Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘private boarding school

“All I care for is to stay Loyal to my Childhood…”:  A statement or a teaching?

This statement was of the French author Bernanos in his “The Grand cemeteries under the moon“.

My big problem is that I cannot consciously recall that I had ever asked myself questions in my childhood. Did my unconscious ever asked questions? That’s an abstract notion: Not the unconscious mind concept.

The next problem that I am having as a kid, and most of my life and going on…is that I am not proud of my naïve and slow learning experiences

How in that case can I be loyal to a phase in my life that refused or failed to reflect and take conscious decisions and actions?

If I were social smart, I would have reinvented a “self” and stayed loyal to what I have created by hard work and efforts…

“It is up to me” was my motto when I was all alone, struggling to survive, away from family and close relatives… But, this motto was intrinsically linked to a survival mind-fix, and barely has risen up to a level of a “concrete” grand value

It never occurred to me the idea that “They will try to change you, but you have to remain the same…”

I don’t recall playing with a toy, just can’t remember these kinds of instances or objects around me…

Have I ever been scared of death in my childhood? I don’t recall such a strong emotion. May it be safe to deduct that I felt immortal and death was out of a subject matter?

Even in the darkest of moments, when I was one step to becoming a homeless person, the idea that my time has come couldn’t touch my mind.

I don’t recall having discussions with my parents, family members or even close relatives. However I could take stands based on “common sense” and be willing to be beaten up for my position.

Like the time when grown up students were humiliating a Moslem classmate in the court yard, the only Moslem in the boarding school, a classmate I had no conversation with, and yet I took stand for him because it made no sense to attack children based on religious affiliation when you are totally ignorant about this particular religion.

I knew nothing about Islam, and my Sunni Moslem classmate didn’t know much about Islam, and the grown up students understanding was based on community idiosyncrasies

A aunt of my mother was a nun in the administration of that Christian Maronite all male private boarding school, and she never missed a religious occasion to have me decked as an angel. I was also expected to help the priest in the early morning church ceremony… All routine tasks that I didn’t care to think hard for considering a substitute job instead.

I recall in my first communion that I tried hard to emulate my team behaviors as the faithful, be sincere in my first confession of sins and the belief that all my sins were washed out… I just couldn’t recall what sins I could have made to confess of in the first place…

I didn’t have to act hard that I am one of the faithful: my dumb face was there to convince anyone of my total loyalty in Jesus, Marie, Joseph and all the stories of daily behaviors of customs and traditions of particular communities that religious book are packed with.

If I scratch a skin deeper, I have this strong impression that I basically had a doubtful mind in matter of opinions crowding around me: I could easily feel detached from the common opinions, though not being able to voice a reasonable counter opinion

It is not a childhood to be loyal to if you cannot remember anything before you are 6 of age. And whatever events that you recall have made you feel discarded, isolatde, unfit to play with schoolmates and share their common activities…

It is not a childhood to feel loyal to if you cannot recall having a meaningful conversation with parents, relatives or schoolmates, and felt reciprocated emotions…

Basically, “Staying loyal to childhood…” means:

“You are what you were in childhood: The world view you were made to construct, the ways you were trained to think and behave…”

“Staying loyal to childhood…” means:

“You are how your unconscious and subconscious minds were formed in childhood, the idiosyncrasies you accumulated…”

This statement is generally correct for most grown ups and it does not to be honored: You have a brain to think and a will to change what does not fit into your matured reality.

It is a life task to rethink your childhood and change your views and behaviors.

A characteristic that I adhere to from my childhood is to take stands against injustices based on idiosyncratic behaviors.

And I don’t consciously think that I was trained for that leaning. Be loyal to the good inner feeling of revolting against injustices: That’s the kind of loyalty to childhood you should retain.

Note 1:  Franz Kafka wrote in his diary of 1922:

“With no ancestors, no marriage, no descendants…. with a violent desire for ancestors, marriage, descendants.

All of them ancestors, marriage, descendants tend their hands toward me, but they are too far for reach.

There exists for each thing… ancestors, marriage, descendants a sort of pitiful and artificial compensation. We create these compensation amid the spasms of pains and suffering.

And if we are not destroyed by the violent spasms, we are by the desolate poor values of our compensations,”

Note 2:  Shocking mankind

« Sans ancêtres, sans mariage, sans descendants, avec un violent désir d'ancêtres, de mariage, de descendants. Tous, ancêtres, mariage et descendants me tendent la main, mais trop loin pour moi.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Il existe pour toute chose, pour les ancêtres, le mariage, les descendants, une compensation artificielle et pitoyable. On crée cette compensation dans des spasmes de douleur, et, à supposer qu'on ne soit pas détruit par la seule violence des spasmes, on l'est par la pauvreté désolante de la compensation. »</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Franz Kafka - Journal ; 21 janvier 1922
Translated Kafka’s French text :
« Sans ancêtres, sans mariage, sans descendants, avec un violent désir d’ancêtres, de mariage, de descendants. Tous, ancêtres, mariage et descendants me tendent… la main, mais trop loin pour moi. Il existe pour toute chose, pour les ancêtres, le mariage, les descendants, une compensation artificielle et pitoyable. On crée cette compensation dans des spasmes de douleur, et, à supposer qu’on ne soit pas détruit par la seule violence des spasmes, on l’est par la pauvreté désolante de la compensation. »
Franz Kafka – Journal ; 21 janvier 1922

“Never” is the name of my homeland (October 14, 2008)

Do you know of political refugees who have no hope of returning to their homeland?

Do you know of members of professional diplomats who are frequently transferred around the World’s Capitals?

Have you ever asked your folks “when shall we go home?” and the reply is “Never!”?

Amelia Nothomb grew up in Japan till the age of six. Her father was a Belgian diplomat. Amelia loved green, flowery and well provisioned Japan of the seventies.  Her Japanese nurse adored her.  When her father was transferred to China it was the period of the Gang of Four after the death of Mao Tse Tong. This Gang made it a policy to burn all the cultural manuscripts and heritage of China before the revolution; famine was endemic.

Amelia was terribly nostalgic for Japan; she asked her dad “when shall we return home?” Her dad answered “Never”!

Little Amelia reflected that her homeland is named “Never”.

The inhabitants of Never have no hopes; their language is Nostalgia; their currency is idle time; their Capital is called Slow Death.

The inhabitants of Never are incapable of erecting a house but they worship any kinds of stones; they substitute stone homes with monuments of love, friendship and writings.

The citizens of Neverland learn from childhood that life is in constant decadence, dismemberment and dispossession. They know by the age of 3 what 63-year old citizens of other homelands can start to conceive: The citizens of Never are a happy lot because any bit of grace dives them in a state of drunkenness.

I am Lebanese by nationality, but I was not born in Lebanon.  I was born in Africa and lived there till the age of 6 before I suffered a near death illness. I spent my childhood in a Lebanese private boarding school; my folks used to visit every two summers.

These rare summers were hectic: my parents did their best to convince me that they were my mother and dad. I used to flee to my home at the boarding school and my parents retrieved me from there. Later, I made vast USA my home for over 20 years of my adulthood, and never visited Lebanon due to the war and lack of money. I finally settled in Lebanon Neverland in 2000

Lebanon is the most beautiful land on Earth; in this tiny and compact State you find all the varieties of natural beauty except deserts. I figure that if you lived in a gloomy country, darkening weather, constantly raining or snowing or if you lived in an arid country where fresh flowing water is nonexistent and the sun is constantly blinding and burning hot, then your nostalgia for your country is the more acute and everlasting.

For people living in countries of extreme weather conditions all the varieties of natural beauty on earth are just curiosities, but never feel home.

The citizens of Lebanon enjoy unbridled liberty, an adjective that describes the financial capitalist freedom to embezzle.  This freedom in Lebanon is characteristic of a non-government or administration; you are totally free to live and die; totally free to demonstrate and criticize since there are no ears to listen to your complaints or act upon them.

Lebanon, the land of water and no potable water reaching the houses; no public electricity; you have got to rely on private providers for all your essential utilities; for quick results you need middlemen for all public service transactions.

When Lebanon obtained its “independence” in 1943, forest covered 35% of its superficies; it is now less than 12%.  Every year many terrible man initiated wild fires eat whole mountain slops: why cut down tree and make coal? Just go there and collect ready-made coal free of charge. The successive governments never found it a wise idea to purchase a single airplane to put down these recurring fires; heck, we have no forest rangers department.

The Lebanese, in this Never land, subconsciously prefer chaos to order; they are not serious about changing their caste system.

The Never land “citizens” are great magicians; they want you to believe that the variety of their castes (over 19 castes) is proof of their cultural heritage and their sense of openness, but they never communicate with one another.  They can be as remote as the Moon in human interrelation; before the audio-visual technologies a few castes were believed to have tails and a few other corns.

Neverland Lebanon is ruled by the recognized religious sects and does not enjoy a real State or government as defined by the UN:  The “citizens” are practically chattel to religious clerics and feudal lords, and the election laws are designed to institute these kinds of affiliations.

The “Neverland” indigenous can convince the World that Lebanon is the Switzerland of the Middle East; they won the first prize in acting all the dramatic roles; the immigrants are trained to exhibit to you long faces and even cry to express nostalgia, but they are expert fakers.  This magical Neverland shifts from a glitzy environment to a very conservative climate of women wearing black robes from head to toe within a ten-kilometer drive.  You move from disgusting display of luxury in one location to utter poverty in the blink of an eye within a hundred meter radius.

The Capital of Neverland is ranked second after the city of Anver in Belgium as the zaniest, funniest, varied, and modern location for tourists and offering the best culinary choices; the rankers never troubled to investigate if the its indigenes can afford the pleasures displayed in their Capital. The capital Slow Death was re-transformed and re-built to attract the petrodollars visitors and main owners of its high rises and luxurious Hotels.

The soul of Neverland is endemically melancholic, but its people learned to show off happiness and contentment.  Maybe the ancient inhabitants of Lebanon enjoyed the healthy and frugal life style in its mountain villages but that was decades ago. A person has to cater for his soul; it is his responsibility to discover his own set of Truths.  The name of my homeland could be “Never“!




February 2023

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