Knowledge of the flag and cause is spreading, without a shadow of a doubt. Awareness of the intensity of belief in this independent-minded nation is now established in the conscience far beyond Iberia.
Something is eating at me. It matters.
Politicians and commentators pat the water in steady rhythm, sending out ripples that are reaching around the world. But the messages are not all pro-Catalonia.
Knowledge of the flag and cause is spreading, without a shadow of a doubt. Awareness of the intensity of belief in this independent-minded nation is now established in the conscience far beyond Iberia. This is a huge and vital part of the jigsaw, but while it is a topic in a host of languages, what is being said nearer to home, in Spanish, is what worries me. Does it worry you?
I mean among our relatives and neighbours with whom all Catalan residents should live side by side in essential Iberian harmony, mutual respect and fruitful cooperation.
If Rajoy and his media are winning anything it might be the propaganda campaign to paint the people of Catalonia as petulant, spoiled children who have exhausted the patience of a tolerant family.
Last year we went to a book launch in our Priorat village. This tiny comarca is arguably more fiercely independent than any, so it was not surprising a fair number turned out to hear the actor, comedian and author Toni Albà make an absorbing, hilarious, razor-sharp and profound argument as to why he was compelled to write SER O NO SER CATALANS – AQUESTA ES LA QUESTIÓ.
One point really hit home: When he was in Spain he overheard a parent admonish their plaintive son by telling him to stop behaving like a Catalan. Our daughter, now at university in London, with (as it happens) a friend from here in the Priorat, has been verbally abused by young Spanish people when overheard speaking Catalan.
I don't know the answer to this on-going and deepening souring, but it will surely get worse as the moment of truth approaches and the detractors raise their voices in desperation. I fear the defamation will be acute.
The imperative, of course, is to counter it, but not with bad-mouthing in equal measure, instead with respect and goodwill. Words must be measured. Of course Spain will be poorer without Catalonia. The Spanish people, not the current establishment in Madrid, need to know that Catalonia is sensitive to this, just as they need to hear clear argument now, in Spanish, as to why the dye of independence has been cast in this multi-cultural country.
Have you heard the voice of Victor Peña, for example? He has a few thousand hits on YouTube. He deserves tens of thousands more. This 19-year-old, talking directly to camera, in Spanish (the language his family uses at home) to make an impassioned case for independence and understanding.
Just search his name on YouTube.
Is it conceivable that with independence and a more moderate, modern government in Spain, Catalonia can somehow sustain a degree of support for its vital neighbours and relatives during the transition? For sure, under the road map for independence and in a very real way, Catalonia must and surely will remain a vital, helpful link between Spain and Europe.
But for now, for me, the issue is the discord on the street, a poison that needs the antidote of reason and friendship. What practical, positive steps can Catalonia take, do you think?