Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Cioran

Worst Nightmare: “How am I to spend the next 24 years?’

A friend confided in me. We talked for an hour. I re-structured his haphazard story to make sense. He said:

“My father is 89 and my mother is 86. My father health has been deteriorating fast since last year.

In this winter season, he barely uses the walker for his morning shit. By noon, he rather not get up from bed, on the ground that he feels too weak and too cold to step out of his cozy bed.

Mother is in a worse case in matter of aches and pains, but she is functional and make sure that she washes father in the morning and bring him food in bed. Not to mention changing the bed sheets every morning and all dad’s wet cloths.

The problem for mother is that father insists on not leaving his bed after 1 pm on account that he feels too cold and out of power to walk to close-by toilet for his frequent pissing sessions.

Mother has this daunting task of changing father every morning and doing at least 2 washes for the wet bed and father’s cloths, every morning, and she suffers from back pain, arthritis, and you name it. And dad plays the child game for constant attention and waking up mother at night for no valid reasons.

Mother considers that putting in 8 straight hours of work in the morning, without any break to rest, her daily job. And everyone in the household must share with her non-stop chores. Even when she feels sick and unable to work, until she faints and drop.

Occasionally, mother sleeps in the sitting room because father makes it a point to wake her up frequently, just out of boredom and restlessness.  Eventually, she returns to sleep in dad’s (obviously separate beds) room, out of compassion and duty.

Father has had no jobs for the last 40 years. What he did when he could drive was give ride to his 6 grandchildren to school and bring them back home, and doing a few gardening…

And he was a heavy smoker since he was 14 of age, mainly smoking in the sitting room, and polluting this room, while enjoying a few glasses of whisky.

Until he started to fall down after finishing drinking. He quit drinking every day, but resumed smoking, out of total boredom and dense worries from the fast dwindling of pecuniary resources.

No government facilities to rescue the elderly people, not even in health insurance, or a small remittance every month... The elderly people are in the care of the children, relatives… supposedly in the care of the community that no longer exists.

Dad has plenty of time now to dream of the time he was still able, but I guess he can focus on how to stay alive: He keeps touching the Saint icons.  For a soft departure or for exhausting mother to death?

Do you think his deep wish is to see mother passing away before he does? A senile revenge of people who revert to childhood?

Funny, every now and then father creates a tantrum to remind mother that he is the head of the family and that what he wishes must be obeyed, and bangs his walker to confirm his statement: “I want you to wrap me up now (7afdineh) for the remainder of the day and night” and this tragic bout of energy surges at the time mother is taking a short nap from a back ache.

And when mother tells him: “I am tired. wait till I rest…” father responds: “You do it now or I’ll piss in bed...”  These kinds of reactions…

He goes: “Ya wallao? are you sleeping? Get up now…”

He does not exhibit all his pent up anger and desperation when I am around: He knows that my reactions can be worse than his, and we do have the same bad genes

At least father managed to construct a building of 3 floors, one for each one of his children who all graduated from universities and are married with children. Except one child: I never married and have no children that I know of. And I now live with my elderly parents for the last 14 years.

I don’t recall ever having a chat with dad, and now he is almost deaf and he refuses to babble. And mother’s chatting are of the most boring and regurgitation of the same worries that I cannot help with and suggestions that are too late to reverse and act upon.

Mother never cared to handle money in her life and never wrote a check. Currently, she has to handle the few cash that she receives every now and then from her children and relative and make sure that she can buy her medicine, father’s couches, the gas canisters for cooking, bread and biscuits for dad… Nothing fancy at all.

And she declines invitations because she will have to bring a gift as custom demands, and she has to cook a few sweet dishes for the occasions… and keeps cleaning the house in the event anyone remembers suddenly to pay her visit…

I wish the visits are not set in advance by “appointment”: Mother will start cleaning and cooking a week in advance of the visit, and ends up working overtime.

I aid mother in most of her chores: assistant cook, washing dishes, vacuuming, lifting “heavy” stuff that she can no longer perform, changing bed sheets, gardening, gathering vegetables and fruits, tending to the few chickens, going on errands…

I find time to read, write, post articles on my blog, watch documentaries and non-violent good movies on cables after every one in the household is supposed to be sleeping…

Tell me. Am I talking abstract so far?

My worst nightmare is “How am I to spend the next 24 years, if no haphazard calamity suddenly ends my life?”

I have no job, have no money, receives no stipend from anyone, no government, no syndicate ( I failed to pay the yearly dues for lack of money), no health insurance, no car (could no longer afford the maintenance, the gas and endless taxes on a rickety car), no public transportation…

I receives no monthly or weekly of any little financial aid from anyone. Actually, the community, relatives and close parents who can afford it, are expressly punishing me from Not Working for Pay after I reached 62.

It is not that I don’t care to work for pay on a job that I like… I am not employable for doing anything. My CV has so many gaps to fill (the time schedule) that my imagination would run out of ideas. And I am more knowledgeable (higher education and continuing education) than any employer and was exposed to far more trades and small jobs than any fat employer.

And I have no talent for any hobby to kill the time and express any kinds of passions…

Tell me: “How can I survive my next 24 years, as I become as old as my dad?”

I keep myself fit, do exercise, walk a lot, garden, eat moderately, drink a little on “free” occasions… have not a pound of fat and I cut down to half a pat of cigarette a day, with filter added to reduce the level of tar in my lungs…

Am I talking abstract?

I don’t care to live much longer, what for?

I wrote what I had to say, published my autobiography, I am helping when I can.

I wish an institution will accept me to die of thirst: Hunger takes much longer to do the job.

I saw this on a friends timeline yesterday and just had to share :)</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>It's rather beautiful
I kind of systematically cornered myself in a tight spot: Even with a surge of energy to get out of this prison, I have denied myself much room to navigate away.
I must have had many “second chances” to survive that long. Though, I don’t feel that I ever had a second chance. I think that I learned from my mistakes.
Currently, what I can do is update my Day Dreaming Projects and create other projects that will enable “cornered people” to fly away.
As long as I’m healthy and functional, I cannot loose hope that Providence will come to the rescue and set me free.
It doesn’t pay to feel negative and drop hope for a better situation.

Note: What is irritating in feeling desperate is its evidence, its documentation, its accurate reporting.

Hope expresses its generosity in the false sense of optimism, its refusal of facing the situation, an aberration, a fiction.

It is in the aberration of feeling hope that resides life, this fiction that feeds on it.

The French text of Cioran:

Ce qui irrite dans le désespoir, c’est son bien-fondé, son évidence, sa “documentation” : c’est du reportage.

Examinez, au contraire, l’espoir, sa générosité dans le faux, sa manie d’affabuler, son refus de l’événement : une aberration, une fiction.

Et c’est dans cette aberration que réside la vie, et de cette fiction qu’elle s’alimente. » Cioran

Do you think you suffer from depression? Do you know someone who might? Here are the signs #TEDxLAUSalon #OnMentalHealth
Where is “Your Home Country”? Do you feel Exiled?
Witold Gombrowicz wrote in his Journal, 1953, on Homeland and Exile.
On Homeland:
Be assured that your homeland is neither Grójec, Skierniewice, nor the entire country!
Let a forceful blood irrigates your face and colors your cheeks at the thought that You are the Homeland.
Are you no longer living in Grodno, Kutno or Jedlinsk ?
Has a person ever traveled anywhere else but in himself?
You are at home, even as you live in Argentina or Canada: Your homeland is not a location on a map, but the life essence of man.
Come on, no need to cry. Don’t forget that as you lived daily in Poland, Poland never meant mush to you.
Today, you don’t live in Poland, and Poland lives ingrained in you.
This new Poland that you have to define as the deepest of your humanity, the labor of many generations.
Everywhere the eyes of a male discover his destiny in the eyes of a young girl, a homeland is born.
Every time you feel angry or in ecstasy, let your fist rises against infamy, and a new homeland is created.
Every time the words of the wise, or the music of  Beethoven inflames your soul to the highest celestial spheres, in the Equator or in Alaska, a homeland is born.
In the square of Saxe at Warsaw, or in the Market of Cracow, you will be but poor bums, gatherers of miseries without fire or place, ambulating for small money, if you allow vulgarity kills the beauty in you…”
Question: Do you currently feel that you are at home and comfortable among the Silent Majority?
On Exile
The words of Cioran (a French author of the 50’s and 60’s) breath the humid coldness of caves and the dampness of the graves.
His words are too mesquine. Actually of whom this is about? Who should we comprehend in the definition of  “exiled authors”? Rimbaud ? Norwid ? Kafka ? Slowacki ?…
As many men, as many exiled people.
I doubt that any single one of them authors will be precisely scared of this kind of Hell…
Let’s us not forget that Art is nourished of elements of solitude and perfect autonomy. It is in himself that the artist finds satisfaction and a reason to be.
A homeland?
All eminent person, from the fact of his eminence, is a stranger, even in his own house.
Readers? These writers never wrote for their audience, always against their readers.
Honor, success, celebrity, glamour?
They have become celebrity because they learned to have esteem for themselves at a higher level than their success.
Theoretically, and all material difficulties set aside, I think that this plunge in the external universe that exile represents must bring to literature a vigorous impulse.
Here you have the elites of a country booted out of their borders.
This elite class can thus think, feel and write from the outside.
The elite class takes its distance. It acquires a spiritual freedom, rarely attained.
All the shackles and links are broken down. We can be much more than ourselves.
In this generalized effervescence, the established forms are relaxed and untied. We are now capable of walking toward the future in a more rigorous manner…
I don’t deny that in order to vanquish solo these difficulties requires plenty of decisions and moral courage.
Should we feel astonished if, scared of our weakness and by the magnitude of our duties, we hide our head in the mud, and replay past parodies for ourselves, run away from the universe in order to remain in our little world?”
(Lack of opportunities to work, education, and health care… are sources of feeling exiled. You tend to go into isolation and shun company…)
Note: Khalil Toubia shared Littérature et Poésie‘s photo and the original French texts:
Patrie : Sachez bien que votre patrie, ce n’est ni Grójec, ni Skierniewice, ni même le pays tout entier ! Qu’un sang puissant vous monte au visage, et colore vos joues à la pensée que c’est vous-mêmes qui êtes votre Patrie ! Vous n’habitez plus Grodno, Kutno ou Jedlinsk ? Mais l’homme a-t-il jamais séjourné ailleurs qu’en lui-même ? Vous êtes chez-vous, même en habitant l’Argentine ou le Canada, car la Patrie n’est pas un lieu sur la carte, elle est l’essence vive de l’homme. […]<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Allons, ne pleurnichez pas ! Et n’oubliez pas que, tant que vous habitiez la Pologne, la Pologne – chose quotidienne- ne vous frappait guère. Aujourd’hui que vous ne l’habitez plus, mais installée en force, elle vous habite, -cette Pologne qu’il faut définir comme votre humanité la plus profonde, le travail de maintes générations. Partout – sachez-le bien - où le regard du jeune homme découvre sa destinée dans les yeux de la jeune fille, naît la Patrie. Chaque fois que monte à vos lèvres la colère ou l’extase, que votre poing se dresse contre l’infâmie, chaque fois que la parole du sage ou le chant de Beethoven embrase votre âme en la transportant jusqu’aux sphères célestes, alors – en Equateur ou en Alaska - naît la Patrie. Mais, sur la place de Saxe à Varsovie ou sur le Marché de Cracovie, vous ne serez que de pauvres clochards, des colporteurs sans feu ni lieu, des amasseurs de pognon ambulants, si vous permettez que la vulgarité tue en vous la beauté.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Witold Gombrowicz -Journal, 1953
Witold Gombrowicz -Journal, 1953
Patrie :
“Sachez bien que votre patrie, ce n’est ni Grójec, ni Skierniewice, ni même le pays tout entier ! Qu’un sang puissant vous monte au visage, et colore vo…s joues à la pensée que c’est vous-mêmes qui êtes votre Patrie ! Vous n’habitez plus Grodno, Kutno ou Jedlinsk ? Mais l’homme a-t-il jamais séjourné ailleurs qu’en lui-même ? Vous êtes chez-vous, même en habitant l’Argentine ou le Canada, car la Patrie n’est pas un lieu sur la carte, elle est l’essence vive de l’homme. […] Allons, ne pleurnichez pas ! Et n’oubliez pas que, tant que vous habitiez la Pologne, la Pologne – chose quotidienne- ne vous frappait guère. Aujourd’hui que vous ne l’habitez plus, mais installée en force, elle vous habite, -cette Pologne qu’il faut définir comme votre humanité la plus profonde, le travail de maintes générations. Partout – sachez-le bien – où le regard du jeune homme découvre sa destinée dans les yeux de la jeune fille, naît la Patrie.
Chaque fois que monte à vos lèvres la colère ou l’extase, que votre poing se dresse contre l’infâmie, chaque fois que la parole du sage ou le chant de Beethoven embrase votre âme en la transportant jusqu’aux sphères célestes, alors – en Equateur ou en Alaska – naît la Patrie. Mais, sur la place de Saxe à Varsovie ou sur le Marché de Cracovie, vous ne serez que de pauvres clochards, des colporteurs sans feu ni lieu, des amasseurs de pognon ambulants, si vous permettez que la vulgarité tue en vous la beauté…”
Exil    : Les paroles de Cioran respirent le froid humide des caves et le renfermé des tombeaux, mais elles sont bien trop mesquines. En effet, de qui s’agit-il… ? Qui nous faut-il comprendre dans la définition d’« écrivains exilés » ? […] Rimbaud ? Norwid ? Kafka ? Slowacki ?… Autant d’hommes, autant d’exils. Je crois qu’aucun d’entre eux ne serait effrayé précisément par ce genre d’enfer. […] N’oublions pas que l’Art est chargé et nourri d’éléments de solitude et de parfaite autonomie, c’est en lui-même qu’il trouve sa satisfaction et sa raison d’être. Une patrie ? Mais tout homme éminent, du simple fait de son éminence, est un étranger, même à son propre foyer. Des lecteurs ? Ces écrivains n’ont jamais écrit pour les lecteurs, toujours contre eux. Honneurs, succès, retentissement, célébrité ?… Ils sont devenus célèbres parce qu’ils ont su s’estimer eux-mêmes plus haut que leur succès. Il me semble plutôt que –théoriquement parlant et toutes difficultés matérielles mises à part – cette plongée dans l’univers extérieur que représente l’exil doit apporter à la littérature une impulsion inouïe. Voilà l’élite d’un pays jetée hors de ses frontières, à l’étranger. Elle peut, dès lors, penser, sentir, écrire de l’extérieur. Elle prend ses distances. Elle acquiert une liberté spirituelle rarement atteinte. Tous les liens se brisent. On peut être beaucoup plus soi-même. Dans la mêlée générale, les formes établies se dénouent, se relâchent, et l’on peut marcher vers l’avenir d’une manière plus rigoureuse. […] Je ne nie point que vaincre ces difficultés et les vaincre en solitaire- exige beaucoup de décision et de courage moral. Faut-il par conséquent s’étonner si, épouvantés par notre faiblesse et par l’immensité de nos devoirs, nous enfouissons nos têtes sous le sable, et, nous jouant à nous-mêmes des parodies de notre passé, fuyons l’univers pour rester dans notre petit monde ?
Witold Gombrowicz -Journal, 195

Our yearning for The Absolute survived Temples and religions?

The French author Cioran said to late famous Argentine author Ernesto Sabato: “We can snuff out almost everything in mankind, except the yearning for The Absolute. This need in man will survive Temples and religions…”  I think that religions were instituted and their sort of temples were beautifully erected since time immemorial in order to respond to man’s yearning for The absolute. ” In sadness, anything is transformed into a soul”

The poet Cesar Vallejo wrote something to this effect: “Life is a series of cruel and harsh blows: God’ Hate striking again and again…”  I think this most determined power has learned from mankind’s behaviors and feedback that the only way to retain man’s attention is to reach him through personal calamities

The poet clergyman Hugo Mujica wrote: “In the deepest of our emotions there are no roots: Simply totally uprooted and torn off feelings…” I guess that’s the case of people verging into senility: They tend to return to locations where they first and sincerely asked themselves agonizing questions on the existence…

The painter Goya wrote: “The dreams of reason generate monsters…”  Our back to the wall in this difficult decade, where objective reasoning, sciences, (and technologies put on the market without prior evaluation and testing for the health, safety, and mental consequences to users) are unable to respond adequately to the growing stagnated decisions for resolving mankind and nature survival, we keep wondering: “How can we overcome those multiple problems that require international cooperation and serious communication of our anxieties?

The successive genocides perpetrated by almost every society in the last century, and still going on in many part around the world, confirm Elie Wisel claim: “Genocides do not just physical kill people, but mainly the Idea of Humanity…”  Perpetual genocide tendencies let us start doubting Goethe statement: “Humanity will finally triumph…” That was a plausibility in the 18th romantic century: Can it be believable in this totally materialistic, “just me”, liberal capitalism ideology and system?

In his book “Before the End”, Ernesto Sabato recounted this event: “I took the train, and a thin and frail woman sat and started playing a mournful melody on her accordion.  She was one of these Romanian refugees; she could be from Albania, Serbia…: No homeland, no family, no relatives…One of the millions in errancy around the world, kicked out of their lands, villages, culture, roots…These refugees know without any doubt that they are not counted in history, they are not even included in statistics or falling within an ideological slot…The skinny woman stepped down to hop into another train, and I noticed the baby-girl on her back, looking at me with the saddest of eyes…”

All these indigenous Indians in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile…), the outcast who had no other recourse but to flock to major cities, uprooted from their natural environment, living in favella and shanty-towns, victims of recurring genocides, epidemics…Those outcast of captives in cities, barely surviving, having lost their former dignity and rituals…The harmony between mankind and the cosmos has been broken down.  To be replaced by what?  Industrial agribusinesses? Technologies of the new barbarians?

Outcasts around the world who can no longer hope for protection in the justice systems: Police forces breaking sit-ins and dumping the workers’ hot soup in the street on cold nights…


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