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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Field song

6 minutes

‘Life is to plow.’ A reflection on struggle, success and the impermanence of both

‘Just like the bad things, the beautiful things are temporary too.’

Roberto Olivera was raised in poverty in southern California, where he worked the tomato fields alongside his mother and abusive stepfather, migrant workers from Mexico. Now in his 60s, financially successful and with a family of his own, Olivera has grown to understand the meaning behind his mother’s frequent refrain: ‘La vida es sufrir’ (‘Life is suffering’). With an understated melancholy, Field Song pairs Olivera’s poignant reflections with views of southern California’s agricultural landscapes, presenting hardship as both temporary and timeless.

Director: Brad Bischoff

Producer: Alex Hidalgo

Director of Photography: Casey Bohrnell

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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