May 28, 2009

"Violating Terms of Service..."


When I was 30 or so, I remember meeting a woman, she was 50 years old, and very outspoken, outspoken about everything under the sun...I was taken by total admiration for this lady.
I was timid then, unsure of myself, and terribly wanting to please and be approved of...her memory never left me...I remember her telling me word for word "You know something Layla, I have turned 50 a few months ago, and If can't say it as it is now, I will never be able to do it later..."

I feel the same way today...even though I have not reached 50, yet...

I know I did mention that I wanted to stop writing about politics, occupation and death...for a while, for a break, because it really is having a toll on me...I am a woman after all, and I am the type that feel things deeply. Not to say that others don't but as the song goes -- only women bleed...except maybe for Tizbi Livni, Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton and a few other characters, I'd rather not be reminded of...

I also know, I can be outrageous at times...not enough in my opinion, but still...
After all, I am an Arab Muslim woman, and have been brought up to be polite, well behaved and forebearing...(who would have thought eh?)

But something in me won't give it a rest...won't give up...a terribly stubborn something that no amount of taming and threats will quell...

If I really have to liken it to you in images, it would be like some criminal (even though am not one) always driven to go back to the exact scene of the murder...or some street prostitute (and am not one either) and her pimp, so hooked to the whole street atmosphere, that no amount of money will make them abandon what they are most familiar with...

It's the same with the "street" politics of occupation...you say you want to quit or take a break only to find yourself in that exact same spot where the murder took place, on that same curb where you just seduced your last client into the illusion of some intimacy...of some release.

Maybe both the murderer and the prostitute need to get to the bottom of things...maybe they are the agents of darkness wanting to reveal the hidden...maybe they are the Kalis of this world, who need to flip the dark side over...maybe they are the Ishtars of this world, who have to go underground, into the abyss and come out like a reborn Sphinx...

I really don't have the answers, but I do know one thing -- someone has got to do it.

And so it happened, I found myself in the wrong place, at the wrong time...or so it looks on the surface of things...

I don't have the answers...but I do know one thing, a "thing" that pushes me as if holding a dagger stuck right in the middle of my back, as if holding a gun to my temple...as if I have no choice...as if it is a matter of life and death.

I do know that someone has got to spit it out, vomit it out, write it out...

And I also know it has to come from right where the criminal and prostitute operate...right from there, right there down below...and only when you go down there, can you really "understand", can you really "articulate", can you really "share", can you really put in words the darkness...

Down there in the darkness, in the abyss of loss, of loss of fundamentals, where your edifice has crumbled, where your structure no longer exists, down there...there are no victims and no culprits...down there all are equals...

Words become easier to grasp, sentences become a tool, language becomes a weapon...because down there, all is known...

The only struggle is trying to re-surface, a bit like some deep water diver, and while taking off his mask and waving his hand to the captain of the boat, he exclaims -- here it is.

It is on some level, an underground battle...and the only stakes are how you can re-emerge from the deep waters, relatively whole.

But then I like to fool myself believing that I was already trained for it through millenniums of History...And like the woman I admired, I like to believe that am right on track...


Picture : The Head of Ishtar