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Saturday, July 16, 2011

As If This Is Enough

Under normal circumstances I am immune to the cruelty of my environment. I have retreated to a cave in space and time where I found a jot of privacy and a pinch of independence. I defied oppression by evading confrontation and scouted a solitary rock in this damned place where I was certain I’ll get enough fish for dinner tonight. The shimmering lights of thousands of dying suns held me captive. I eavesdropped on the murmurs of crashing waves, hesitating then returning to my hole in the ground dreaming of taking a plunge one of these days.



Just as long as no one fucked with my fragile bubble I managed to be almost pleasant. If attacked, however, I lashed back with hardy ridicule and gallant courage. I am a believer in not believing and I will defend my thought with claw and tooth after pen and argot, regardless of what had come to pass or of what is yet to be. As if this is enough!
I could go on living for myself till a day comes when I look into the mirror and spit at my reflection if I still have a remnant of human decency left. Or it could be worse. I might smile feebly at the ghastly figure before lowering my head in shame to stare at my own feet. Images of men getting kicked in the face then trying to stand up again only to be brought down and beaten by a mob of ghosts haunt me forever.
I fumble in the pockets of my honor for a forgotten handkerchief to wipe the tears of my conscience. I should blow the nose of my anger instead.
Not too far ahead, there’s a fork down the road with an arrow pointing one way. I squint my eyes to read. The Point of No Return.

27 comments:

Anne B. said...

I awoke with dawn and the sounds of the early morning birds in my safe little spot of the world. Your tweet appeared near the the Dalai Lama tweeting "We must generate courage equal to the size of the difficulties we face."

Your posting appeared in my Reader timeline next to a posting on how the grill peaches. The perspective between it all was poignant and heartbreaking and your words brought tears.

Your words have taught me that there are more similarities of minds than the miles and cultures between us would belie. I wish for you unimaginable strength....the strength circumstances require.

BIL said...

Abufares,
Very moving…..that inner personal honor is something that cannot be taken away by anyone if one has inner strength. That “fork” you speak of is nothing more than a “utensil” in life, and must be used properly. Just make sure you use it wise and in a correct manner. So look in that mirror with head held high and eyes straight forward then you will see in that very reflection in which method the fork shall be used……Good Luck BIL

Anonymous said...

Hi Abu fares, Dontknwo what to write but take care and all the best....Neetu

abufares said...

@Anne B.
Thank you for reading my post with the advent of dawn. Your words filled my heart with the strength I need to push off my chest a part of the wall which had already fallen. We are indeed brought closer together through the similarities of the mind and a passion for ultimate truth, that all people are equal.

abufares said...

@BIL
You always put a smile on my face when you comment. Not a superficial smile but one of deep satisfaction. Thank you for your ability to provide support despite the overwhelming distance. And for always being here.

abufares said...

@Neetu
You don't need to write a word. I'm so happy you're here.

Anonymous said...

Abu fares
I've been reading you post quitely, I always think if one can look in the mirror, and see that he/she really is what he prtends to be, is an ultimate test. and either keep head up proudly or may spit on one's face and lower his head shamfully. only honest people are the judges of their acts.
What I've read from your post make me raise my head proudly not ot say that should be too.
Your Neighbour.

Sean L said...

Whichever path you take, the one thing you've got in spades is human decency. Your thoughts - as expressed here on your blog - and your actions reveal a great philanthropy, in the literal sense of the word. That's something you should never doubt yourself on.

Good luck with your decision, and your journey. A brighter sunrise is on its way, even if it is taking much longer than expected to break.

Gabriela said...

"I eavesdropped on the murmurs of crashing waves".
There are times when spending time with ourselves is necessary. Even therapeutic. But just as the narrator finds out, there is always a Point of no Return. The thing is: shall we go past it?
It's great to see updatings here!

Anonymous said...

A GREAT MAN ONCE WROTE:
I am no prophet -- and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

FATMA

abufares said...

Hello Neighbour
I haven't yet reached a point where I can't look at me straight in the eye. As far as I'm concerned this is enough of an assurance that I still possess my humanity. Of course there are those who would go on a killing spree in the darkness of night and inside the depth of cellars then wake up and shave before splashing their faces with cologne.
I don't know what separates a man from a beast. Sure, it's called conscience but I have no idea how one turns into a psychopath and loses sight of his conscience along with compassion and altruism.
I'm humbled not by my shortcomings but by the deeds of the brave ones who had given all.

abufares said...

@Sean
You know my friend, sometime the journey of the mind is much more difficult then simply packing and leaving a place. Whether I move my ass out of here or not one day is open to possibilities but my mental journey is well underway. It's filled with anguish, hope, heartbreak and love. If once I cross the finish line I still possess the traits you bestowed on me I'd consider that my life was everything I ever wanted it to be.
Thank you for coming here.

abufares said...

Hi Gaby
The hardest question a man (or a woman) faces is: What if? I know because I already asked it too many times. Theoretically, as one ages he becomes wiser and should have to answer it less if hardly at all.
I look at that sign and my heart lurches forward, tugging at me to follow and to break free.
What if I don't do it? The thought of it scares me to death.

abufares said...

@FATMA
I don't know if you quoted my favorite poem by design or accident but I have to thank you for it.
And in short, I was afraid. True! Afraid of not having the courage of taking that plunge. What would I have if I own the world but lose myself but a ghastly face in a mirror.

Isobel said...

You know, Abufares, if you travel with a child on an airplane, they tell you, in case of emergency, that you have to put the oxygen mask first on yourself, then on your child. Which, of course, makes sense, but isn't how we would naturally operate.

By being who you are and how you think, you have gone a long way toward helping all of humanity. It's always good to reflect and question, sometimes adjust, but keep going in your own direction always. :)

abufares said...

@Isobel
So I wrote this cryptic post, painstakingly going over every single sentence to make certain it says exactly what I want to say, eliminating unnecessary phrases, tuning, fine tuning then micro tuning words down to syllables then here you come and say what I have in mind in a few simple, unpretentious and down-to-earth words...
I'm so jealous of you and your nonchalant yet beautiful use of the language.
You reminded me of Al-Farazdaq and Jarir, two renowned Arab rival poets.
Al-Farazdaq is said to chisel his poetry from rock while Jarir scooped his from the sea.
Keep scooping :-)

The Syrian Brit said...

Regrettably, my friend, I fear that we have already gone past that sign which reads 'The Point of No Return'...

abufares said...

@Syrian Brit
I miss having you over here. I hope you and yours are all doing splendidly well :-)
I agree, even if I think that I haven't reached it yet I seriously doubt there's any turning back.
I hope for better days ahead for us all.
I'm so glad you came this way, really.

Anonymous said...

Keep true to yourself, and smile when you look in the mirror. If more people like you were around, things would eventually go in the right direction...

That is all... I do not have any wise comments or metaphors...

Hebé

abufares said...

@Hebé
You're too wise to get any wiser, lol.
Thank you for always believing that... I'm a good guy.

Drowning in Paper said...

Abufares: Your writing touches my heart and my soul. Best wishes to you always. Phyllis S.

abufares said...

@Phyllis
Thank you for your tender comment and for gracing my blog with your presence :-)

Anonymous said...

البارحة أرخيت رأسي المثقل بآلاف الصور المهينة والمشينة والمرعبة، بآلاف الآهات والعبرات، بآلاف الآمال المحطمة والمكبوتة، بآلف العبارات المخزية والمحزنة، أرخيت رأسي على كتفك....وحلمت بوطن يشبهك

KJ said...

Abufares, it seems that you and I are somehow bound by our feelings; every time I return to your blog I see myself and my thoughts depicted in wonderful words.

I am struggling with myself and my conscience and with who I am and what society forces in bigotry upon my conscience and I feel trapped, hating myself and wanting to spit at myself and I keep wondering how everyone else seems to be going on with their lives and do their own thing — how they managed to get over themselves and over life's bigotry is beyond me.

Why is it so hard to be content! I was content, for a while, then I don't know what happened.

abufares said...

@KJ
That's the price of having a conscience my friend.
No matter how much it hurts we're better off than the beasts :-)
Be well dude.

Anonymous said...

Abu Fares, this is the Zarouba Boy; I only wrote a comment here once five or six years ago, but I am a constant reader. I grew up as a boy in a small zarouba in Ramel area, but then flew away and never came back. Your blog was always the only thing in the world that made me so proud of being from those forgotten allays of that old city.
I have a question that I feel no one else could frankly answer anymore but someone as decent and honest as you; alas very few like that are remaining in the old country.
When you said my dear Abu Fares that you feel ashamed; "images of men getting kicked in the face then trying to stand up again only to be brought down and beaten by a mob of ghosts haunt me forever."
From where I am here; I do not know who is beating who anymore. I believe someone like you would feel ashamed regardless of who is doing the beating and who is kicked in the face... Your humanity is above all and any other trifle affiliation. But, let's say some of us are still bound by that birth burden as "This" Or "That". I do not know how to ask you this and I hope You do not get me wrong trying to fuck up your bubble. but should I feel more ashamed being from the Ramel? Did you get me? I hate to use the We and Them, and I am sure once that Point of No Return is passed, it won't make a difference as everybody will be kicking everybody in the face, as it happened in our dear neighbor to the south back in the seventies; but I just need to know from you now that You mentioned it: Are "we" (Codifying it as ramel's zaroubas people) the ones who are kicking others in the face? Should I be even MORE ashamed than I am right now being from that country all together?

abufares said...

@Zarouba Boy
No it was never like this although some of us (on all sides) are willing to walk down that regrettable road. We were and still are ONE and on the same side as far as I'm concerned.
The instance I was referring to involves a middle-aged SYRIAN man being kicked in the face by uniformed SYRIAN army soldiers. Who's what is irrelevant. It's a disgrace to tint SYRIAN honor in such a manner.
I know how it must feel being away, always wondering what the truth is. Trust me, it's not easier being here. I'm only certain that everyone is lying. Hundreds (more than 2,000) of SYRIANS died so far. This estimate includes innocent bystanders, soldiers, security personnel, Shabbiha, Musallaheen and Peaceful demonstrators. I think the latter (peaceful demonstrators) suffered the highest casualties. It should've not taken than path. Not a single Syrian should've died. Yet we can't lose faith in our identity and we can only hope that the future is 100 times better than the present and a 1000 times brighter than the past.
Thank you and please come back, when I'm in the mood for writing again.