April 8, 2007

And thus She spoke...

"And on the third day, I rose…

Something inside keeps pushing me to write through.
Even though I have no "ink" left.
Something, someone, like a still little voice deep from within, from without, gently commands me...WRITE.

And I struggle and I wrestle...with words.
Words that keep eluding me, slipping through my fingers like ether, like mercury...
I compress, squeeze, wring...
I shake, as if shaking a bottle for the last drops to trickle and hopefully quench.

And I struggle some more and nothing comes out.
Many a times I have cried out : Oh God why have you forsaken me? Why have you abandoned me?
And I hear nothing but the silence of my cries like an echo in a mass grave.

There is no shortage of misery, there is no lack of suffering...
Maybe it is too grandiose for me to deal with alone and where should I start?

Torture and death? Emptiness and hunger? Untreated Illnesses and agony ? Orphans and roaming street children ? Poverty and hunger? Exile and refugees? Destruction and paralysis? Ruins and rubbles? Grief and resignation? Violence and occupation? Madness and loss of direction? Unemployment and mendicity? Depleted Uranium and Tumors? Widows and loneliness? Abductions and kidnappings? Bombs and explosions? Interrogations and imprisonment? Corruption and executions? Mercenaries and contractors? Blood spilling and lack of transfusions? Hospitals and lack of medication? Militias and drills? Oil and theft? Longings and torment?

The enemies at my gates were numerous and my Judas had many masks.
Each mask bearing a different origin, a different color, a different lie and each mask hiding another...

Where do you want me to start?

Help me here…

Lend me one of your so called Christian charitable hands and tell me what do you want me to begin with?
Lend me some of your so called Muslim piety and stand by me, at least for a little while.
Lend me some of your so called Jewish tears and speak of the persecuted, the defamed...
Lend me one of your so called Arab pompous, prideful voices and trigger me off.
Lend me one of your so called Solidarity fists and multiply my voice, multiply my absent words...
Lend me one of your so called civilized humanistic orations and halt my blood.

Stop giving me vinegar pretending it is water.
Stop digging more nails into my body pretending they are balms.
Stop crowning me with thorns pretending they are flowers.

Stand by me, stand with me...
Stand with me as am losing grounds, stand with me as am sinking, stand with me as the earth is being eroded from beneath my feet.

I am tired of shaking you like am trying to shake this empty bottle.
I am tired of explaining to you, of trying to convince you, of showing you, of relating to you...

I am tired of your empty temples, tired of your hollow shouts, tired of your fake statues and your endless idol worshipping.

I feel terribly alone here...doing the unthinkable...doing the improbable...doing the unfathomable...doing the miraculous.

My faithful, courageous, men and women are resisting you and they have been doing so for years...alone.
Resisting your tyranny, resisting your dictatorship, resisting your violence and brutality, resisting your spite, your hatred and your greed...alone.

I am tired of your accusations, of your snide remarks, of your mistrust, of your projections, of your slanders, of your ignorance, of your idiocy, of your lack of presence, of your lack of will…

Here I am trying to find words as if crawling on four, trying to gather lost, scattered beads from a rosary.
Get down with me and search for them...Reclaim your sacred vows, rediscover your language.
I am giving you this opportunity, I am offering your this gift, over my dead tortured, massacred body...

You have nailed and crucified me and I am resurrecting again and again.
Don't shut me out, dont shut me off...
Don't shut yourself off and repossess the words with me.

Maybe we will find a common language.
Maybe we will find a common prayer.
Maybe you will be raised again and taste life once more...

And if you do abandon me and my plight, and I do go into the underworld, remember that I will drag you along with me.
For you are neither alone nor immune.

If I could sink the Goddess Ishtar into the tenebrous lows, I can sink you too.
if I could sharpen Gilgamesh's axe, surely I can touch you too.
If I could survive a thousand invasions from the times of Babylon through the Mongols right down to the pale skinned ones and their dark servants, surely I can survive you too.
If my womb gave birth to hundreds of prophets, surely it can give birth to you too.

Do not mistake my crying out to you as helplessness...Take it as my hand finally saving you.

Remember me. Remember my history and remember who I am, and don't you ever forget my name. I am Iraq.

I have died a thousand times and have resurrected. And have died once more...and will resurrect again.
But this time around it will be your final end and my eternal beginning."

And thus She spoke, on the third day, on the Cross.

Happy Easter and Happy Resurrection.

Painting: Iraqi artist, Dia Al-Azzawi:" Homage to Al Jawahiri"