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.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Death is always unjust, the mother of all injustices, whether by an occupation bullet, a virus or even old age.

The truth is, we are all prisoners of a Guantanamo existence, detained without charges, awaiting our fate in the dark of ignorance, in the cold of solitude, cooped up in our roles...
Layla Anwar said…
Rebel,

Am afraid I will have to disagree with that- however good your existential prose is- it is NOT the same.
One is imposed from the outside, the other from the inside...
Todd said…
Both my wife and I agree with you, Layla.

By the way, another good post.
Anonymous said…
Dearest Layla,

Thank you for today's post - how closely I can identify with your thoughts, and it's as if you've read mine over the past few weeks while I was tending to someone I love dearly, too ... Just like you, I sat by a bedside, praying and watching all night until the crisis had passed. It's amazing how a night can seem too long at times like these. I pray your loved one is on the way to getting better, just as mine is.

I like this song by Cassandra Wilson, by the way! Have you heard the Spanish version?

Take care and in solidarity.
Anonymous said…
Layla,

I am impressed by your courage to go out of your current situation and think about others especially Iraqis. I have been running away from this kind of thoughts as I couldn't bare the feelings as a mother of Iraqi mothers.

I pray for you and your loved one and ask God to heal and protect you and your loved ones.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers I promise.
Anonymous said…
You shouldn't worry about being fragile, Layla.I know you're a bit beyond worry now, like most of us in the Middle East, but one should be really concerned that humans are becoming hard, tough nuts to crack, not letting anything in or out that is worth mentioning.
Haven't heard it by Cassandra Wilson, must be worth it, love it by Sting.
Hope your friend is better.
Unknown said…
Beautifully written, rebel.
Angel said…
Hello Layla,

My computer spat the dummy, so have been MIA for a while.

This time, you struck a nerve with me. Regarding attachment, I have my family, that's pretty much it. I prefer it that way.

Your post has gripped me, my thoughts going back some years, to things I swore I would never think of again. I only had my heart ripped apart once, only had to go to the morgue once. Once was enough.

I don't want to do it again. Ever.

I am slightly speechless tonight, I apologise for rambling. You have me thinking. It's time for a cry.

Stay safe.
Layla Anwar said…
Mr&Mrs Rambleman,

Layla "waves" hello.
Layla Anwar said…
Dear little deer,

Thank you. Who sings the Spanish version? Am curious to know. I have the Sting and Cassandra Wilson ones - would absolutely love to hear the spanish one.
Take care and am glad your friend recovered.
Layla Anwar said…
Nur Aris,

That bit where you said
"but one should be really concerned that humans are becoming hard, tough nuts to crack, not letting anything in or out..."

Simply excellent!
Layla Anwar said…
twosret,

Please read Nur Aris's comment, it believe it is very a propos.
Thank you for your prayers, very much appreciated.
Layla Anwar said…
Hiya Angel,

Am sorry, did not want to make you cry by re-opening old wounds...Trust me on one thing though,and am talking from experience - the more one witnesses other people's pains the more bearable one's own becomes...It will not take it away but will simply put it in perspective and the solitude of holding it is lessened.
Bless you Angel.
Anonymous said…
hi layla,

would you care to commnet on this recent article?

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111807Y.shtml

thanks

f
Anonymous said…
hi again layla,

perhaps others might want to commnet on it also. is there hope for anyone anymore?

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111807Y.shtml
Todd said…
"Layla "waves" hello."

Cool! :-)
Anonymous said…
Dear Layla,

The Spanish version is sung by Gypsy Kings (Chico and the Gypsies): Album title - Nomade. Song title: Fragilidad. It's lovely, but then, I do love Gypsy Kings! Hope you get to hear it, too.

I hope your friend's getting better by the day. Mine is and I offer a prayer of thanks...

Take care and God bless.
Anonymous said…
The real Layla died around 17 years ago.

Who are you ?
Anonymous said…
JR LIVES !
Anonymous said…
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AWl45J8XI-E
this time from Sting - for those readers who don't know the song.
There is still too much pain..
Be strong. All things MUST pass....
Anonymous said…
And here's a live version from Cassandra Wilson..
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7cvl4YymMU8
listen and remember and enjoy...
Anonymous said…
And finally...the lyrics:

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

Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence
and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are
Anonymous said…
What I cannot figure out is, why are we subjected to so much pain and suffering, witness others suffering, they're not natural disasters, it's not death from old age, and we have to watch it like an aquarium, bow our heads and accept. War is not natural, bombs are not natural, jealousy, greed, tantrums maybe, but let's not exaggerate, please! I'm asking myself, did we deserve this, did we make way for it? Yes, maybe, but let's not exaggerate please!
I have lost a sister, and now I've found one or two, I want to go out on a splendid night with you all, wearing our dazzling Italian high heels, (like we did when we were kids, wearing our mother's shoes)or much preferably, barefoot, running, shouting, singing, dancing, sitting under the stars (like we did when we were kids, now we have all dreams shattered, loved ones lost,why?) Did we deserve it, did we make way for it?
My parents named me Nur, my Master in India initiated me Devadip, (same meaning) that's why I love Carlos Santana, he was initiated Devadip, and I had the honor of looking him in the eye, playing his godly instrument, guess where, an old monastery, in the village of Santa Anna, in California, and I'm and have been a fan of Clapton, he sings, I don't belong in Heaven, bless his soul! He lost his child, who flew out of the window of his apartment, cause he believed he was SUperman! I don't know Layla, sometimes I pretend I do! But I really don't!
Layla Anwar said…
Jayant, thank you for the youtube link and the lyrics. Cassandra wilson is wonderful so is sting.
Layla Anwar said…
Little Deer,

Thanks. I know the Gypsy kings but have never heard them play that one. will have to check it out.
Stay safe and God bless
Layla Anwar said…
droplet,

I am her twin sister...WE both resurrected. Any more questions?
Layla Anwar said…
Nur Aris,

Are you a female???? I was under the impression that you were a man since Nur can be for both...

I love Santana and have all his records.

The computer and TV is our aquarium and we have other aquariums too, the glass bowl we have over our heads...except the golden fish are dead inside.
Layla Anwar said…
JR's obsession,

I am still to understand why this obsession with JR???
I think we all miss him- each in our own way...
Anonymous said…
"any more questions ?"

Yes.

Why did you let me believe that you were her "twin BROTHER" ???

I feel like a bloody fool now.
Layla Anwar said…
Droplet,

Is that some sort of not so hidden sexism ?
Am very much of a woman.
Can't help you with your mental problems though. I do know of some good shrinks around...
Todd said…
"perhaps others might want to commnet on it also. is there hope for anyone anymore?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111807Y.shtml"


Good article! And I really hope the Bush administration in it's entirety are found GUILTY for the crimes they have committed, not only against the Middle-East, but ones against it's own people. Hope is all there is, so there is hope in my opinion. Stay strong.
Anonymous said…
ITModerator, cut the play-acting and answer the question !
Layla Anwar said…
I don't answer questions you mentally deranged thing. I ASK them.
Anonymous said…
Secrets make you feel powerful, don't they ?

Poor little thing.
Anonymous said…
Yes, Layla, I am very fortunate to be female.
Take care.
YoUnicorn said…
My Dear Layla

Excellent reflection !
Wise.. very wise
Thank you for the song
Links and beauty !

Bless you
Much love
YoUnicorn said…
droplet

Get busy with something
CONSTRUCTIVE !

Salaam

Thank you Layla !
,-))

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