Oct 16, 2013

Grief, coming out of nowhere.  Something you forgot to do years ago, maybe tried and couldn't; the lines were busy, now suddenly it's here. Appearing like a letter slipped under the door. The writing is so familiar. But is it genuine? That's always the question: where is this coming from? 'Have you some identification, sir?'
'I'm sorry, I don't.'
And that's the fear. But then you look at something as plain as a library's beige brick wall, and for no reason, the tumblers fall into rhythm. And suddenly breakdown, Edvard Munch time, you've been hit, all hands will be lost, and thank god because you'd begun to wonder about that, and whether you'd ever record that death properly, accurately, in full proportion.

Oct 14, 2013

Letter to the Near East:  ... And for the countless time will you tell us again where is the intersection between the ideal and real in the 'Arab world.' Tell us once more how we are to reconcile such things as Assad's joke about how he should have been nominated for the Nobel Prize with yet another ghastly video of a paramilitary execution; and reconcile those with an alluring new pop hit — or the life and times of Malala, although of course, she is not Arab...

There an infinite number of extremes to throw in the pot.  And of course don't forget the interminable lights of Cordova and the wisdoms of Ibn Khaldun.  But how do you make sense of any of it?

Oh, what you've brought to the world. Oh, the romance entwined in your gift; and oh, the horror. And still again, looking in the window, you wonder at the reawakening and you shudder.  If only someone would intervene and change it all... Isn't that the hope?  That some outsider, or some kindly tyrant come and clamp down a piece.  Like the Prophet did.

It never occurs to you that you are your own Prophet.

But looking at the paramilitaries, Hezbollah perhaps, dragging the wounded civilians, all men in this case, out of the back of a lorrie, then shooting them and howling in the glory of it, you think, 'but why not just let them all kill each other, why interrupt that dream.

And you think, you should be so much more ashamed than you are, than perhaps you are capable of.

And Islam?  It's become your veil but nothing else.

When will you have had enough of your predispositions.  When will you understand the real meaning of surrender....