November 18, 2007

Fragile Lives...


Yesterday, I spent all evening until the early hours of the morning in Hospital.
Someone precious to me was taken in an emergency.
I sat by this "someone's" hospital bed for what felt like an eternity. Many hours...

And as this person was out of the "danger state" and was peacefully dozing off, I watched...and watched.

I sat there watching, praying, silently crying and thought to myself, this person lying in front of me could have been dead. And I imagined what it would have felt like...

The sense of loss was just too much.

Whenever there is attachment, there is a sense of loss. They go together.

Those who have refused to attach themselves to anything or anyone, are in fact protecting themselves from the possible pain of loss , the pain of separation - detachment, de-attachment...

I went out for a smoke and felt very cold, shivering cold...A strange sort of cold.
I was quivering like a leaf and while smoking my cigarette, I honestly don't know why, I thought of the Guantanamo prisoners being stripped naked and left in rooms with freezing temperatures for days...

Maybe the steel antiseptic atmosphere of the Hospital reminded me of Guantanamo - Prisoners of their bodies subjected to a thorough antiseptic cleansing, to be flushed away slowly like germs...

Or maybe seeing all those tubes reminded me of Guantanamo and the forced feeding.

Or was it the cold lifeless room of the hospital, or maybe just a cold northern wind blowing that night...I don't know.

I also thought of all those other Iraqis who have lost someone precious to them.

Going from morgue to morgue, searching for a body they could recognize, a few remains they can hug goodbye...

Or sitting by a bed watching the person they love exhale their final breaths, following an untreated illness, untreated due to lack.

Or losing someone they love, see them fall dead in front of their eyes following an iron, steel, raid - a raid chasing more unwanted bodies to be flushed...

Or a child wilting, agonizing away from lack of food and care...Or an elderly left to die alone in total abandonment...

All those prisoners of a body, a body to be flushed away like a germ, fought against like one fights a disease...


How many times can a heart be ripped apart?

How many times can a heart attach itself and be violently brutally separated from the "object" of its attachment?

How much grief can any one person contain?


But I also thought of other things too...

How a strong, sturdy, potent, superman can wither away from a tiny virus, a virus that one needs a microscope to detect...

How an epidemy can hit an arrogant, indifferent group of people and bring them to their knees in pleas...


I went "home", washed away. And when am that tired, I like listening to some jazz, which I did. I undressed and stood under the hot shower, just stood there for a long time...

And I heard that song play, another one of my favorites...The Cassandra Wilson version of "Fragile."

"If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay...

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are, how fragile we are..."



Art Work : Iraqi artist, Hashim Hanoon "Broken Jars", 2007.