Quoted from “In the Presence of Absence“, by Mahmoud Darwish:
“At the end of the night you can only sleep with the help of a sleeping pill. When
you wake up, you need some time to be convinced that you are in Gaza, which
you then describe as “the city of misery and might.” Late in the sultry morning
you go together with some returning friends to visit the camps. It is hard to walk
in the alleys, and your own cleanliness and access to water shames you. You do
not believe, and never did, that these holding tanks of misery are a necessary
step toward immortalizing or affirming the right of return. But you remember
what you really should forget: the world’s conscience. You vilify theories of
progress and the teleology of history, which might take humanity back to the
Stone Age. To keep some perspective, you deprive yourself of the serum of
optimism and zeal and instead take a pill for high blood pressure. You say: If I
think of anything else, I will have to throw my conscience to the cats.
You wonder: What kind of a linguistic or legal wunderkind could formulate a
peace treaty and good neighborliness between a palace and a shack, between a
guard and a prisoner?
You walk down the alleys ashamed of everything: your ironed shirts, the
aesthetics of poetry, the abstractness of music, and a passport that allows you to
travel the world. You are stabbed by a pain in your consciousness. And you
return to a Gaza that looks down on its refugee camps and its refugees, and
seems apprehensive of the returnees. You do not know which Gaza you are in,
and you say:
I came, but did not arrive.
I came, but did not return!
Revelation is the heart’s proof of what it knows not, and of what is higher.
Higher and farther. I see a bird, you and I are its wings. It takes us to a place
beyond vision, on a journey with no end and no beginning, no intention or
objective. I do not speak to you, nor do you speak to me. We only hear the music
“the world of judges is the world of injustice (…) Each of us has the infinite he deserves. But this merit cannot be weighed with our scales.”
– Octavio Paz
Negative confessions to Ma’at (Papyrus of Ani)
The Weighing of the Heart:
32. I have never stopped [ the flow of ] water.
Cold War motivational poster.
“many American men would be sterilized”
“He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby-Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecuchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.”
– Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (2004)
“Je suis coupable de parler. Je suis coupable de ne pas parler. Je suis coupable de parler infidèlement à l’immensité du malheur qui fait ma grandeur déniée. On devrait être Dante, et on est Li Pharine. On trahit la malheur, on se trahit.”
– Hélène Cixous, “Orphées Khmers”, Cambodge, Le Génocide Effacé (2011).
Indonesian genocide in West Papua is non-genocide because it does not qualify as: ‘intentional efforts to wipe out all or part of indigenous West Papuans as a distinct racial and ethnic group’ (c/o UN human rights office of the high commissioner).
The following acts shall be punishable:
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
“The UN’s decolonisation committee will not accept a petition signed by 1.8 million West Papuans calling for independence, saying West Papua’s cause is outside the committee’s mandate.” (The Guardian, Sep. 30, 2017)
Meanwhile, Canadian economy grows, adds new jobs, bloats prosperity, raises a glass to new booming profits:
Tuesday, September 23, 2014: Indonesia presents ‘big opportunities’ for Canadian business, specifically, Hatfield Consultants Limited, Vancouver BC. “In addition to Canada, Hatfield has established offices in Indonesia, Laos, and Botswana and business partners in Chile and Thailand” and “We specialize in undertaking complex, multi-disciplinary environmental projects, often in collaboration with networks of local experts and specialists in particular fields.” Sales: $9.0 million – Exports: $2.5 million. “Big players such as Manulife Financial Corp., Sun Life Financial Inc., Vale Ltd. (formerly Inco Ltd.), Bombardier Inc. and BlackBerry Ltd. are firmly established in Indonesia. Now it is time for smaller companies to explore this rich terrain, experts say.” such an exciting place – Export Development Canada. “Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo, is a young, self-made businessman who seems open to foreign investment.”