At the Gates...


Insomnia has become a trusted friend.
Sleep steals me away from her, for a couple of hours and she jealously snatches me back...
I used to fight her, now I accept. She asks me “what is on your mind?” and my only reply to her is “Iraq.”

I think, breathe, eat, drink, write, dream, cry, sleep...Iraq.
An addiction, an obsession, a torment...

It is not only a question of longing or nostalgia or anger, like a boiling volcano that will never subside...It is not only a yearning for things past, or a grief for people and things gone...

It is deeper, way deeper than that...

When insomnia is sitting next to me, like some night keeper, like some watchdog, like some guardian...I ask myself and I ask her to hand me, the thread, the lead, the clue...the key to this upheaval I feel inside of me.

It is like a wall, I can’t penetrate. And I try to search for some loophole, some crack...anything, simply anything which will help me see beyond it.

Beyond this wall, this thick steel, brick, curtain that is erected in front of me and that follows me everywhere I go, blocking my vision, my horizon, my sight, my future...
An impasse, a cul de sac, a labyrinthe...

I know there is something I need to reconcile with, and yet cannot bring myself to.
A knowledge, a truth, I willfully deny or circumvent...And with which, I battle and wrestle - refusing to accept. Simply refusing.

And uttering this truth, with Insomnia sitting next to me, is like blaspheming at the ancient Gods, then secretly pleading in hiding, to be spared their wrath.

I do not want to share it with you. I do not want you to partake in it. I do not want you to commiserate in it. I do not want you to rejoice in it...

I shall keep it a well guarded secret. Only Insomnia knows, she is the gate keeper and she buries it every night.
And when the first light of dawn knocks at my window, she retreats tiptoeing, carrying it away with her.

At times she is generous with me, she allows me to linger on, eyeing through those loopholes and cracks...and she hands me the key.

And then I spot Her.

I spot Her at the Gates of the old City.

I see Her carrying a suitcase. I tell Her “Come with me, come...leave them.”
And She, holding a suitcase in one hand and a map in the other, looks over Her shoulder...towards the ruins.
She shakes Her head, and walks back through the gates of the old city.

I want to pull Her out, grab her and take Her with me, but I know She will not succumb.
Sometimes, I see her lying by the gates of the old city and a million daggers in Her body. I want to reach out and drag Her through but She kicks and fights back, refusing to surrender.

She cannot leave them behind. They are Her children too. And I cannot leave Her behind either.

She is my motherland, my mother tongue, my country. She is my Mother.

And as I watch through the gates...As I watch Her in her different states...
Sometimes battling with a million daggers, sometimes carrying a suitcase of exile...

You throw words and wilted flowers attached to a thin transparent string, dangling in mid air...And when you are very generous, you throw a worn out, used blanket, pierced with a million holes.

And you tell me and Her, “Here cover yourselves, with this blanket, and hold on to that thread.”

Leaving us both, fighting the demons, at the gates of this old city.
Leaving us both in the wakefulness brought by your Destruction...


Insomnia has to go now, it is broad day light. She has just walked out the door, carrying your wilted flowers, your words and your worn out blanket. Throwing the whole bundle in a pile of Garbage.

A pile of garbage, soon to be swept away like dust...
Like dust from the Gates of this old city. This old city in ruins.


Painting: Iraqi artist, Moed Mohsen (date n/a)

Comments

Anonymous said…
The more I read you, the more you remind me of someone I knew...
Alan the Red said…
Mother is she who spends sleepless night to make you sleep
Mother is she who understands you from the very deep…

Mother is she who will laugh and cry along with you….
Mother is she who teaches how to drink, eat and how to chew…

Mother is she who scolds you for your good
Mother is she who will support you in any mood…

Mother is she who accepts you in any situation…
Mother is she who motivates you for your every little creation…

Mother is she who gives you blessings at every step…
Mother is she who is always worried for your fate…

Mother is she who can catch you if at any moment you lie…
Mother is she who never wants to see her baby cry….

Mother is she who is different from all other…
Mother is she who is never comparable to any other…

Sumita Datta
Anonymous said…
Am afraid I did not quite get the point last night.

Could you kindly re-explain it all to me now in broad daylight ?

;-)
Layla Anwar said…
Broad day light to Insomnia,

Mull it over tonight.
Layla Anwar said…
nostalgic, would really love to help you here, if you give me your full name :-)
Anonymous said…
"She is my motherland, my mother tongue, my country. She is my Mother"

Mine too!
Anonymous said…
This infinitely dear friend used to call me "Nakhla".

But if you were that friend, you would probably not be ABLE to remember me by this time .. nor anything else ..

Cursed, a thousand times cursed be this war.

Keep up the good work.
Angel said…
Hello Layla,

I fear your demons will be with you forever. This horror will never be forgotten, etched in the sands of time, immemorial.

It's a pity you can't, collectively, be given a sleeping pill, and wake up refreshed, with no memories of the repetative nightmare that you have been living in.

I don't think they make pills that big. Maybe the US can invent one? They are pretty good at inventing...weapons of mass destruction....misinformation... lies...add whatever else you like. I bet they've done it.

Stay safe.
Mister Paradise said…
All of us are Iraq, all of us are at war, Iraq is not limited by boundaries nor belongs to a particular creed or culture, the whole earth is Iraq, but now... whom does Iraq love? Does Iraq love those who claim national fervor? or does Iraq love these democracy advocates?
Iraq does not love anyone, the earth does not love anyone, but then again only the brave understand, only the intelligent grasps.
Anonymous said…
One day JR will die.
Anonymous said…
"A pile of garbage, soon to be swept away like dust..."

Are you striking tents again, lonely wayfarer ?

;-)
Anonymous said…
I think that cargo ship is carrying american supplies to Iraq.
who says america doesn't care about iraq?! shame on you.

sleep is over-rated.
Anonymous said…
please make the colors on your next blog a little more inspiring. This shit brown is a little depressing. no wonder you can't sleep.
Layla Anwar said…
yolanda indira ghandi? hahahaha

everytime a shit brown slimey like you crawls on this blog, I know I have done a good job.
See how great I am ! Even your shitty face can inspire me.
Now crawl back in your hole.
Layla Anwar said…
black jack,

you mean the way they carried the black jacks across from Africa?
Layla Anwar said…
shadow,

your over rate your own intelligence.
Garbage dust was a reference to your ilk.
Go back to sleep.
Layla Anwar said…
mister paradise,

this one is for you

http://uruknet.info/?p=m37490&s1=h1
Layla Anwar said…
nakhla or nostalgic,

umm....am not sure nakhla.
I used to call a cousin nakhla...she was tall and was a show off, so I used to say to her,
toolech tool al nakhla wa aqleq aql al sakhla....but am sure it was not you though.

Damn this war, I only remember the idiots.

You take care too.
Anonymous said…
layla, why on earth do you have to hint at the existence of a "secret" if then you have no intention of revealing it ?

are you trying to drive your readers to the nuthouse by any chance ?
Layla Anwar said…
madly curious,

hahahaha, you want to join me there by any chance ?
Anonymous said…
yeah,, guess who sold the blacks to america? the blacks...what a revelation!!!

I think layla just got in line to buy one for herself. you know how the arabs like african slaves. they call them 'servants', whatever...
Anonymous said…
Spare your brains, you can't fool me...
Anonymous said…
"you want to join me there by any chance ?"

why not ? i've always envied mad men and women their "open" relationship with the reality. we poor "sane" people have to remain "married" to that bitch till death us do...FREE.
Anonymous said…
WELCOME TO JR'S CHAT BLOG!

WITH MORE PERSONALITIES THEN NAMES ON THIS BLOG. THE ONLY ONE HERE THAT WILL PUT ITSELF DOWN TO YELL AT ITSELF FOR PUTTING ITSELF DOWN.

HERE'S YOUR SING

DE DE DE DUMB
Anonymous said…
2jr

"Kos okht ile nafadak"

fuck the one who brought you to this life.


LOL
Anonymous said…
u stupid moronic bastards u people make me sick........this is a high quality blog and when i open the comments section i expect to read high quality discussions n top notch analysis......instead it is filled with the most pointless mundane crap i have ever had the misfortune of reading.......hang your heads in shame u worthless witless dickheads
Anonymous said…
......or 2 put it another way, if u hav nothing useful to contribute then plz have the decency 2 fuck off
Layla Anwar said…
iraqi jew,

if she is indeed your Mother, then BE LOYAL to HER.
Layla Anwar said…
Hey Jr,

I must say that was a good one ! They are indeed dickless witless...whatever...hahahahaha
Anonymous said…
2 jr Chimado

u hijo de la gran puta cara de mierda pinche puta



Verga
Anonymous said…
2 jr Vajokki.

Pulunnussija revin perseei irti ja syotan sen sinulle pimppi




Panopuu Fin
Anonymous said…
2 jr Oetlul

Pokkenlijder je kunt de pot op keuk niet met me hoerenjong


Du Pooier
Layla Anwar said…
Hey guys,


What is this ? Some language course in insults ?

Why don't you all get in a boxing ring and fight it out between each other. Jr and all the anony mouseys around. Am getting tired of your shit.


Had you all spend as much energy in fighting or at least denouncing the occupation as you spend it here on this blog either attacking me or others, then Iraq would be liberated by now.
Anonymous said…
My dear sister, my hermaphrodite Savage,
No one understands your Injun languages. Those days are long gone. Thought the great spirit was weaning you off the booze. What happened?
Anonymous said…
'if she is indeed your Mother, then BE LOYAL to HER.'


She is indeed my mother - but she turned a blind eye to my cruel and powerful 'Big Brother' and allowed him to torture me mentally and physically for 25 years because of my religion. I endured what thousands of Iraqis are now going through - whether they be Muslim or Christian..

I now have a 'foster mother' - the country where I live - the country that has given me refuge and total freedom.

Loyalty to me is gratitude to any kindness given.
Layla Anwar said…
iraqi jew,

For God's sake don't you ever tire of your broken record?
When will you have the decency to say the truth?
Namely that your wonderful zionists were the ones who drove the wedge in Iraq ????
Go and check Wafaa Al Natheema blog, she has a good video on Iraqi jews and interviews.
At least one of them was honest enough to admit.
Learn from your Big Brother for a change.
Anonymous said…
layla says..
"For God's sake don't you ever tire of your broken record?"

The pot is most definitely calling the kettle black.

-The Tin Man
Layla Anwar said…
tin man,

knock knock and hear your own echo...shallow and empty like that pea brains of yours.
Not more to be expected from a tin soldier, pretending to be a man.
Anonymous said…
Layla Anwar said...
Hey guys,


What is this ? Some language course in insults ?

Why don't you all get in a boxing ring and fight it out between each other. Jr and all the anony mouseys around. Am getting tired of your shit.


Had you all spend as much energy in fighting or at least denouncing the occupation as you spend it here on this blog either attacking me or others, then Iraq would be liberated by now.

--

if i had my way, i would bash each n every one of their skulls in.....the way they come on here n contribute absolutely nothing makes my bloood boil
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said...
2 jr Vajokki.

Pulunnussija revin perseei irti ja syotan sen sinulle pimppi




Panopuu Fin

--

yeah we all know abt insultmonger.com, ure not funny n ure not clever.....now go away n die
Layla Anwar said…
got to check this insultmonger.com me self..
hmmm. great idea.
Am getting a little bored with the F word.
Anonymous said…
layla i really think its time u whipped your comments section into shape. a large scale ban is very much in order in my opinion......the quality of the comments section is inversely proportional to the quality of your writing n is just not on
Anonymous said…
"a large scale ban is very much in order"

yeah...a "jr-only" comment section !!!

what a narcissistic muppet u truly are.
Anonymous said…
Is the "secret" about Iraq or yourself ?
Anonymous said…
I suspect the "truth" you can't bring yourself to reconcile with might be some serious chronic medical condition you got from exposure to radiations or torture.

I hope I am wrong, but that would explain many things.
Layla Anwar said…
madly curious,

are you some pseudo psychotherapist?
Good Lord, you really do lack imagination or should I say understanding.
OCCUPATION is Torture.
Anonymous said…
Yes, but you mentioned a "secret", something that nobody else but you and "Insomnia" knows about.
Anonymous said…
Come on, whisper it in my ear. I won't tell anybody ! ;-)
Layla Anwar said…
madly curious

We may need to revise the definition of "secret".
Since it is a secret, it is by definition unspoken...
Besides, if you lay your curiosity aside, and re-read the text carefully you will know what am alluding to.
Anonymous said…
You fled from Her in the hour of need and have since lived tormented by remorse.

Speak, O Sphinx: is that the response ?
Layla Anwar said…
Nope Madly Curious that is not the response...Try again Tutakhamen.
Anonymous said…
The same "god" that converses in Texan accent with Bush told you in fluent Iraqi dialect that She is doomed for ever (i.e. BULLSHIT).

Or maybe you found yourself at some time in the past in a position to save Her ("Come with me, leave them...") but failed to.

Just tell me that it's not about the masses not giving a shit about Her, coz that's NO "secret" (nor an ABSOLUTE "truth" for that matter...).
Unknown said…
Ma'am, this is awesome prose. You are a great writer indeed. I agree with JR that the comments are disgustingly low-brow. Mere abuse is no criticism.

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