero lo suficientemente poderosa para evitar que el extraño se convierta en propio.
¿Qué es esa fuerza invisible? ¿ De qué está hecha? Ya lo explicaré, pero primero voy a dar algunos ejemplos de cómo funciona.
Pasas años, incluso décadas, en un sitio, siguiendo sus reglas no escritas ni dichas, y te crees que eres parte de ese sitio. Te has ganado el derecho de SER de ese sitio gracias a tu apoyo, atención y cumplimiento de Las Normas.
Hablas igual que ellos, tomando nota de expresiones, citas típicas y manerismos, tono, velocidad.
Cumples con la mayoría de las costumbres, tradiciones y hábitos a diario. Eres activa en la defensa del lugar, su historia, sus habitantes (presentes y pasados) y te sientes orgullosa de decir que ERES de ese sitio siempre que se presenta una ocasión.
Después de un tiempo, parece que la delgada membrana se afina más. Casi desaparece. De hecho, en ciertos momentos es imperceptible.
Como en una fiesta vecinal cuando te olvidas de tus manías y preferencias raras y te ‘diviertes’ a su estilo.
Como cuando hay un incendio y toda la ayuda que puedan aportar tanto propiois como extraños es bienvenido.
Entonces se te ocurre intentar remediar algún problema de la vida cotidiana de la comunidad que otros dejan pasar porque, bah, total no se puede hacer nada. Al principio recibes sonrisas y un par-no hay que exagerar, sabes…- de palmaditas en la espalda. Cuando ven que pretendes seguir adelante con lo que empezaste, te dan consejos bienintencionados sobre tu necesidad de reconsiderar las consecuencias de lo has emprendido. Te sorprendes y no entiendes por qué te piden indirecta o directamente que dejes de ejercer esa acción en favor de la comunidad. No lo expresan así, sino de esta forma:
‘Es muy difícil:/ Nadie se va a beneficiar./Nadie te dará las gracias./ Ocupa demasiado tiempo./ No tiene sentido intentarlo./ Lo que va a ser, va a ser igual.’
La membrana que virtualmente no existía acaba de recobrar toda su fuerza y te rebota en toda la cara.

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