April 24, 2009

Saturation.


These days, when there are news of explosions going on in Baghdad and its vicinity, like daily, I avoid reading the full story. I just read the headlines.

I don't want to know anymore.

I don't want to know the number of dead, I don't want to know the exact location, I don't want to know how it happened, who did it, what time, the names, age and sex of the victims...I just don't want to know anymore.

I say to myself, if it is anyone I am related to, I will find out about it...sooner than later. Right now, I just don't want to know because -- am saturated.

I am saturated with deaths, killings, explosions, people disappearing, people in detention, people in need, people in distress, people losing their homes --- am saturated with numbers, with names of places, with stories and memories that have developed a life of their own now - settling themselves in my mind, in my waking and sleeping hours, like unwanted tenants who have appropriated your private space, like armed gangs who have taken over your home...and there is absolutely nothing you can do to evict them.

I just don't want to know anymore.

I just want an ordinary, petty, boring life...where my energies and thoughts revolve around doing my nails, checking out the latest fashion fad, cooking and complaining of too much housework. A petty, boring life, where I can sit and gossip for hours about nonsense, beauty tips and how to land a guy according to his star sign...

I want to be able to enjoy simple things, like listening to sounds without having to jump from my seat everytime a door bangs, or break out in sweat everytime I receive a late phone call, or tremble inside every time my cell beeps with a message...

I am saturated. Just like Iraq is saturated...We are both saturated with bombs, bullets, ruins, misery, sadness, grief, loss, uncertainty...

Saturated with explosions and implosions...saturated...

Even the word ENOUGH has lost its meaning. They crossed it out from our language dictionary. We can't even go shopping for it in markets, or order it online, or even negotiate for it as some package deal...We search for ENOUGH, and we can find it nowhere. It has gone missing...abducted, kidnapped and no amount of ransom will bring it back. No amount of dead bodies, no amount of mourning, no amount...It has simply disappeared.

At times, I imagine I have met ENOUGH and I shrug my shoulders, saying -- okay ENOUGH, that is enough for me now. I don't care anymore.

At other times, I play the ostrich, at intervals, hoping that I can breathe easier when my head is buried deep in the sand...

And sometimes I pretend am someone else and imagine am a woman from a different history, from a different continent, from a different reality...where I have never heard of Iraq or seen it on a map before...I feel light when I imagine that. So light, like a breeze...

But those tenants and their noise catch up with me...they start banging on the tiny door of the only room they have not occupied yet...Their knocks are like explosions, like shouts, like screams of agony, like me...searching for ENOUGH.

Occasionally, I would try to calm them and me down. We would all sit together and discuss rationally, so as to salvage some Sense, bit and pieces of Meaning left, like sewing a patchwork made of rags...and while we are doing so, we secretly hope that ENOUGH will show up at the horizon...

But we know, that this "liberation" is like an atomic bomb, an explosion in our lives, a surge of Greed, a surge of More...

So how can MORE bring ENOUGH.

This "liberation" was devised so that ENOUGH never shows up in our lives again.

We mourn It daily as we mourn our dead and offer It the prayer of the Absent.

Another martyr gone...


Painting : Iraqi artist, Qais Al-Sindi.