Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 7th, 2011

Akram Hanyeh is a Palestinian author who wrote a short fiction story on conditions in the Palestinian territories; not a fiction anymore, a steady trend; not just Palestinians but crossing all cultures and civilizations.

The story is valid for million of married couples:  The husband gets married, insures that the wife is pregnant, and leaves oversea to “make a living”.  The husband receives the good/bad news:  A son is born, a girl is born, the baby died in stillbirth… Depends; if a boy, the visit is imminent and the gifts outrageously expensive; maybe a big party will be thrown to celebrate the feat of delivering to the world a newborn who will barely see his father and struggle all his life in misery to get a place under the sun.  If the boy is the first one, the father will be named Abu *(first name of the boy.)

If the baby is a girl then the visit can linger to mark frustration and unhappiness.  Most probably, the gifts are lesser in number, quality, and price.  The wife is not expected to get jewelry and silk cloths…but she must be ready for an “encore”:  She will get pregnant again to generate a boy.  As long as the wife has this nasty trend of producing girls then she should expect to be pregnant immediately until a boy dignifies the family.

A stillborn baby is a calamity:  The wife is blamed for a thousand reasons, all of them of her responsibilities and making.  The husband might give his wife a second chance but he is already on the look-out for a “stronger second wife”, large-hipped, younger, with a family history among the females of generating boys…

This fiction story is applicable to many cultures, including the developed nations where competition is so strong that the bread-winner of the family is ready to take any job that is more remunerating oversea. It is becoming so easy to getting married when couples start accepting that the survival of the families transcends the tougher responsibilities of raising a family.  Getting married is even easier if mothers and grandmothers are willing to raising children as long as money is sent from overseas to sustain untenable living conditions.

Um Ismail is a wet-nurse “dayeh” of the village.  Um Ismail has delivered most of the existing youth in the village and she has competition from Um Mohammad, a younger dayeh.  This year, Um Ismail has been experiencing panic attacks:  babies refuse to come out nicely; they seem to cling to the uterus of their mothers; they don’t want to come to the world.  Um Mohammad is not faring any better.  The news spread and the wise of the village met to discuss the situation.  Many of the educated men have been detained in Israel’s prison for one reason or another : They are considered the best representatives of the village for sacrificing their comfort to preserving the dignity of the community.The people discovered that difficult pregnancies have one thing in common:  All husbands were away from their wives and children.

A few suggested that these complicated births be sent to specialized hospitals.  A few pregnant women had successful Cesarian surgeries but most babies decided to committing suicide rather to come to this wretched world.  The committee of wise men decided that all husbands be ordered to come home and shoulder their toughest responsibilities:  Raising and caring for their babies; struggling as a family against all odds with hearts and dedication.

Ashes dispersed against will and wish

How would you like to die, Sir?

A handful of ash, dirt, dust…

Eaten by worms, ants, crows, fishes, maggots, wolves…

Eaten by creatures that you despised, handled with disgust, crushed, trampled, maltreated, ignored…

How would you like to die, Sir?

In an individual grave, in mass grave, ignored in a desolate place, missing in action…

In bed, peacefully, in pain, in genocide, in cataclysm,

In preemptive war, in war of resistance, a martyr, by a sniper…?

How would you like to be buried, friends crying for a minutes, a day,

Celebrated as a groom, a bride, a virgin…?

How would you like to be remembered, your work recognized

Your work revisited for newer generations, every now and then, surviving for a while longer.

Ashes and dirt transferred, deposited, flown away, trampled, pissed upon

To unforgiving places, undesired, dangerous, while still alive,

Against will and wish.

And then mankind is wiped out from the surface of earth,

Insects, crawling creatures, grass, flowers, and plants flourishing,

A giant comet smashing on earth and splitting it,

Parts navigating away from the sun, carrying ashes,

To unknown places, never contemplated

Against will and wish.

I am not a pessimist:  I am thankful for being among the living.

A God, one of us, everyone of us,

Lacking shreds for any talents:  Just awfully curious

Observing, witnessing:  Surprised, stunned, understanding…

A God, one of us, not indifferent:  Just wanting to be forgotten and to forget.

I so often hear people say: “

Did I ever receive the grace?

Have I ever been in a state of grace?

Do I feel at peace with myself and with the universe…?

And I wonder “what is this state of grace thing”?

I go on with my busy daily work and chores

And then my mind takes short breaks and starts talking with itself like:

“I know that I am among the living;

With such little odds to being born and survive

Has hazard acquired any meaning?

What is the meaning of my life?

Should I expect life to have a meaning?…”

Moments the mind takes breaks, touched by grace.

My mind thinks I am God, one of us,

My mind has crossed the Rubicon River,

It crossed the red line to enemy territory.

My mind has to deal with the new situation, against all odds.

My mind has crossed all the red lines,

My mind is taking on its responsibility to behaving as a God should behave:

God is no longer going to be indifferent to his brother, neighbor, animals, trees…

God is to communicate his emotions, aspirations, hopes, errors…

God has to deal with all the troubles, problems, joys, excitements of his fellow-man…

God is to be involved and takes stands for the weak,

The humiliated, the downtrodden, the meek, communities of dying languages…

My mind-God has decided:

It is worth sacrificing once life defending another man’s rights

(all the rights that my mind wishes to acquire, exceeding the UN super laws in the Charters rights)

Against all odds and everybody.

Dying as a God is worth the entire universe.

Are you doing your best with compassion?

Thriving in kindness, continuing your education in humility?

How would you like to die, Sir?

A handful of ash, dirt, dust…

Eaten by worms, ants, crows, fishes, maggots, wolves…

Everything that you despised, handled with disgust, crushed, trampled, maltreated, ignored…

How else would you like to die, Sir?




February 2011

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